I had a brief chat yesterday afternoon with Tabloid director Errol Morris. Very brief. The principal topic was Joyce McKinney, who kidnapped a young Mormon guy she was in love with named Kirk Anderson in 1977 England, and chained him to a bed and had sex with him. Morris’s bemusing doc is a portrait of love, passion and never-say-die determination, among other things.
I reviewed Tabloid at last September’s Toronto Film festival. Here’s part of what I said:
“Who in Errol Morris’s Tabloid can you believe? Or rather, who do you want to believe? Or what slant on the Tabloid story do you feel better about accepting as probable truth? That’s the key consideration, I think. Apart from the fact that everyone should try to see this deliciously entertaining study of a spirited blonde wackazoid who lives on her own, self-created planet.
“I love that Morris almost ignores and certainly doesn’t emphasize the bottom-line motivational truth about the still-kickin’, real-life star of Tabloid.
“This blonde, once-fetching Wyoming gal with a very high IQ became cheaply famous for following her big-lug Mormon boyfriend Kirk Anderson (whom she expected would soon be her husband) to England in ’77 after he ‘disappeared’ (i.e., had been squired away by Mormon church control-freaks) and took him to a country cabin (apparently without much resistance on the big dope’s part) and had some kind of bondage-type sex with this bespectacled, guilt-ridden Mormon Baby Huey (whom you could also describe as a METAPHORICAL-DIAPER-WEARING DOUCHE) for three days.
“Joyce wound up becoming a huge media-sensation after London’s tabloid newspapers began reporting about the blonde hussy and ex-beauty-queen kidnapper and her ‘manacled Mormon.’
“The ironical bottom line is that while Joyce began her young adult life as a girl who wanted to meet a ‘special’ guy and live in a nice cozy house and raise kids, what she really wanted deep down was to be a dominatrix. She didn’t want a husband — she wanted a good dog.
“And so she became famous for tying up Anderson (who’s the size of Gort in The Day The Earth Stood Still, and who has the body of an out-of-shape Sumo wrestler) and having her way with him for 72 hours. And then for her past life as a prostitute-dominatrix in Los Angeles (exposed by London’s Daily Mirror) before the whole Kirk episode occured. And then for having her dog — an actual four-legged one — cloned by some South Korean geneticists.”