Iím sure there exists a great horror movie about
the reality TV phenomenon. REALITY KILLS, however, isnít it!
film, which plays off the formula of BIG BROTHER and other recent reality
television programs, at least has an impressive pedigree. It was co-produced,
appropriately enough, by John Langley, the creator of COPS, which is viewed by
many as the show that kicked off the reality trend. The director was the
talented (though highly erratic) Canadian Rafael Zelinsky, whose many low budget
feats include SCREWBALLS (1983) and FUN (1994). As for REALITY KILLSí largely
unknown cast, the less said the better!
TRUE LIVINí is a top rated reality TV program in which seven people are
pitted against each other in an isolated setting. For TRUE LIVINíS latest
season, the locale is an isolated barn where a past massacre is rumored to have
Among the twentysomething contestants are the wannabe actress Serendipity,
the DJ Crash, the lesbian Gar and the apparently virginal Charlotte. All
initially clash, and than the gals begin pairing off with the guys--all but
Charlotte, who it seems will remain forever a virgin, and Crash, who nobody can
stand. The latter is inevitably voted off in the first elimination round, and
isnít at all happy about it!
But then the body of a cameraman is found hanging in
the barn, and chaos takes over. Everybody begins turning on everybody else as
suspicion for the killing runs rampant and paranoia takes over. In the meantime
more bodies are discovered. Clearly one of the participants (or possibly even
two) is responsible...and the body count continues to rise.
problem with this shot-on-handheld-video production is that it emulates its real
life forebears (BIG BROTHER, etc.) too closely. This means all the characters
are annoying twerps with whom itís impossible to sympathize. Nor does the film
improve any once the killing starts; it turns from an irritating gab fest into
an even more grating BLAIR WITCH-like swirl of screaming and shouting, with a
ďsurpriseĒ ending thatís not especially surprising or satisfying.
Rafael Zelinsky is capable of far better than this. The pic, aside from
satirizing reality television, is very much in the mode of the hipper-than-thou
SCREAM films, with constant nods to past horror movies (including a somewhat
witty BLAIR WITCH reference). The results are dull and irritating by turns, but
never especially scary or entertaining.
REALITY KILLS [REALITY CHECK]
Xenon Pictures Inc.
Director: Rafael Zelinsky
Producers: John Langley, Maggie Langley
Screenplay: Brent Askari, Chum Langhorne
Cinematography: Sead Mutarevic
Editing: Eric Chase
Case: Vanessa Christelle, Natalia Cigliuti, Timothy Lee DePriest, Nate Dushku,
Kym Hoy, Kalil Kane, Courtney Peldon, Sticky Fingaz