It doesn't seem that long ago that Reality Television was a novel concept. Now it is a fact of life. It isn't going anywhere, it's cheap to produce, the ratings continue to remain high, and there is a never ending supply of people desperate for a taste of fame, no matter what the cost or the amount of humiliation they have to endure. That's the idea behind, American Cannibal; just how far are people willing to go, will they eat human flesh? And who are the people willing to create it?
Gil Ripley and Dave Roberts are a pair of TV writers, who've had a little success, but have yet to hit it big. They don't want to demean themselves with reality television, they think it's below them, but since nothing else seems to be working, and their manager has suggested it may be a way to get their name out there, they're willing to try anything. They've got a couple of pretty far out there ideas; like Virgin Territory a show full of virgins, who are put to the test with a constant barrage of sexual imagery, and whoever can go the longest without masturbating, gets to lose their virginity to a porn star. They're selling their ideas to anyone that'll listen. Eventually they work their way down to porn producer Kevin Blatt, who is most famous for promoting the Paris Hilton sex tape; he's hoping to go mainstream with a reality TV show, and surprisingly doesn't bite on the virgin show (I guess he has in the meantime), instead goes for something Gil and Dave kind of make up on the spot.
It's a show called The Ultimate, Ultimate Challenge, terrible name, lame idea; but he's willing to put the money up to produce it. The concept of the show is to starve people, while they live on an island where cannibalism is still legal, and also compete in Survivor type challenges. Watching the casting process for this show is amazing, it is pathetic to watch people grovel, just for the chance at this no-name show. Once the cameras are rolling on the real contestants, it's interesting to see how manipulated these type of shows really are. Something horrible happens while the show is shooting, they it a mystery as to what happened before and after, with no real conclusion as to what actually went down. I'm not sure if the whole thing was manipulated by the filmmakers, or if they're being vague on for entertainment purposes.
I just found this great review, that explains what's going on with the reality of this film, much better than I could.