18 certificateSeries 7: The Contenders is a Film programme that first aired in 2001 and has been classified a 18 certificate.

Series 7: The Contenders is a 3 star programme

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Series 7: The Contenders (2001)

Directed by
Daniel Minahan

This movie 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, this superb film unrolls in the frenetic style of network television, never pausing for reflection.

This makes a timely comment on the rising popularity of actual television reality games shows.

It's the ultimate game show. The contestants are chosen in a random drawing, and are selected as 33-year-old Dawn Lagarto (Brooke Smith) & Jeffrey Norman (Glenn Fitzgerald), 57-year-old Connie Trabucco (Marylouise Burke), 18-year-old Lindsay Berns (Merritt Wever), 72-year-old Franklin James (Richard Venture) and finally 39-year-old Tony Reilly (Michael Kaycheck).

Each of the contenders are handed a weapon, and instructed to watch their backs. Then, the entertainment begins.

The prescient "Series 7" skewers American popular culture with wit and style. Conceived long before the phenomenal success of the television program, SURVIVOR, and the subsequent deluge of "unscripted entertainment," the film takes the idea a step further.

The manipulation of lives in SERIES 7 is in bold face. The film is shot on digital video in a hand held, breakneck style, with a hysterically solicitous voice over narration and bold, jarring graphics pumping up the drama of every frame. Using unknown actors, the audience accepts the characters as ordinary citizens. These actors generate tremendous sympathy, even as they commit desperate and brutal acts. But the director reminds his audience again and again that all of the images they're seeing have been filtered, and even what seems to be the direct presentation of an actual event, cannot, in the end, be trusted.

Written by

Genre: Film

Running Time: 100 minutes (approx)

Production Year: 2001

3/5 Stars

Classification: 18 Certificate

Filmed in Colour


Brooke Smith...Dawn Lagarto
Mark Woodbury...Dairy Mart Clerk
Michael Kaycheck...Tony Reilly
Marylouise Burke...Connie Trabucco
Richard Venture...Franklin James
Donna Hanover...Sheila Berns
Merritt Wever...Lindsay Berns
Glenn Fitzgerald...Jeff Norman
Angelina Phillips...Doria Norman
Tom Gilroy...Pat Dawn's Cameraman
Nada Despotovich...Michelle Reilly
Stephen Michael Rinaldi...Craig
Alex Yershov...Nathan
Danton Stone...Bob Berns
Joseph Barrett...Doctor
Shawna Moore...Shawna a Nurse
Jennifer Van Dyck...Laura
Tanny McDonald...Dawn's Mother
Caitlin Bateman...Colby
James Lecesne...Priest