In the view of HE’s Telluride correspondent Glenn Zoller, Errol Morris‘s Tabloid, which screened late last night, is “the equivalent of a normal-seeming documentary, handsomely shot and edited, that has dropped a tab of acid. What a trip! Morris fielded a few questions at 1:15 am and seemed almost as shell-shocked as the audience (and the subjects) from this wacky but intense memory-lane fever dream.”

In Contention‘s Kris Tapley also attended, and has given Tabloid three and a half stars. “It’s a great year for documentaries at this year’s fest and Errol Morris’s latest is right at the top,” he says. “[It's] a masterful work with Morris’s trademark sense of humor splattered all over it…one of his best films in years.”

Tabloid “tells the twisted story of beauty/tabloid queen Joyce McKinney who, in 1977, was accused of kidnapping her one-time Mormon sweetheart, Kirk Anderson, sequestering him in a cottage in rural England, tying him to a bed and ‘raping’ him for days. The case set UK tabloids alight and was dubbed ‘The Mormon sex in chains case.’

“It sounds too sensational to believe, but it is, every bit of it, absolutely true. And McKinney makes for as fascinating a subject as Morris has ever documented — a deranged, somewhat monstrous woman who you find yourself loathing and pitying with equal measure. And just when the story seems to have been fully unveiled, Morris takes us in a completely different direction in a ‘wait, it gets better’ sort of denouement.”

How does a woman forcibly rape a guy? If McKinney raped Anderson in a hetero-missionary way, he’d obviously have to “participate” by getting and sustaining an erection during each violation. If McKinney didn’t like the idea of being forced into sex, he could have used the ultimate trump card — i.e., flaccidity. So I’m not getting how this happened. Unless McKinney made Anderson “the woman,” so to speak, and penetrated him with a cucumber or something. Certain specifics need to be addressed.

28 thoughts on “Tabloid

  1. Without getting too graphic…

    Perhaps she didn’t use his penis? Or perhaps she didn’t need him to be hard.

    Sounds shady, though.

    Is there a “twist” beyond what has already been reported about this woman? I suppose I’ll throw out a “SPOILER WARNING” for those of you who consider historical fact something that can be spoiled, but McKinney was the subject of later controversy by being the first person to have their own pet (dog) cloned.

  2. Sometimes Jeff, I really do wonder about you.

    Contrary to popular opinion, male erection is not always voluntary. It can be induced by a number of means. Also, when a woman sexually assaults a man she can use an inanimate object for penetration.

  3. Men are rarely in control of their erections. It’s ridiculous to assert that a man can’t be forcibly raped (is there non-forcibly raped; raped is raped, isn’t it?). Perhaps she used other objects, as others have mentioned, perhaps not. But flaccidity as a trump card? That’s the smart-aleck response of a teenager.

  4. @ Glenn Kenny – thanks for my first laugh of the day (in deference to JW, it was one of those LQTM deals, not a full-blown LOL).

  5. If you’re really turned off to someone, or if you really concentrate hard on a pile of dog vomit or raccoon shit or some teacher you hated in elementary school, you can kill an erection like that. I was once inside a woman when she happened to mention my father’s alcoholism or recent death or something, and I immediately “quit,” so to speak. All you need is the right turnoff “trigger.”

  6. While I don’t doubt you have a turnoff “trigger,” most of us do, there are circumstances when no thought or memory or visual image or smell or taste will prevent… I can’t believe I’m going down this road. Wells, read the research, get some facts before you say stupid shit like that. Women have raped men, forced an erection, etc. It’s possible, it happens. No matter what childhood trauma they try to think about.

  7. To control an erection – Just close your eyes tight, stick your fingers in your ears, and chant ” nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh.”

    Personally – have never had bad sex or pizza.

  8. I’m telling you, if Errol Morris didn’t gravitate towards filmmaking he would’ve been a serial killer. His fascination with people who perform heinous crimes is nothing more than an extreme case of sublimation.

  9. It continues to amuse me these factual blindspots Jeff parades out to astound us with, especially contrasted with the astute commentary on cinematic matters. If not for the sentence structure and word choices, you’d think this was the Facebook conjectures of a naive 15 year old.

    Not to mention, this was obviously a young man from a repressed (Mormon) culture and McKinney was a rather fetching thing back then, not a guy of however many years Jeff is pretending not to be. After 40, making erections go away is not exactly a Criss Angel moment. Otherwise Pfizer would be stuck with Lipitor as its cash cow.

    Still, I’m sure there’s a Domina or two who’d love the challenge of testing their skills against your resolve, so if you’re really feeling confident is only 7 keystrokes away…

  10. “His fascination with people who perform heinous crimes is nothing more than an extreme case of sublimation.”


    This isn’t uncommon. The whole of human civilization is an extreme case of sublimation. That’s why the collective Id is so discontented.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>