7 mockumentaries that went too far

Ghostwatch can easily be the king of all mockumentaries in history. In addition to being broadcast on the BBC -one of the most serious and respected media worldwide-, during family hours and under the direction of the journalist and presenter Sir Michael Parkinson, they pointed out that it was the trigger for the suicide of a teenager, who believed that all the reported events were 100% real. 

It all started on Halloween night in 1992 when Parkinson, along with his colleagues Mike Smith and Sarah Greene, visited what was long the most haunted house in central London. The supposed Dr. Lin Pascoe, an expert in paranormal activity, also attended the appointment, who from the beginning assured that she felt violent and supremely demonic evil forces. 

As if that were not enough, Pamela Early and her two daughters were the inhabitants of the house in question, who claimed that the Pipes ghost made noises between the walls. At the same time Parkinson was asking people to call to report any kind of paranormal activity in her neighborhood.

Of course, the viewers did not wait, and that night the BBC received more than 30,000 calls with complaints and anguish because the curse of the Pipes ghost had multiplied on television. 

1. Ghostwatch (1992)

This is how this gem of terror, created by director Stephen Volk, went down in history as a mockumentary with real consequences for viewers, especially Martin Denham, a teenager who spent a week obsessed with the program until he took his own life. 

In 2017, the BBC collected details of his trauma in Nottingham where they spoke to his parents April and Percy Denha, who decided to stay home that night to watch the horror special with their sons Martin, 18, and Gavin, 14. “After Martin was acting strangely. He seemed fascinated with the ghost talk. Even when we found him dead, he left a note saying ‘if there are ghosts, now I will be one and I will always be with you as one,’ his mother told .

2. This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Without Spinal Tap some of the most famous bands of our times would not exist. This mockumentary follows the life of a heavy metal band that is not shy about showing what life is like, filled with excesses of drugs, alcohol and women.

Even many of his jokes have come true, such as seeing guitarists climb on amps and then fall off; the constant changes of drummers and even the wrong greeting to the cities they visited.

Despite being society misfits, by the way, the public was fascinated to meet the real Spinal Tap. Such was the siege of the actors that they decided to study music, compose and release three albums that were later harshly criticized by the press.

3. Best in show (2000)

The world of dog competitions is real and there are people who live from these competitions. Director Christopher Guest took advantage of this to create a mockumentary in which he follows the life of Parker Posey (Blade: Trinity) and Eugene Levy (American Pie), two trainers who talk about the oddities and rivalries of the different races from a ridiculous point of view. and exaggerated. 

However, what is interesting comes when the director interviews real judges of these canine competitions, who in the end agree on many of the inventions of these Hollywood actors. There are even people in the United States who replicate these errors, such as that the poodle dog is the easiest to train, while the opposite is true.

4. Borat (2006)

Of the mockumentaries, Borat’s is one of the most exciting in cinema. On the one hand, the people in this production actually believed that Sacha Baron Cohen was a Kazakh journalist to understand American culture.

In the documentary Borat embarks on a journey to meet actress Pamela Anderson and marry her. Beyond the jokes and off-color conversations, Borat served to make Americans themselves ashamed of his cult of celebrities, consumerist habits, and excess entertainment.

5. American Vandal (2005)

This Netflix production plays with reality and fiction in a subtle and suggestive way. At this moment the viewer does not know if he is watching a serious documentary or a joke show. At its premiere, searches skyrocketed at the high school where students are searched to find out who is responsible for spreading an epidemic of diarrhea and spray-painting penises on teachers’ cars.

Even short clips of the documentary have gone viral on various platforms, making Internet users believe what they are seeing there. 

6. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

The Italian director Ruggero Deodato recorded a series of young reporters who were invited to discover the wonders of the Amazon. There they find a series of cannibalistic tribes that devour visitors without contemplation.

Some time later, an anthropologist recovers the videos and explains that this is the only contact that has been made with these communities. Of course, by showing explicit violence, the mockumentary was banned in more than 20 countries. However, there are many Americans and Europeans who believe that if they travel to the Amazon they could end up eaten.

7. 101 Acts of Love (1971)

Director-producer Eric Jeffrey Haims hired an actress to pose as an expert sexologist for his mockumentary. She there she began to explain the best sexual poses for all types of relationships.

And although it was a protest documentary to legalize porn movies in the United States, many people began to practice the poses that appear in the video, leaving many injured along the way.