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Man Bites Dog (1992)
"C'est arrivé près de chez vous" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  15 January 1993 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 23,239 users  
Reviews: 204 user | 75 critic

A film crew follows a ruthless thief and heartless killer as he goes about his daily routine. But complications set in when the film crew lose their objectivity and begin lending a hand.

Writers:

(story), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ben
Jacqueline Poelvoorde-Pappaert ...
Ben's Mother (as Jacqueline Poelvoorde Pappaert)
Nelly Pappaert ...
Ben's Grandmother
Hector Pappaert ...
Ben's Grandfather
Jenny Drye ...
Jenny
Malou Madou ...
Malou
Willy Vandenbroeck ...
Boby
Rachel Deman ...
Mamie Tromblon
André Laime ...
Bed-ridden Old Man
Édith Le Merdy ...
Nurse (as Edith Lemerdy)
Sylviane Godé ...
Rape Victim (Martine)
Zoltan Tobolik ...
Rape Victim's Husband
Valérie Parent ...
Valerie
Alexandra Fandango ...
Kalifa
Olivier Cotica ...
Benichou
Edit

Storyline

A camera crew follows a serial killer/thief around as he exercises his craft. He expounds on art, music, nature, society, and life as he offs mailmen, pensioners, and random people. Slowly he begins involving the camera crew in his activities, and they begin wondering if what they're doing is such a good idea, particularly when the killer kills a rival and the rival's brother sends a threatening letter. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Killer Comedy

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for strong graphic violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man Bites Dog  »

Box Office

Budget:

BEF 1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$205,569 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The literal English translation for this movie is: "It took place close to your home." See more »

Goofs

When Ben has suffocated the little kid by putting a pillow on his face, the body stops stumbling and is supposedly dead, but the chest still makes breathing movements. See more »

Quotes

Ben: Mom wasn't a musician! She got hers with a broom!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

In defense
28 April 2004 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

This movie is a piece of art: shocking and disturbing, while at the same time funny as hell in a raw "should-I-be-laughing-or-should-I-be-ashamed" kind of way.

It gives an insight in the very realistically portrayed life of Ben, a serial killer with an impressionable charisma.

Most people who commented on this film either love it or hate it. The division seems mostly geographical though: most Americans can't seem to understand the tongue-in- cheekness of this movie.

Probably it has to do with the fake-documentary nature of the movie, which is clearly western-european. Anyone who has ever seen American documentaries knows they have a different pace and way of treating images. Those who are used to belgian/french/ dutch/german documentaries will recognise the style of the so-called "intimate" documentaries.

The pivotal point is the moment a relationship develops "beyond" the documentary relationship of the filmmakers and their subject (they take Ben's money to finish the movie).

When watching this movie, try to imagine that this *could* be a real movie:

documentaries about terrorists, drugdealers, and even mercenaries (the closest thing to an actual serial killer) have been made, and some of them were very close to their subject.

It is *not* a "black comedy" in the classical sense of the word; more like a "Clockwork Orange" for the nineties. Where "A Clockwork Orange" bathed in the design of the seventies, this movie bathes in the "larger-than-life" invasiveness of modern-day reality-tv-style television. Anyone who has seen shows like "cops" or "Big Brother" will know what I'm talking about. It asks the big documentary question: in how far does the observed change the observer? It makes a statement, not about violence, but about the observer of violence. The way it is portrayed shows the art of the (very low-budget) crew: it grips your guts without fancy effects or gory protrayal of gore: it shows fear, despair and psychological emptyness, by showing emotions! This should be recommended viewing (and debating) to anyone making documentary films.


73 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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