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Natural Born Killers (1994)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  26 August 1994 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 142,074 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 568 user | 123 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

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(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Natural Born Killers (1994)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ed Wilson, Mallory's Dad
Everett Quinton ...
Deputy Warden Wurlitzer
...
London Boy
...
Deputy Warden Kavanaugh
...
Mallory's Mom
...
Lanny Flaherty ...
Earl
...
Mabel
...
...
Sonny
...
...
Pinball Cowboy
Edit

Storyline

The misadventures of Mickey and Mallory: outcasts, lovers, and serial killers. They travel across Route 666 conducting psychadelic mass-slaughters not for money, not for revenge, just for kicks. Glorified by the media, the pair become legendary folk heroes; their story told by the single person they leave alive at the scene of each of their slaughters. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

media | murderer | violence | killer | satire | See more »

Taglines:

In the media circus of life, they were the main attraction. 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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

£3,923,239 (UK) (17 March 1995)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 25 Most Dangerous Movies". See more »

Goofs

It's obvious that the "Drug Zone" is really just a department store, despite trying to be a medicine supermarket. When Mickey and Mallory are wandering through the aisles at Drug Zone, cleaners and other household products are seen on the shelves. See more »

Quotes

Mickey: The media is like the weather, only it's man-made weather.
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

Features Triumph of the Will (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Judgement Day
Written and Performed by Diamanda Galás
Courtesy of Mute Records
by arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Truly Brilliant Film
24 June 2004 | by (England) – See all my reviews

After viewing this film many, many times since I first saw it I came to the conclusion that this film basically put on screen my feelings as to why I disliked and still continue to dislike the 90's/Post-Millenium American Pseudo-Culture. At first I did not understand it (the metaphors and such) but having viewed it countless times over the past few years I have developed an understanding of this truly remarkable film.

Critics over the years have panned this film as a 'glorification of meaningless violence', when in fact the film itself is basically the 90's equivalent to Kubrick's 'Dr. Strangelove', where it turns the paranoia of a nation into satire and then deconstruct it in the best way possible. Everybody who is reading this review right now has probably seen the film anyway so I won't reiterate the plot, but what I will do is try and help explain the concept of the film since it's quite obvious that there are a few people out there who don't understand this film.

The 90's - A decade after the Reagan years and a time for the next generation to settle down and basque in the trails of excess that the previous decade left behind. What are we left with in Western Civilization? Media sensationalism and the counter-culture of people who watch car crashes.

Oliver Stone very much plays on the idea of 'serial-killer-turns-media-story-turns-pop-icon' which has been quite evident in the cases of people such as Charles Manson and Richard Ramirez. What Oliver Stone manages to do is portray the negative in the 90's, particularly American pseudo-culture in the 90's. You have Rodney King, O.J Simpson, Tonya Harding, Waco, The Menendez Brothers... and all these things are linked by a single medium, 90's television. The sensationalism of the media saturates most of Western Civilization today, and we live in a world where it's more important to see celebrities on the front of magazines or right-wing televangelists telling us that we need to give them money than it is to focus on the real issues that exist in this world. 'Natural Born Killers' relates to this. What 'Natural Born Killers' plays on is the question - 'why did we, the people, turn on to CNN and watch a white bronco cruising through the streets of Los Angeles one day in 1994?'. In turn, 'Natural Born Killers' plays on the culture-question - 'why do people stop to see car crashes?'. It also asks the question - 'Is that guy on television crazy because he's killed 90+ people or am I crazy for watching a white bronco cruise through the streets of Los Angeles?'. So there are 3 questions that 'Natural Born Killers' raises without a lot of people really understanding them. What the film does - instead of answering these questions - is let the viewer decide for himself or herself whether the serial killer on television is crazy for killing people or we are crazy for actually watching a serial killer talk on television.

So why do the critics despise this film? The critics despise this film because what they see on the film is themselves in Wayne Gale. Robert Downey Jnr accurately portrays the absolute false hysteria and false machismo of tabloid figures such as Geraldo Riviera and Oprah Windfrey et al, in his characterisation of Wayne Gale. He plays the archetypal media figurehead that lives in newsrooms, talking into mobile phones, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, watching television and living deceitful private lives. Another reason why the critics hate this film is because of the subversive message that it portrays in the script. The writers grew up in the 50's and 60's when the paranoia of Cold War was still in their faces everywhere they went. After the Cold War was over these same people started asking themselves, "well, who is the enemy now?". Some of them started realising that the enemy wasn't 10,000 miles away hiding in a mountain, the problem was not attached to a very large metal object that goes 'boom!', but rather the fact that the real enemy is in the corporations and media, the real power of a nation doesn't rely in the leader but the television. 'Natural Born Killers' subversively explains this, that THEY are the problem, and many members of the mainstream media didn't like because they were what the film was about.

Why do the general public despise this film? Because the same people who hate this film are the same people who the film-makers were laughing at when they made it. When the character of Mickey is on the television giving his interview, and the film cuts to a simple black and white image from a stock house of a typical American family sitting around the television, the same people who hate this film are the typical American family sitting around watching the interview, glued to the television like mindless zombies.

Overall - this film is brilliant and it tells it exactly how it is.


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