The reason that shows like Judge Judy and The Jerry Springer Show are so popular is because people like to watch freaks. It makes people feel good to say “You know what? Despite my problems at least I’m not the baby mamma to a midget transvestite.” Tabloid is a documentary about someone who nobody would want to be and is the trashy TV equivalent to Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Tabloid is about Joyce McKinney and how she kidnapped her true love, an LDS missionary in London, and her adventures since. The name comes from her alleged mistreatment by a tabloid in London after they started printing pictures of her in a variety of sexual positions. This lead her into a life of seclusion where she was mauled by one dog and cloning another. The scary part is that the story is told mostly from her firsthand accounts, all of which she believes were perfectly sensible things to do.
The entire first quarter of the film is devoted to her falling in love with an LDS man in Provo in the mid 70’s until he left to serve his mission. Her kidnapping later was an attempt to “deprogram” him from the Mormon propaganda by “making love” to him while he was tied unwillingly to a bed. Her, the filmmaker, and a former LDS commentator take some pretty hard knocks against the LDS faith, including revealing things that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would find incredibly sacrilegious and offensive. This of course isn’t new for the LDS faith, since there’s at least a dozen films that bash the religion far beyond the “He did too much LDS in the 60s” joke from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
The intriguing part about the film is the fact that McKinney seems to be trying to set the record straight about what happened, but her version of the story is even more ridiculous than what the rumors were. Accompanying her is a handful of eye witnesses, all adding their pieces to an incredibly strange story of cults, S&M and cloning. Audiences will be thrilled after the film to go back to reality and the sanctuary that only sanity can provide.
Tabloid is rated R for sexually explicit photos and strong language.