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Natural Born Killers (1994)

R | | Crime, Drama | 26 August 1994 (USA)
Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Everett Quinton ...
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London Boy
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Earl
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Pinball Cowboy
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Storyline

Mickey Knox and Mallory Wilson aren't your typical lovers - after killing her abusive father, they go on a road trip where, every time they stop somewhere, they kill pretty well everyone around them. They do however leave one person alive at every shootout to tell the story and they soon become a media sensation thanks to sensationalized reporting. Told in a highly visual style. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A bold new film that takes a look at a country seduced by fame, obsessed by crime and consumed by the media. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for extreme violence and graphic carnage, for shocking images, and for strong language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

26 August 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesinos por naturaleza  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,166,687, 28 August 1994, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$50,282,766
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Deputy Sheriff Duncan Homolka's (Joe Grifasi) name is a reference to Karla Homolka who, with her husband Paul Bernardo, murdered two teenage girls and her own sister. See more »

Goofs

No human can take such a repeated and concentrated dose of Mace as Mallory does and open their eyes so soon afterward, not to mention Mallory's eyes open quite easily and do not shut during the spray. Mallory also doesn't apply any water to her eyes, and seems to recover naturally only minutes later. This is one of many scenes which are supposed to be stylized and unrealistic. See more »

Quotes

Pinky: Are you a real cop?
Jack Scagnetti: Oh yeah, I'm a real cop.
Pinky: You're not gonna hurt me are ya?
Jack Scagnetti: I never hurt anyone in my life. I'm the law. I'm your protector.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are superimposed over a vast amount of stock footage, ranging from the future of Mickey and Mallory, stock A-Bomb tests, childhood photos of Mickey and Mallory, time-lapse footage, scenes from the movie, and so on. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bless This House: Natural Born Parents (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

The Hay Wain
Composed and Performed by Sergio Cervetti
Courtesy of Periodic Music/Ron Goldberg and Sergio Cervetti
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
You'll love it or hate it.
4 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

I remember "Natural Born Killers" making a huge fuss when it was released because the media and conservative families were in an outrage over the level of "glorified violence" in the film. To some extent they were right -- the violence isn't glorified but much of it is unnecessary. The movie could still be a brilliant satire of society/the media without going into such graphic detail -- it's been proved in cinema before that sometimes seeing less is better than gratuity. If Oliver Stone's movie has one outstanding flaw, it's the lack of subtlety.

That said, if you can handle the level of violence and take it tongue-in-cheek, "Natural Born Killers" is so bizarre and funny that it's worth the "trip." (Pun intended.) This is a crazy drug odyssey that would have made Hunter S. Thompson look like Ronald Reagan. The film is twisted, outlandish and out of its mind -- Oliver Stone has gone stone-cold crazy and it's awesome.

Despite my reservations about his lack of subtlety, there is a flip side to the coin: It is a story about excess. Stone's film-making has gone somewhat awry over the years (look at the pointless excess of his films after this), but this fits the bill because it IS a story of excess.

Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis play the titular "Natural Born Killers," Mickey and Mallory, a pair of crazy serial killers who both suffered traumatic childhoods and are now rampaging America on a literal killing spree.

After they are finally apprehended, the media has by now turned them into such icons and glorified personalities that the public and media seems to respect them as titans of filth.

This is where the social satire of the film comes into play, essentially saying: We focus more on the killers than the heroes.

I do think it's a bit hypocritical of Oliver Stone to attempt to point this out, as he is a die-hard liberal at his core and, as the controversy surrounding this film's release proved, the conservatives are too conservative to praise killers. It seems to be the liberal media that glorifies violence (to some extent of course) so I thought Stone would be the last person to ever criticize the media.

So yes it does come across as somewhat of a moot point but nevertheless the film is still enjoyable despite its sometimes sickening amount of over-the-top violence (the opening sequence of the Director's Cut is stomach-turning).

The cast is superb - Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, Edie McClurg (the rental car agent from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and Rooney's assistant in "Ferris Bueller"!) and Denis Leary and Ashley Judd in deleted scenes included in the Director's Cut.

The story was conceived by Quentin Tarantino (and it's very similar to his "True Romance" script -- a sort of modern-day "Bonnie and Clyde Redux") and re-written by Stone (much to the chagrin of QT). I'm not sure which would have made for a better film but, despite its flaws (which are mainly a none-too-subtle message and too much violence), "Natural Born Killers" is a sort of bizarre, outlandish masterpiece of drugged-out cinema. --


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