In Detroit, a lonely pop culture geek marries a call girl, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the owners of the cocaine, the Mob, track them down in an attempt to reclaim it.
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
Oliver Stone calls the frequent cuts to black and white, where dialogue is often repeated with a slightly different intonation, "vertical cutting". Stone explains that the idea behind the technique is to create an outer moment (the color footage) and an inner moment (the black and white footage) at the same time. For example, he explains this in relation to the waitress in the opening scene (O-Lan Jones), who while taking Mickey's order in the "outer" scene, is actually flirting with him (or thinking about flirting with him) in the "inner" scene. Also, in the opening scene, when the cowboy (James Gammon) refers to Mallory as "pussy", there is a flash cut to Mickey covered in blood; this is Mickey's "inner" moment. See more »
When the warden has been locked in the prison and the prisoners are charging at him, the shot facing the guards when they open fire on the prisoners clearly shows the warden climbing the bars, then cuts to a reaction shot of the warden still stood normally on the floor, then shows another shot of him climbing the bars. See more »
Once upon a time, a woman was picking up firewood. She came upon a poisonous snake frozen in the snow. She took the snake home and nursed it back to health. One day the snake bit her on the cheek. As she lay dying, she asked the snake, "Why have you done this to me?" And the snake answered, "Look, bitch, you knew I was a snake."
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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 »
The Director's Cut features roughly 4 minutes of material removed from the theatrical version prior to release in order to get a R rating. Here are details of the additional scenes, in chronological order:
there are three additional shots in the pre-credits scene in the diner. The first is found when Mallory knocks Sonny (Richard Lineback) over the partition. In the theatrical cut, the scene immediately cuts to Sonny's friend (James Gammon) getting up out of his chair to intervene. But in the Director's Cut however, there is an additional shot of Mallory slamming Sonny's head into a table, and blood spraying across the surface of the table. Next, when Mickey slits Sonny's friend's stomach, there are three additional slashes not found in the theatrical cut. Lastly, as Mallory jumps up and down on Sonny's back, there is an additional shot of her grabbing his blood soaked head and pounding it into the ground;
the death of Ed Wilson (Rodney Dangerfield) has one additional shot as Wilson is leaning up against the wall prior to being dunked into the fish-tank, and Mickey hits him with the tire-iron across the back of the head;
as Mallory drives to the garage after arguing with Mickey about the hostage (Corinna Laszlo), there is a brief shot of Mickey raping the hostage in the motel room;
Jack Scagnetti's (Tom Sizemore) murder of Pinky (Lorraine Farris) contains an additional shot of Scagnetti with his hands around her throat and her struggling underneath him, whilst he keeps on saying to her, "I'm only kidding, I'm only kidding";
when Mickey kills the pharmacist (Glen Chin) at DrugZone, there are two additional shots; one showing the pharmacist's blood spraying onto the glass divide, the other showing the clerk falling to his knees and dying;
the scene where the police beat up Mallory outside the pharmacist contains a few extra shots of policemen punching her;
as Mickey attempts to kill the guards in the cell after the interview has been terminated, there are several additional shots showing members of Wayne Gale's (Robert Downey Jr.) crew being shot and killed;
after Mickey has taken control of the TV crew, he 'persuades' Kavanaugh (Pruitt Taylor Vince) to come with them by breaking his fingers;
the prison riot sequences contain numerous additional shots. Four particularly obvious ones are: a guard is shoved into a washing machine, which is then turned on; a guard has his head pushed in under a steam press; a guard is thrown into an industrial oven; a guard is flung from the top story of the prison;
the scene where Scagnetti sprays mace in Mallory's eyes is longer, with a more sustained spraying, whilst the guards hit her;
a tracking shot in a barber's during the riot show inmates slitting the throats of other inmates;
during the riot, the scene where the prisoner throws a stick of dynamite into a door way is extended; after the dynamite has been thrown, there is a shot of the explosion and a prisoner being flung from the room and rebounding off the wall;
in the scene where Mickey rescues Mallory from Jack Scagnetti, there are additional shots of the bullets hitting the guards;
there are more shots of Jack Scagnetti trashing about on the ground after being stabbed, prior to being shot;
when Mallory holds the gun to Scagnetti's head and asks him if he still wants her, in the theatrical version, she pulls the trigger immediately. In the Director's Cut, there is a shot of Scagnetti screaming;
as Mickey, Mallory, and the others flee Mallory's cell, they are ambushed, and Wayne Gale's crew is wiped out. In the theatrical version, little is seen of this, but in the Director's Cut, there are clear shots of his crew being gunned down, especially Julie (Terrylene), who is killed in slow motion;
during the standoff at the stairs, Dwight McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones) orders the guards to open fire at Mickey because Kavanaugh (Pruitt Taylor Vince), who Mickey is using as a shield, is already dead. In the theatrical version, when McClusky gives the order to fire, there is an awkward cut to Mallory holding Wayne Gale, and the guards never fire. In the Director's Cut, the guards open fire, riddling Kavanaugh's (still living) body with bullets.
after Mallory shoots Wayne Gale's hand, there is a brief shot through the hole created by the bullet, looking down at McClusky;
McClusky's death is far more explicit. After being dragged down from the gate by the inmates, in the theatrical version, we never see him again, but in the Director's Cut, after a moment, a prisoner raises a spear, with McClusky's severed head perched on top;
Wayne Gale's death scene is longer and includes more shots of the bullets hitting him;
numerous additional shots of the subliminal demons are scattered throughout the film.
A bizarre acid trip of a film that has good and bad points
Oliver Stone seems to have outdone himself on this one. Not only is Natural Born Killers a visual masterpiece, but it is probably one of the most insane and nonsensical social commentary films I have ever seen. Disappointing, since it was penned by one of my favorite film directors, Mr. Quentin `Bad Motherf***er' Tarantino himself. The elements of a good story are there: Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love and go on a mass murdering spree which is lapped up by the media. While there is definitely a strong social statement, the story is too erratic and scattered to be completely coherent.
Visually however, Natural Born Killers is stunning. It is intensely colorful, unflinchingly violent and innovative in its cinematography. This movie is not for most, but if you decide to try it out, be warned: It is not for the faint of heart, and not for the weak of stomach. But it is an important film for its visual merits, at the very least.
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