15 September 2015



Alternate Title:
Reality Show

USA, 2015
Director: Adam Rifkin


I wouldn't say I'm a real fan of Adam Rifkin's work, but I admit that I'm totally fascinated by his output. I mean, this guy shot fun horror stuff like "Psycho Cop Returns" or "Chillerama", the KISS-themed comedy "Detroit Rock City", the Charlie Sheen action flick "The Chase", or the super-wacky "The Nutt House". He was also involved in 90s classics like Gore Verbinski's "Mousehunt" or Joe Dante's "Small Soldiers", and... well, did I mention that he appeared as an actor in nearly all of his films too? Whoo, talk about versatility!

In 2012, Rifkin directed the 8-episode-mini-series "Reality Show" for the Showtime network, about a reality show producer who puts an average American family (father, mother, daughter, dog) under surveillance without their knowledge. I'm not exacly sure what happened, but for whatever reason, Showtime didn't care about promoting it, and the series ended up as flop that hardly anyone has seen

Now, Rifkin took the entire series, edited it down to 90 minutes, et voilĂ : "Shooting The Warwicks", not just one of the best movies I've seen all year, but also the absolute best thing Rifkin has ever done. I'm dead serious. "Shooting The Warwicks" is Rifkin's masterpiece, just like "Pain & Gain" is Michael Bay's masterpiece. No, no, no. These two movies don't have anything in common, but they both stand out of its creators' filmographies like a sore thumb (and I think, I love them both equally).

Imagine Jake Gyllenhaal's character in "Nightcrawler" doing his very own fucked up version of "The Truman Show"... that's "Shooting The Warwicks" in a nutshell, a brilliantly executed and stunningly edited motherfucker of a movie that totally doesn't feel that it was a series once. It starts out as dark-humored satire on everything television, and ends up as absolutely flabbergasting shockfest, offering so many brutal twists and unexpected shocks, I was a wreck when the credits rolled. It's amazing how unforeseeably quick the tone changes, how quickly the movie transforms from lighthearted black-comedy to a dark, sinister and uber-grim piece of berserk.

The family that gets surveilled is too normal, too boring, so the producers constantly intervene in the family's life, turning everything into a fucking nightmare. [MILD SPOILERS]: sudden unemployment, a cheating wife, a rebellious daughter that starts to take every drug she can find, sex, more sex, nude photography for Russian porn websites, roadkilled animals, roadkilled women, attempted suicide, accomplished suicide, a woman's head bashed in with a fire poker, point-blank range shootings etc. etc. There's so much insanity going on, it's, um, insane. Rifkin throws it all into our faces, lauhing his ass off while we're staring at the screen, shocked, disturbed, but still unable to look away, because, just like the media and their penchant for sensationalism, we wanna see it all, wanna see how much worse it will get, or like Bret Easton Ellis wrote in "Less Than Zero": "And as the elevator descents (...) I realize that the money doesn't matter. That all that does is that I want to see the worst."

No, there's no place for subtlety in "Shooting the Warwicks". Rifkin smears it in our faces, just like Morrissey showing images of animals being brutally killed on stage. Is that okay? Is that inapropriate? Hell, who cares, when it's all made in such an ingenious way? Beware, "Shooting the Warwicks" is not perfect. There are a few acting hiccups going on, especially Scott Anderson sometimes seems to have slight problems with his character (at least in the first half), and there are also a couple of scenes that totally lack of logic, but these are just trifles and totally won't distract you from how awesome everything else is. "Shooting the Warwicks" fucking rocks!

P.S. Ron Jeremy and Lloyd Kaufman are in it too! And Rifkin's performance
is just terrific.


Thanks to Malerie Bickhard (Prodigy PR) for the screener!


  1. Not big into animal deaths but for some reason roadkill never bothers me. So...guess I'll be trying this?

    1. The roadkill in here is pretty bothering, at least that's what I thought.

  2. I love the cover/poster art for this. :)

  3. I have enjoyed many of Rifkin's movies - and recommend to you (if you can find them) Never on Tuesday and The Dark Backward. Interested to see what you think if you check them out.


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