HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Natural Born Killers Society is to Blame
Year: 1994
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr, Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield, Edie McClurg, O-Lan Jones, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Steven Wright, Maria Pitillo
Genre: Comedy, Action, Thriller, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 9 votes)
Review: At a quiet desert diner out in the middle of nowhere, a waitress takes an order for a couple who have just walked in. As the man partakes of the key lime pie, the woman dances provocatively to the jukebox, and flirts with another of the patrons, but he is shocked when she hits him. This sparks a bloodbath in the diner as the couple proceed to murder almost everyone in the place, leaving one witness to tell about what they have done. They are Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) and are passionately in love. They are also violent killers who go on a murderous crime spree, becoming a media sensation in the process.

Oliver Stone used Quentin Tarantino's original script as the basis for his savage attack on the media and the society that spawns admiration for its worst criminals, though then then-new kid on the block Tarartino was less than pleased with what he regarded as a bastardisation of his original intent (he had wanted to direct the material himself). As almost always with Stone's films, it's a flawed, overblown piece of work, though here he seemed more tone deaf than usual. He criticises the media for glamourising violence, but nobody glamourises Mickey and Mallory more than Stone does - he seems to gloss over the fact that movies are part of the media too.

Because our heroes' love is true, everyone out to get them is shown as worse than they are - TV news hack Robert Downey Jr (sporting an Australian accent that made him sound like Rocko from TV show Rocko's Modern Life) will sink to any depth for ratings, cop Tom Sizemore is actually a murderer himself (and has written a trashy autobiography, too!) and Mallory's overbearing father (Rodney Dangerfield) abuses his family. In fact, the film is deeply suspicious of each character who do not have the central couple's bloodlust, or rather they do have the capacity for criminality, yet are not pure of heart like Mickey and Mallory, who murder for honest reasons: showing up hypocrisies in society gets them a free pass, apparently.

The film grinds to a halt after Mickey and Mallory are captured after their rampage across the Southern States, and the film is transformed into a prison movie for the second half, complete with the clichés that go with that genre, and then not even a prison riot (movie cliché number one) can save it. It's flashy, tedious, heavy-handed and self important; there's even a little "did you see what I did there?" montage of real-life criminals at the end, for the hard-of-thinking; this really did undervalue the audience's ability to discern and process what they were routinely given to watch. The characters talk and pontificate endlessly, to a maddening degree, which would be all right if they had anything worth hearing but are frankly too much of a bunch of straw men (and women) for their chuntering to land: Mickey's live interview was particularly irksome in its self-serving vacuity.

All that and it provided the most annoying actress to emerge in the nineteen-ninetiess with her most celebrated role, like everyone here overacting wildly as if they were hicks in a Roger Corman moonshine mini-epic - Tommy Lee Jones as the prison warden practically twirled his moustache and cackled. Ironic that NBK was falsely blamed for some real-life crimes, isn't it? That was serving the piece with far too much credit, and it was shameful how far many went in going along with its blatant button-pushing, thereby proving a point that was pretty obnoxious on its own. Any hope of intelligent debate was scuppered when the reasonable side against the tabloid's moral panic was delivered with such crashing petulance: Mickey and Mallory's fans were presented with a smugly patronising acceptance that they would be hero-worshipped and not the subject of horrified fascination at best, as would happen in real life with all but the thickest of media consumers. Also with: minor cult actress O-Lan Jones in the diner as the waitress, heavyweight Pruitt Taylor Vince as a guard, comedian Steven Wright as a psychiatrist, and pre-Godzilla Maria Pitillo. Watch for: some animation, which is appropriate seeing as how everyone in this might as well be a cartoon character.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 11835 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Oliver Stone  (1946 - )

Didactic, aggressive and in-your-face American writer-director who, after directing a couple of horrors (Seizure and The Hand) and writing Midnight Express and Scarface, settled into his own brand of political state-of-the-nation films like Salvador, the Oscar-winning Platoon, Wall Street, Talk Radio, JFK, Natural Born Killers and Nixon. Slightly out of character were The Doors and U-Turn: respectively, a celebration of the late sixties and a sweaty thriller. In 2004 he experienced his biggest flop with Alexander, a historical epic, but followed it with the reverent World Trade Center and a biopic of then just-leaving President George W. Bush. A belated sequel to Wall Street and gangster movie Savages were next. Say what you like, he has made his mark and loads of people have an opinion on him.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: