Sunday, May 9, 2010

Man Bites Dog (1992)

A serial killer movie that saves room for gratuitous chubby broad nudity.

I don't think anyone really knows where people's fascination with serial killers comes from, but it's certainly there. I myself find their existence and exploits strangely interesting and I find myself drawn to movies, books and television that feature them. With that in mind, I was cautiously optimistic about Man Bites Dog. Going in fully prepared, I found myself pretty disappointed with what I saw.

Man Bites Dog is a fake documentary, think This is Spinal Tap or Best in Show, about a film team following a serial killer and his exploits. The killer waxes on poetically about his craft, shoots some people and treats everyone to a gang rape before it all ends. The movie is the definition of a cult film, as in no one has seen it, and those who like the film are of a very certain sort.

I'm keeping this brief mostly because I find it hard to get excited, angry or to even really care about Man Bites Dog. Everyone talked about how disgusting and violent it was, but they seriously over-estimate the film so that they can claim people who don't like it are just offended by it. The truth is, the movie barely registers as offensive. The violence is pretty tame and a person talking in great detail about killing people is nothing new or interesting. I would say that the rape sequence was pretty disturbing, and you could make a case for the child murder getting you angry, but neither of those things were really all that bad. Both are featured in big budget Hollywood movies fairly regularly and I don't see those movies become cult classics. Really, Man Bits Dog comes down to a serial killer talking about what he does in a mockumentary fashion. Lucky for the film-makers, that works. The film is actually pretty funny at times. It is extremely dark humor, but it often works. I actually laughed out loud a few times, so it wasn't a complete waste of my time.

In the end, Man Bites Dog is one of those movies that just doesn't matter. Like many cult films, it's sphere of influence in the film-making world is extremely limited and it doesn't really deserve must see status. I enjoy a cult movie on occasion, but Man Bites Dog isn't funny or interesting enough to hold my attention. I can't think of a good reason to see this movie unless your doing the 1001 movies project so just don't bother.



Simon said...

Eh. I'm sick of the serial-killer genre, anyway.

CMrok93 said...

The film did a lot for me, like be totally disturbed, and taken into this guy's world, I just didn't think he would get away so many times with self-less murders. Check out my review here: