Sunday, December 11, 2005

SUPER SIZE ME: The most effective horror film ever

You all know I love scary movies, so I need to tell you about a film I just saw that’s one of the most horrifying ever. It’s not super bloody (except in one part) and it doesn’t feature any scream queens. It’s actually a “documentary with a point of view” called SUPER SIZE ME.

You’ve probably heard of it because of the splash it made at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as the pressure it put on McDonald’s to introduce some healthier angles to their product lines. This is what the film revolves around: Morgan Spurlock, the young, healthy, lanky creator, wondered if those lawsuits against McDonald’s that were initiated a few years ago had any credence. Remember the ones I’m talking about? Basically, the corporation was sued by two “obese” girls who maintained that Mickey D’s fast food had contributed significantly to their weight gains. The filmmaker decided to record an experiment to see how a 30-day all-McDiet would affect his own health. What follows really rattled me.

Spurlock makes effective use of statistics, interviews, and his affability to show us how fast food has messed with society at large: even as we witness how his body changes on this diet (and how the doctors he has enlisted to monitor him freak out about what he’s doing to himself), we also see what kind of power food companies wield over us.

Sci-Fi writers have always written about future societies that are controlled by drugs, and this movie left me wondering if processed food is the pretty green pill we’ve all been warned about. While SUPER SIZE ME really makes you think about some hard questions that deal with our world as well as our own responsibilities in it, it’s also surprisingly entertaining without being preachy. I pretty much coerced my parents into watching this because I think it’s time well spent. I recommend it to you all, too.

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