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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 23,750 users  
Reviews: 205 user | 76 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.

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(story), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Man Bites Dog (1992)

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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

According to an essay André wrote, Ben's family didn't know anything about the plot of the film. Ben's mother and grandparents thought they were filming raw footage of Ben, and had no idea that the footage was going to be used in a film in which Ben is a serial killer. Ben's mother was shocked to see her son behind bars, when she comes to visit him in prison. See more »

Goofs

At the very beginning of the film when Ben strangles the woman, she closes her eyes to show she has died, but then she opens them and then continues to blink until the scene fades. See more »

Quotes

Ben: Once I buried two Arabs in a wall over there... Facing Mecca, of course.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Hyping an underrated masterpiece - the darkest dark comedy.
16 January 2003 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

If your a fan of cynical, intelligent, dark comedy then I urge you to see this film! It is the masterpiece of the dark violence/comedy genre.

Man Bites Dog was way ahead of its time - before Pulp Fiction, before reality TV, before movies about the "real lives" of serial killers (Dahmer, Bundy, etc..) there was Man Bites Dog. Simply, this film is superb.

Benoit is a charismatic "up-n-coming" serial killer, working out of some Belgian suburbs. A scrappy film-maker convinces Benoit to allow his crew to follow him around on his exploits, documenting the madness. The set-up is somewhat surreal - kind of making out like there is a serial-killer "scene" in French-speaking Europe. Benoit, a natural performer, really gets into the idea, working the camera, beaming in the limelight. So eventually, to increase the quality of the movie, the film maker + crew go beyond merely documenting and start to become accessories to the crimes. Benoit's super egotistic demeanor starts to catch up with him, with the repercussions of his crimes pulling him down.

It is a multi-faceted exploration of many ideas, riffing on each within the episodes which make up the film (the "story" really exists to bind the distinct scenes - its not so much a story in the traditional sense ,ie. the old fomulaic "background - dramatic tension - climax - resolution" routine).

Many classic scenes, like when one of Benoit's friends is taking a little too much of the attention at Benoit's birthday party. Nothing peeves Benoit more than not being the center of attention, so, as Benoit is playing with his birthday gift (a new gun holster), his gun "accidentally" discharges into his friends skull. All the other party members sit covered in blood,in shock from the "accident". Benoit just sits back down and calmly resumes eating his birthday cake. Another great scene is when Benoit shows off to the film maker how he can save bullets by murdering an elderly woman with psychology (Benoit suddenly screams "Snuff!" at the trembling woman, inducing a heart attack).

This movie is just paced so well. We see Benoit warm to the camera, the film maker is slowly drawn into Benoit's world from mere documenter to full blown co-conspirator. The scenes of Benoit's family are hilarious! Benoit's parent's are stereotypical adorably ignorant bumpkins who will always love their cherished son. Just great stuff.

Be warned, this is not a movie for kids, as the violence is intense and graphic, and without proper contextual understanding, could be misconstrued as exploitive. Other than that this movie really hits that balance between violence and comedy, cold intelligence and raving madness. Highly recommended.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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