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This fact based story is one of a love triangle created on-line that has devastating consequences in real life. Thomas Montgomery is a former US Marine, now in his later 40's with a family, but a dull boring life compounded with problems, he escapes into a fantasy world in an on-line gambling game and chat room via his "marinesniper" on-line name.

He meets Talhotblond in the chat rooms (the screen user name of an 18 year old girl) and plays out a life where he is a young marine and thus able to appeal to a much younger woman. Soon rivalry shows up in the shape of Brian Barrett (beefcake is his user name) , a co-worker Thomas knows in person.

Ultimately this is a story of tragedy with the pointless loss of a life over a love triangle which never existed in the real world. Later on the shocking truth about Talhotblond is revealed, all is not as it seems.

The film starts unusually with a voice over from the victims perspective, we have interviews with Montgomery, Rex Beaber a Clinical Psychologist, several case detectives as well as Brian's parents. Tim Shieler who is the father of the girl in question, is quite visibly shaken and emotional during his interview scenes. The documentary is well produced, though has quite a lot of the text used during the conversations on-line (much of which is unsuitable for younger viewers due to the graphic nature of the messages), a little slow to start but it picks up mid point.

This film certainly makes you ponder about the dangers of posing as someone you are not, the tragic elements are in many directions, a mentally ill man who takes his compulsion out on a fellow co-worker, the girl whom neither man has met, and the final details about the exact identity of the girl in question really throws an unexpected punch. Fantasy and reality clash in this sad but true story where nothing is as it seems, and nobody should have been hurt or killed. Certainly worth a watch if true crime stories are an interest.
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on 20 July 2014
Two 'documentaries' based on a similar premise, which I won't spoil although you'll probably know already.

Catfish was OK, although in the end it was a case of 'so what?'

Talhotblond however is a different kettle of (cat)fish. I still can't stop thinking about how seemingly innocent things can easily spiral out of control into tragedy.

It would have got a 5 had it not been for two of the talking heads, one being the smirking chief prosecutor. Compared to him, the villain of the piece came across quite well.

Highly recommended.
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on 28 April 2013
Thomas (Garret Dillahunt) works at a Michigan factory. He is approaching 50 and is an ex-Marine. He was a wife (Laura San Giacomo) and two children. He has trouble performing his male duties. The guys turn him on to Internet poker where he meets "talhotblond" a high school teenager (Ashley Hinshaw) who comes on to Thomas. He lies to her and falls in love with a girl he has never meet. She also flirts with Brian (Brando Eaton) a co-worker who is a player. From here on out, the plot is easy to figure out, especially with the teaser/spoiler opening scene.

This film, based on a true story, is better than "Catfish." It is a true life dark comedy.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs or nudity. Near Sex.
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on 1 February 2016
I just streamed this, and it was not the documentary - it was the TV movie with Courtney Cox. Not bad, but not what I was after. Some sort of technical glitch - maybe if they didn't have exactly the same title...?
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on 28 July 2016
Features a group of people involved in a Catfish scheme before the word came into common usage. Heartbreaking as it goes horribly wrong. Shares some adult-themed text messages.
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on 22 January 2012
Excellent documentary , knew nothing of this story so was very shocking to watch , Very well made and so very sad 5 stars from me .
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