6.5/10
6,238
135 user 71 critic

Series 7: The Contenders (2001)

A TV program selects people at random to kill one another for fame and their freedom.

Director:

Daniel Minahan

Writer:

Daniel Minahan
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brooke Smith ... Dawn
Mark Woodbury Mark Woodbury ... Dairy Mart Clerk
Michael Kaycheck ... Tony
Marylouise Burke ... Connie
Richard Venture Richard Venture ... Franklin
Donna Hanover ... Sheila
Merritt Wever ... Lindsay
Glenn Fitzgerald ... Jeff
Angelina Phillips Angelina Phillips ... Doria
Tom Gilroy ... Dawn's Cameraman
Nada Despotovich Nada Despotovich ... Michelle
Stephen Michael Rinaldi Stephen Michael Rinaldi ... Craig
Alex Yershov Alex Yershov ... Nathan
Danton Stone ... Bob
Joe Barrett Joe Barrett ... Doctor
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Storyline

Ever seen the show "Survivor" and wished they would just start killing each other?? Series 7 literally gives its contestants the guns. The film is not merely a satire on reality TV. It is an example of just how far people will shamelessly go for fame. 6 contenders are pitted against each other in a no holds barred, kill or be killed contest. The reigning champ is Dawn, a hard-nosed, mother-to-be. We go back and forth between Dawn and the other 5 contenders to see if someone can dethrone Dawn and become the new Champion. What is the prize? How are the contestants picked? These questions are not as important as asking yourself how shameless has our society become? Written by Jeff Mellinger <jmell@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You Can Not Run. You Can Not Hide. You Can Not Refuse To Play. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violent content and language | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While it premiered months after the TV series Survivor (2000) and Big Brother (2000), the project predates both shows. The concept for the movie was originally pitched as a TV series in 1998. See more »

Goofs

The truck's tires are perfectly intact, despite during the helicopter shots sparks flying up and the commentator telling us his tires had blown out and he was riding on his rims. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Jeff: Shit!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the title credits, a warning appears "Due to the graphic nature of this program, viewer discretion is advised." See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD version includes deleted scenes that are viewed seperately. They include:
  • The reunion with Dawn's family is extended.
  • A scene of Franklin refusing the radio/GPS rig and explaining why he lives in a lead-lined shack.
  • A scene where Franklin is looking in the mirror and mentally preparing himself before he receives the note.
  • Franklin's speech in the mall is extended.
  • A scene with Connie's priest, where he explains in an interview that he's a fan of the show, that he recognized Connie's voice in the confessional, and that he hopes that she confesses for the two murders before she herself dies.
  • 'Man-on-the-street' interviews.
  • The 'real' ending, which we are told in the film that the footage was destroyed and then are presented a dramatization of the events. The 'real' ending is, when presented with the choice of killing one another, Jeff and Dawn put the guns down, run out of the theatre, were they meet a crowd of disgruntled fans. The fans give chase after them and, after catching them entering their SUV, begin beating them, presumably to death. This explains why, at the end of the film, Doria is proclaiming that she's been framed and why Jeff survived.
  • An interview with Laura with Dawn's baby, where she renames the baby Dawn and says she's proud of her sister.
  • A PSA from Doria about checking for testicular cancer.
See more »

Connections

References Bloody Mama (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Bulletproof Cupid
Written and Performed by Girls Against Boys
Published by Action Collar Music/BMI
Courtesy of Touch and Go Records
See more »

User Reviews

Surpassed My Expectations in Every Way
21 March 2001 | by SoujiroSee all my reviews

This movie is for people who like their comedies so black that the light from the screen can barely escape the film's gravitational pull.

Fortunately, I'm one of those people, and I found the film to be hilarious beyond my wildest dreams. The main thing that makes the movie's premise work is that the movie takes itself seriously. It's similar to Christopher Guest's mockumentary style in that the people in the movie are for the most part unaware of their own ridiculousness. Now, that being said the acting in the movie is excellent. There is very nice character development of the main characters, and Brooke Smith's character has to be the most appealing and interesting assassin I've seen on screen ever. Most importantly, the movie is presented exactly like a reality show which eventually draws the viewer into suspending their disbelief and accepting the ludicrous world these characters inhabit. Even the bad parts of reality shows are accurate, the narrator's overly dramatic voice, the cheesy melodramatic music to inject some false drama, the corny stock footage of the flying bird. It's all so accurate it's wickedly funny. It even parodies cop shows during a car chase. Finally, the icing on the cake is that as ridiculous as everything is, you realize that American society isn't too far off from this extreme today, and that gives the film the added bite of seriousness that propels it above being simply entertaining and makes it a true satire, This film is even more impressive considering the fact that the idea was conceived 5 years ago before the reality craze began.

I encourage people to watch Series 7 once, it's destined to become a cult classic. The last line of the movie is also laugh-out-loud funny.


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Details

Official Sites:

Sensational Productions

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 2001 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Series 7 See more »

Filming Locations:

Danbury, Connecticut, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,844, 4 March 2001

Gross USA:

$195,065

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$300,086
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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