Frustrated filmmaker, Barry Lick, and a crew of film school wannabees, attempt to make a documentary about a local businessman who he believes is involved in property rackets, prostitution, pornography and drugs.
Film school tutor, Barry Lick, has been suspended on full pay accused of 'gross professional misconduct'. But he's got a spring in his step because it means he's just been handed the chance to try and make a sensationalist crime documentary which might just save his career. Even better he can do it all on the cheap; he's still being payed and there's ex-students out there who are willing to work for nothing more than empty promises. Barry's quest is going nowhere - that is until security consultant, Tommy Morghen, appears on the scene. And it's not long before Barry's plunged into a world of sub-prime mortgages, blackmail, corruption, knife crime, extreme German S&M pornography, castration, corpse disposal, gang-rape and, ultimately, murder. But what's Tommy's interest in all this? Is it that he just wants fame and notoriety, or does he have another agenda? Barry puts questions like these to the back of his mind. All he knows is that, in the age of reality TV, sensationalism sells - ... Written by
Pleased Sheep Productions (press release)
The most convincing fake documentary I've ever seen.
"He'll make you laugh, he'll make you think," sang Professor Fink in an episode of The Simpsons, and he could well have been talking about one of the folks behind Diary of a Bad Lad. The genius of this staggeringly-realistic faux documentary is that its black humour makes you laugh even as another part of you is thinking, "Oh my god - what these people are doing is horrific." It entertains hugely for an hour and a half, but leaves you with many unsettling thoughts on both the horrors of the crimes committed by the "Bad Lad" Tommy and the exploitative nature of the media and the ethics of journalists. These themes have never been more relevant than in these days of 24-hour news coverage when no-one thinks twice about broadcasting images of bleeding victims of terrorist attacks staggering into ambulances.
I'm generally a fan of Hollywood-style movies with happy endings, slick camera-work, fun characters and traditional "good guys", so for a film that deliberately eschews all of these things to appeal to me is no mean feat - that it did is a testament to the quality of the writing, direction and performances. The illusion of the whole thing being a real documentary is damn-near perfect, with every scene written and performed in an utterly naturalistic fashion. This film desperately deserves a release.
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