“Tabloid” – Review

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Director:  Errol Morris

Does Errol Morris make great documentaries, or is Errol Morris lucky that his subjects are great interviews?  The weight of this doc is carried by the subject, Joyce McKinney.    It is also about the undue influence some people have over others and some institutions have over its people.

The story follows the exploits of Joyce in Britain as she looks for the man of her dreams who she believes was kidnapped by Mormons.  The man of her dreams, Kirk Andersen, was freely in Britain performing his missionary obligations to the Mormon Church.  Once in England, Joyce promptly kidnaps Kirk, ties him up to a bed–sometimes spread eagle–and begins to subjugate him to sex.  She sexually “raped” him to bring about his original emotional feelings towards her, as well as hopefully get impregnated by him.  Eventually Kirk is back with the Mormon Church, and Joyce is arrested by the British authorities.  The tabloid ready case of the Manacled Mormon now begins in earnest.

What ensues is Joyce’s fleeing from Britain by impersonating a deaf hispanic flying to Canada, multiple disguises through the USA, and the eventual revelation of her S&M past.  You would think this would be enough for one life, but not Joyce McKinney’s.  Later in life she is mangled by one dog and rescued by another, Booger.  As Booger gets near the end of his natural life Joyce will do anything to further it.  In this case it means flying to Seoul, South Korea and having Booger successfully cloned–five clones to be exact.

And what of the other characters in this life play?  Kirk Andersen is married and has children; he also refused any interviews.  Joyce’s accomplice, KJ, passed away in 2004.  By all accounts he was a “slave” to her dominatrix; following her wherever she went and doing whatever she asked.  The British Tabloid journalists are a little too proud in their interviews of the length and methods they went to get their information.  The Mormon Church continues to fascinate with its odd beliefs.

Errol Morris’ direction is very good.  There was only one moment where I felt the doc slow down.  The main negative is that the documentary just ends; there is no real resolution.  It just stops.  As with the other Errol Morris docs I have watched, the musical score and sound mixing are excellent.

Though you laugh out loud, in the end you feel sad.  Joyce McKinney has given up her life for a fantasy.  A fantasy of true love that probably never existed beyond a few weeks of lust many years ago.

Grade:  A-

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About VictorsMovieReviews

I love movies. I watch them, read them, and am currently writting one. View all posts by VictorsMovieReviews

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