Watching all the movies on the Warner Bros. 50-movie box set that I bought for cheap. This week the random number generator selected Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. The random number generator then got shot in the face.
Here’s what happens: Mickey and Mallory are young and in love. They’re also psycho killers. Their murder spree throughout the Southwest made them celebrities, and they’re not the only ones. They’re caught by a cop with a best-selling memoir, and Mickey is interviewed in jail by a sleazy TV journalist. Then, whatever part of Hell that hasn’t already broken loose breaks loose.
Why it’s famous: The movie kicked off a media frenzy about the sensationalism of violence, even though the whole point of the movie is that it’s a satire about media frenzies kicked off by the sensationalism of violence.
Get your film degree: Almost every scene in the movie is cut together with different film types and styles, mixing them up at once. Why do this? It’s open to interpretation, but I believe we’re dealing with the “unreliable narrator” phenomenon. All the violent acts of horror we’re seeing are being shown to us through various types of media, leading us to question just what is and isn’t “real.”
Movie geekishness: A whole lot of really good actors chew the scenery something fierce in this one. My favorite is Tommy Lee Jones, who is so completely off the rails that his character from Under Siege seems quiet and stately by comparison.
Thoughts upon this viewing: Knowing ahead of time how hyper and short-attention-span the movie is, this time I was able to see through the over-stylization and better follow the story and the characters. Yes, the satiric elements are really on-the-nose, but you can say that about a lot of satire.
Next week: A dweam within a dweam.
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