Errol Morris's new doc "Tabloid" is a gas


As a collector of Tabloid’s for their corn-pone surrealism, I was thrilled to watch Errol’s ripping tale of Joyce McKinney, whose wacky story of true-love, Mormons, kidnapping and bondage sex left British tabloid readers gasping thirty years ago, in what was known as The “Case of the Manacled Mormon.” McKinney parlayed her physical gifts and clever mind into a love-heist, motivating a series of accomplices, some of whom were carrying a torch for a blonde beauty queen with an I.Q. of 168.

McKinney, whose trial sparked numerous cartoons, joined the Celebrity A-list, even upstaging Joan Collins at the premier of one of Collin’s films.

Before the film is over, McKinney’s hidden career as bondage model is ousted, though Morris believes, as one of his interviewers claims, “that she may still be a virgin.”

There’s a second act to her tabloidal career, one that lead Morris to the original story which never had much traction stateside.

Morris uses wonderful Tabloid graphics and a montage of found, archival and commercial film to illustrate his hilarious story. Morris, who interviewed McKinney once, then met her again onstage after a recent screening of Tabloid in New York, says that McKinney is not amused. A relentless self-promoter, McKinney thought she would be the only interviewee. Happily not, for pilot Jackson Shaw, Daily Express reporter Peter Tory, photog Kent Gavin (who delivered risqué evidence) and especially Mormon insider Troy Williams add immeasurably to the fun.

Footage of McKinney’s promotional video for her eternally unfinished autobiography ” A Very Special Love Story” is priceless.

The timing for the film, with the scandal melt-down of Rupert Murdoch’s News Of the World, couldn’t be better for Morris’s film, his funniest and perhaps his best.


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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