Site Guide

The DVDwolf Forum
What's New?
New In Theatres
New to DVD
Film Books
Biographies
Recent Reviews
Animation
B-Movies
Comic Book Movies
A.F.I. Lists
British Pages
Gay/Lesbian
Women In Film
Top Ten Film Lists

[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]



Please note, prices listed are subject to change at the whim of the vendor. If you see a price different from our site to the one's listed, please let us know.
Title
Amazon (US$)
DVD Empire (US$)
CD Now (US$)
DVD Express (US$)
Videoflicks (US$)
Series 7: The Contenders (2001)
NA
NA
Series 7: The Contenders (2001) (Soundtrack)
NA
NA
NA

Series 7: The Contenders Review

Directed By: Daniel Minahan.
Starring: Merritt Wever, Donna Hanover, Angelina Phillips, Glenn Fitzgerald, Marylouise Burke.

Synopsis: Series 7 consists of six episodes of a fictional television game show called The Contenders. On the show, non-actors are given handguns, quickly explained the very basic rules (kill the other contestants) and told to "play," with a goal of winning by staying alive. Ultraviolent and psychologically disturbing, the film unrolls in the frenetic style of network television, never pausing for reflection. Written and directed by Daniel Minahan (cowriter of the screenplay for 1996's I Shot Andy Warhol).

I first became aware of this film when I saw a print ad in Maxim magazine. I was intrigued, but never got the chance to see it while it was in theaters. I'm not sure if it even did get a theatrical release in Canada, but I suppose it could have passed me by. When it was released on DVD this week, I did not waste any more time and picked it up.

You know it was really only a matter of time before something like this was made and it illustrates how far ahead of their time films like Rollerball (1975) and, to a lesser degree, The Running Man (1987) really were. Only a few minutes into the film, I could tell that it was going to be incredibly cheesy, but you know what? Darned if I didn't want to know which character was going to come out on top!

The film employs a reality/documentary style, focusing on a television show called The Contenders. Six contestants are randomly selected and pitted against each other in a chosen city. The game is simple. Kill as many contestants as possible and avoid being killed yourself.

I do have to give this film credit for flawlessly capturing all the staple reality show clichés, including dramatizations and commercial teasers. The cast is a band of mostly unknown actors, although you may recognize Brooke Smith, the pregnant Contender's reigning champion as Buffalo Bill's captive, Catherine Martin from The Silence Of The Lambs. There are some scenes that play out somewhat awkwardly, the golf course sequence in particular, but the young actress (Merritt Wever) later explains why that was the case in her interview commentary included in the extra features of the DVD. Other features include comprehensive audio interviews with all of the cast and deleted scenes, including an alternate ending which I felt was more in tune with the message of the film. The one in the final cut was a cop out in my opinion.

Series 7 at its best shows glimmers of the brilliantly dark Man Bites Dog, but at its worst...well, you've seen some of the reality shows that have shown up in recent years.

Copyright© Dvdwolf.com
Copyright© Written By: Tom Servo



DVD Information:

Special Features:

Commentary by Director Daniel Minahan
The SundanceTM Filmmaker's Lab Scenes
International Promo
Theatrical Trailers
TV Spots
Deleted Scenes
Stills Gallery
One On One Filmographies

Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)

Audio:
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo [CC]

The DVD Review:
Tom reviewed the DVD within the context of the main review above though he does not get into the details of the DVD until the last paragraph:

There are some scenes that play out somewhat awkwardly, the golf course sequence in particular, but the young actress (Merritt Wever) later explains why that was the case in her interview commentary included in the extra features of the DVD. Other features include comprehensive audio interviews with all of the cast and deleted scenes, including an alternate ending which I felt was more in tune with the message of the film. The one in the final cut was a cop out in my opinion.

Evil Ash

[ Contact Us! | | Links | ]