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Overall Rating

Awesome: 39.19%
Worth A Look41.89%
Average: 6.76%
Pretty Bad: 5.41%
Total Crap: 6.76%

5 reviews, 44 user ratings

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Man Bites Dog
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by Chris Parry

"A message wrapped around a hurtling brick."
4 stars

This is the kind of film that could never be made by Hollywood. In fact, it can hardly be even *seen* in Hollywood, since it's one of those unfortunate, yet fine, films that have been lumped with an NC-17 rating, effectively killing it.

The film, written, directed and starring Rémy Belvaux, Benoît Poelvoorde and André Bonzel, three Belgian film students, was banned in Sweden (of all places) and is some stark as hell shit.

It follows a documentary filmmaker in his attempt to commit to celluloid the life of Remy (Belvaux), a hitman who kills like your dad smokes a cigarette - often and without thinking about it.

The filmmaker, Andre (Bonzel) and his crew attempt to be as anonymous as possible, so when they are privy to Remy murdering people, they make the decision that they can not interfere in the natural order, much the same way that a nature documentary maker would watch a lion kill an antelope.

But as they become more and more used to watching people getting their faces blown off by Remy, they begin to unwittingly be a part of his crimes, to the point of assisting with body disposals. When one of their crew is killed in a botched job, they simply hire a replacement. The message behind it all is, where is the line where the media go from being a mirror of the world's ills, to being responsible for what they are reporting?

While the film is extremely funny, it's also extremely disturbing. Watching Remy strangle a small boy to death is a little hardcore for some sensibilities and by all means if it doesn't sound like something you could handle, stay away. But amidst the nastiness and graphic violence is a well written, very funny and darkly executed (no pun intended) outlook on media, and the world.

Just as Reservoir Dogs used excessive violence to offset it's humor, so too does Man Bites Dog, though in a much more slapstick fashion. ("I like to start the month off right... by killing a postman.") But that's where comparisons to Reservoir Dogs end.
Think of this movie as the child that would be born if Reservoir Dogs and Spinal Tap got loaded one night and screwed in a cheap motel.

This black and white Belgian feature is well acted, well directed and will invariably leave you feeling like you've been punched in the guts. It's well worth your time, unless of course you're a puritan conservative - in which case what are you doing watching an NC-17 film? It's your fault we have to have them.

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originally posted: 01/19/99 22:24:15
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User Comments

9/20/20 Bobby My favourite film - EVER!! 5 stars
10/17/17 Bruce Abas Sic/brilliance- lead actor off the charts 5 stars
2/07/16 Leo Cardinaels Brilliant cinema but not for everybody: you need to be open-minded. Great movie! 5 stars
8/01/15 francoiskrotoff Hilarious serial killer mockumentary; then troubling mirror-auto-mockumentary; sublime! 5 stars
5/20/15 stanley welles brilliant, deeply compelling and darkly hilarious 5 stars
6/27/12 A viewer Don't waster your time on this horrible film. 1 stars
11/15/10 W.B.T.Neeley Brilliant and satirical, but also overly (and uncompromisingly) disturbing. 4 stars
10/10/10 J. Johnson Wow. The best mock-documentary I've ever seen! 5 stars
5/22/08 mr.mike just OK avant-garde 3 stars
5/18/08 brian One of the most repulsive things I've seen, and that's saying something. 1 stars
1/10/08 Rob from Oakland, CA Mesmerizing. Mind-numbing. Beautifully filmed. Fantastic. 5 stars
1/04/08 Simon Worked for about 40 mins, after that it was just skull numbing and boring. 3 stars
11/27/07 hayley its was so horrific and crap 1 stars
12/16/06 Anna-Rosa I actually thought this was a "must see" film, MAYBE NOT 3 stars
6/24/06 Indrid Cold As far as satires of violence/media go, not nearly as entertaining as Natural Born Killers. 3 stars
11/12/05 Adam Foster Bloody good use of violence, very watchable 5 stars
9/25/05 K. Sear Overated. 3 stars
8/12/05 ES B&W=good, killing babies= bad, killing old ladies with heart conditions= surprising shock 4 stars
3/27/05 Jack Sommersby Simplistic, nihilistic, sensationalistic, unbearable crap. 1 stars
3/23/04 The Green Inferno I'll have a dead baby boy, bartender 4 stars
2/02/04 Sammy One of the most distubing movies I have ever seen, very had to watch but is very worth it. 5 stars
1/16/04 davey crazy mutha fuckin movie. cinema!cinema! 5 stars
6/20/03 Sweeterson Tries too hard to be original 1 stars
12/20/02 Michael Jorgensen The greatest. Predecessor to the danish "Dogma"-films... 5 stars
12/19/02 Kroce Un film incroyable! Plein d'humour et de cynisme, ça vaut vraiement le coup d'oeil! 5 stars
12/03/02 Andy Jacob This is the shit wow. Fuckin great movie 5 stars
11/13/02 brian this film kicks ass, i first saw the cut version then had to see the uncut. 5 stars
11/01/02 Charles Tatum For a continent that hate Hollywood, they can sure copy their crap 2 stars
4/18/02 purpura Definitely a must C.. The most perfect mushroom (have they done anything else after that?) 4 stars
2/23/02 GR_eta blatantly humourous in a post-mortem vein 5 stars
1/21/02 Andrzej An intriguing idea that descends into sickest of the sick. Worst film I've seen. 2 stars
10/25/01 Stéphane It's a very special film. The way of filming is nice. 4 stars
5/21/01 jessy the name of the killer is benoit (benny) not remy , which is one of filmmakers 4 stars
4/19/01 sykobilly If it's not your kind of it any way! 4 stars
3/03/01 mad hatter Twisted. Warped. I loved it. 5 stars
7/20/00 dr_Fardook more fun than a bathtub full of squid and a stick of dynamite 5 stars
4/11/00 Buck Turgidson Sophomoric crap 87 minutes too long 2 stars
4/08/00 Mike Leskow Rent this: Break up with your artsy girlfriend. . . 5 stars
2/14/00 Miss Ice Abyss Darker than anything I had thought dark... and great at it! 5 stars
5/02/99 Peter Koulouris This film is black, black, black comedy at it's best. 5 stars
1/19/99 Chronically hip Surprisingly good film, consdiering it was made by students. Give them a budget! 5 stars
11/24/98 Mr.Pink Absolutely fucking brilliant!!!!! 5 stars
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  02-Feb-1993 (NC-17)



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