Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
If reality television has very few champions, it’s pretty obvious why: it’s usually cheaply made exploitative crap with zero redeeming social value. American Cannibal is a documentary for everyone who hates reality television, yet it’s also compulsive viewing for idiot-box rubber-neckers. Setting out to make a doc about pitching television shows, the filmmakers got caught up in the story of two struggling sitcom writers who sell their souls to the reality business to make ends meet. All worthy life goals and morals are put on the line when they partner up with porn king Kevin Blatt (responsible for releasing the Paris Hilton sex tape) and begin auditioning fame-hungry punters for their Survivor clone called American Cannibal – a show in which contestants may have to eat each other. Before you can say ‘the tribe has spoken’, it all comes crashing down in a pixillated pile-up of naked dancers, lonely wives, idiotic doofuses, sadistic stunts, emergency operations and, worst of all, a lifelong friendship being tested over the most ridiculous of all causes – a reality television show.