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Hunter S. Thompson - Final 24 Cover Did you know that famed gonzo journalist, Hunter S Thompson, used to carry around in his shirt pocket a small pet monkey? Damn. I'm jealous. I want a shirt-monkey too. All I got instead is this documentary to watch about the great man himself. It was made in 2006 and lasts for 55 minutes. But then I did get some drugs as well? So fair's fair.

Thompson, Hunter S. - Final 24

Psychedelic literary word-smith, Hunter S Thompson, is the topic of note in this particular episode of 'Final 24'. And it's a good job he is too. Because this program manages to tell his life and times with numerous pieces of stock-photography, archive footage, re-enactments, plus pre-recorded interviews with Ben Fee, Sandra Wright, Alan Rinzler, Tim Ferris, Gary Kennedy, Peter Whitmore, and Lou Anne Murphy.

What now follows is a basic overly of how this documentary plays out:

  • A YO-YO CHILDHOOD: Now it is pretty safe to say that Hunter's early life in Louisville, Kentucky, was very much like the man himself - it had its ups and downs. At first, Hunter had a very prosperous and conservative life living in this town. He was well-liked, he was well-respected, plus he was able to gain entry into the literary Elite in the process. However, at the age of 14, Hunters father tragically died of a neurological disorder, thus propelling him down a path of creative destruction and a tormented future.
  • THE EARLY YEARS: When Hunter married his first wife, Sandra, and they both had a son together, called Juan, he moved his family out of Louisville, and became a freelance journalist there. Granted, for the first ten years or so, Hunter had a very difficult time making ends meet and defining his writing style. But thankfully he did manage to gauge some notoriety after he wrote a book about the 'Hells Angles'.   
  • DOODLING WITH DRUGS: Once the media took notice of Hunters writing talents, in turn Hunter told them all to 'F*ck off', before commencing on a literary odyssey fuelled by drugs, alcohol, and chaos.  A demonstration in Chicago. A brief tenure as a town sheriff. The Kentucky Derby. Plus the Rolling Stones articles relating to 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. All of these things, plus many-many more, changed Hunter as a person, inadvertently changing what he wrote in the process. Gonzo journalism in action.         
  • THE FINAL 24: The last day of Hunter S Thompson plays out as follows: (6) Hunter and his family spend some time together in his ranch in Colorado. (5) He gives his son, Juan, a box of his own valuable possessions. (4) Hunter has an argument with his second wife, Anne, because he points a gun at her whilst drunk. (3) Unable to sleep because of the pain he has in his back and his legs, Hunter wakes up his son and Ben, and they spend until dawn drinking and talking together. (2) As soon as he gets up in the morning, Hunter apologises to Anne for upsetting her before she goes out. (1) He has a drink, he writes 'counselor' upon a typewriter, he calls his wife up on the phone, and Hunter then... BANG! 

Now I first became familiar with the works of Hunter S Thompson a couple of month prior to me watching the film 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' (click here for the review). And do you know what? After watching this episode of 'Final 24', I think that I know him a lot better now. To explain:

What am I? Me. Here. Now. What am I doing whilst writing this missive? Am I following in the footsteps of Hunter S Thompson? Am I trying to express myself in a non-conformist way like many other bloggers out there in cyberspace? Most probably. And I suppose in someway all of us in this 'game' have to bestow a debt of gratitude onto Hunter, for creating a style of journalism that has now become the norm.

Well? Let's face it. Not all of us so called 'bloggers' writer in a conventional way, do we? I'm sure that many of you who have read my crap in the past must think to themselves at times "This is a bit strange?" or words to that effect. I know I have. But then that is the whole point, isn't it? To communicate in a way that is both clear and unconventional at the same time. Bless you Hunter. You're a blogging star.

Hunter S. Thompson Relaxing

I remember once watching a Jackie Chan documentary which explained that as soon as he managed to escape from the shadow of Bruce Lee, he then had only had one more obstacle to overcome from then on in -- himself -- which he did -- in a manner of speaking.

However, unlike Jackie, I felt that Hunters only shortcomings was that he was not able to do this, because regrettably he fell into the category of believing in his own myth. I can think of another actor who also fell into this trap as well, John Wayne. He too saw himself as one thing when he was younger and something else when he got older. Plus John found it difficult to adapt to change and evolve within the face of society.

John will always be the rough and tough wild-west man. Whilst Hunter will always be Gonzo journalist bar none.  

Please note, this is not a criticism, this is just an observation.

Hunter S. Thompson Smoking

Just before Hunter decided to install some extra ventilation within his cranium with the use of a bullet, he wrote a single word upon his typewriter 'counselor'. No. Not 'counsellor'. Which is the proper English spelling of this word. 'Counselor'. The alternative American spelling that implied he needed some help from a trained professional.

Feels kind of like a redundant thing to state, huh? Especially if you have in mind to kill yourself anyway! But then again I can not help but ponder if this implied 'cry for help' is that at all! Hunter was a cleaver person. He knew what he was doing. He did not like conformity. He was a bit nut's. So why end his time on this planet with a conservative and pedestrian word? Or maybe that's it? Leave them guessing to the very end, with the intent that one day some smart sod will think that they have figured out a myth that isn't a myth.

Still, it is a very shitty thing to do to your family and is very disrespectful, huh? OK, I am sure at the time Hunter did not look at it in this way; he was only interested in a 'get out clause' on his own terms. What do you say to that you fruit?

Nice documentary. Crazy guy. Bless him.


THE FINAL 24 - HUNTER S THOMPSON THE FINAL 24 - HUNTER S THOMPSON Reviewed by David Andrews on September 20, 2012 Rating: 5
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