Series 7: The Contenders (2001)

2014 #122
Daniel Minahan | 87 mins | TV | 16:9 | USA / English | 18 / R

Series 7: The ContendersThe debut of director Daniel Minahan — who’s since helmed episodes of over a dozen TV shows, including HBO hits Six Feet Under and Game of Thrones — is, ironically, styled as a faux TV programme. Another entry in the Battle Royale, etc. subgenre, it sees six randomly-selected people forced by law to participate in a kill-or-be-killed reality TV contest.

More grounded than most of its genre compatriots thanks to its filler-TV visual aesthetic and middle-America setting, both courtesy of low-budget roots, its TV satire marks it out from the crowd. However, that same low-rent production renders it primarily a cult curio.

3 out of 5

In the interests of completing my ever-growing backlog, I decided to post ‘drabble reviews’ of some films. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a drabble is a complete piece of writing exactly 100 words long. You’ve just read one.