Series 7: The Contenders ( 2001 ) – Movie Review


Series 7: The Contenders (2001) - Movie Review

I love it when I sit down with a beer on a Saturday night and stumble upon a Found Footage film I knew nothing about – makes the whole week feel worthwhile ūüôā

Series 7: The Contenders is a 2001 release that I was blissfully unaware of until about 10 o’ clock last night. I thought I’d seen everything from this period but this one well and truly slid under the radar.

If I’m honest – I wasn’t really expecting much, especially with a title as poor as that and a pretty shitty DVD cover.

So I did a quick IMDb check first to get some sort of angle on how I would be spending the next 70 minutes of my life – it scored a 6.6.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – 6.6 ain’t exactly top of the class!

But IMDb is a sad movie community that seems to absolutely HATE Found Footage movies. In many instances¬†I’ve witnessed quite impressive efforts get no more than 3 or 4 on the chart!

So I knew I had a chance with this hidden little gem…

The Plot

The movie is presented as an actual reality show from the US in a death-as-entertainment format. Citizens are picked by random to take part in a rather twisted game of cat and mouse.

Once picked they are given a couple of guns and informed about the other contestant’s identities. They then must hunt each other down until only one remains – the winner of course!

The sort of ‘hero’ figure of this film is a pregnant young lady named Dawn ( played by¬†the excellent¬†Brooke Smith! ). Not only is she heavily pregnant – one of the contestants¬†she is¬†up against is¬†a man she is still in love with ( Jeffrey ).

The film basically follows the confrontations, close calls, double-crosses, and ultimately, dead bodies, as the contestants finish each other off.


This film was made in 2001 but to be perfectly honest it shows no signs of being nearly 15 years old. The first scene with Dawn is something I will never really forget – Found Footage at it’s very best!

The reality show is put together in a format that reminded me somewhat of Cops or that Cheaters program. Each of the contestants is followed around by their own personal cameraman so we get to witness all the ups and downs of each character’s journey.

It’s an extremely clever and dark piece of filmmaking that draws in on America’s gun culture and general lack of patience – it’s quite an eye opener at times!


This really was an enjoyable 70 minutes of Found Footage legacy – unique, uncompromising and dark.

The film cleverly makes use of¬†video profiles and on-camera interviews of the contestants to draw us in on an emotional level. As well as that they’ve managed to draft in six pretty decent actors to play each of the characters.

The contrived romantic involvement and twisted past between Dawn and Jeffrey really gives the film an added dimension. Without it, I feel the story would of been a little too black and white, too desperate.

I also liked the character of Lindsay, a teenage student that seems to take to the killing spree like a duck to water. We also get treated to scenes involving her slightly disturbed parents Рconstantly motivating her before she goes in for each attempted kill.

Much like The Blair Witch Project, this film has stood the test of time and has no trouble fitting in with more modern Found Footage efforts.

It’s dark, witty and ultimately disturbing – everything you’d want in a Saturday night Found Footage showing.

Definitely one for your hit list – well worth watching!




  1. Never heard of this one before, but it sounds great. Will try to watch it in a day or two. Gave “The Jokesters” a go earlier this week and it was kind of dissapointing, but I hope this one will level the field (or whatever). Keep those reviews coming, Sir.

    • Ahhh, I’ve passed over Jokesters a few times over the last month – is it Found Footage?

      • Yes, 98 % of it is. Not the worst movie ever, but it fails to deliver in the 3rd act after a pretty good (and at times very funny) build up. I wouldn’t call it a total waste of time, but still dissapointing.

        • Nice one John – I passed it numerous times recently thinking it was nothing more than a cheap slasher movie. I’ll check it out this week!

  2. Hey, Chris–
    Been following your site for the last few !months or so, and really enjoy it. I’ve spent many a late night combing through your archives in hopes of discovering a film I’ve not yet seen. Needless to say, I keep coming back for a reason! However, there have been times (more recently) when I have been unable to locate a film that this site has inspired me to watch, which drives me insane! This has become more of a headache than ever since the powers that be shut down my go to site for free movie streaming. I’ve literally spent hours trying to find titles amidst the ocean of viruses, malware, and good ol’ fashioned bullah!t. So, I was wondering if you could start including links in your reviews? I know that can’t be done for every single one, but it would be a great resource for your followers to utilize when applicable. Thanks, and have a great weekend!

    • Hi Amy!
      I’m afraid I watch most of these Found Footage films on rather dodgy sites ( well one site in particular! ). If I linked out to these barely legal sites Google would slap this website hard and it will be de-indexed from the search results within a week. I sometimes link to indie Found Footage efforts on YouTube as that is a safe bet and it’ll never come back to bite me in the ass ( well it hasn’t yet anyway! ).
      Most of the film streaming sites you find online these days are completely illegal and break all sorts of copyright laws – even though I use them I cannot be seen to promote them ūüôā

  3. I figured as much. My favorite site is dead, so trolling for my found fear fix is utterly exhausting. If ever a legit link is available, let me/us know. Keep on keeping on! Love this site! Xoxo

    • Hey Amy – have you tried putlocker(dot)bz yet? Lots of irritating adverts but a huge backlog of top quality films!

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