20 Facts About Mockumentaries (From 'Spinal Tap' To Some Really Obscure Ones)

20 Facts About Mockumentaries (From 'Spinal Tap' To Some Really Obscure Ones)

Mockumentaries are like the evil twins of reality shows. Or their mirror images. Or their Moebian undersides. Whatever, that sounded much smarter and film-student-y in our heads. The point we’re trying to make is that instead of idiotically selling fakeness for reality, mockumentaries sell fakeness for reality, but, like, smartly. They use all the codes and tropes of reality-based documentaries, yet for overtly fictitious concepts. Thus, when the end result arrives, they can call attention to their underlying concepts, and so say something worthwhile about, erm, society? Yes, we’re sticking to that.

Take This Is Spinal Tap, just to mention one highly influential example. That iconic mockumentary used comedic exaggeration to make fun of the try-hard nature of big-haired bands, and shone a massive, arena-worthy spotlight on the silliness of the genre, while also making kick-ass rock music. Yes, it took the concept of progressive rock and pumped it up to 11, which, come on, you knew was a line that was coming. Besides Spinal Tap, however, the world of mockumentaries is full of other classics and hidden gems. In this Pictofact, then, we bring you some fascinating tidbits about other entries of the genre, some well-known, some forgotten, and others that are just really obscure and deserve some attention. Enjoy.

Punishment Park

Mockumentaries Punishment Park In Nixon's fascistic America, left-wing groups are marched 53 miles through the California desert while being chased by the National Guard. Mockumentary expert Peter Watkins allowed for full improvisation, so a scene features real bullets and real panic. CRACKED.COM

Source: Wikipedia

Incident at Loch Ness

Mockumentaries Incident at Loch Ness Werner Herzog wants to shoot a meditative study on Nessie, while his producer Zak Penn wants to make a blockbuster. The three-layered sandwich leads to an actual encounter with the creature, but hidden DVD Easter eggs show it was all a ruse by Penn. CRACKED.COM

Source: Wikipedia

C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America

Mockumentaries C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America The film shows historical events from an alternate timeline where the Confederacy won the Civil War, like JFK being shot for trying to abolish slavery. It also features racist products from that alternate universe - which are actually real. CRACKED.COM

Sources: Wikipedia, IMDb

Sign up for the Cracked Newsletter

Get the best of Cracked sent directly to your inbox!

Forgot Password?