Like reasonable people everywhere, we here at Madness Madness, when considering the accurate and true representation of American Indians in film, television, and literature, immediately think of Germany. Thus none of you will be surprised to learn of Karl May, creator in the 1890s of the “Old Shatterhand” novels, the Wild West adventures of the titular benevolent whitey and his “blood brother” Winnetou, a wise chief of the Apache, a formula that would in no way lead to an utterly bizarre century-plus-long fixation by Germans on American Indian life as portrayed by a man born in the Kingdom of Saxony.
You know what Old Shatterhand didn’t have? Access to driver’s education snuff films, the bread and butter of one Richard Wayman, a man with access to a vast store of color film and a frankly troubling affinity for the Ohio Highway Patrol. Wayman’s literal snuff films—“Signal 30,” “Highways of Agony,” “Mechanized Death”(!), and of course “Hell’s Highway”—routinely terrorized driver’s education students from the ‘50s through at least the early ‘90s. His interests also included filming “sting” operations to publicly humiliate gay men and producing disastrous telethons featuring Sammy Davis Jr. Meet both these white guys on this episode of Madness Madness!