“Usually I start the month with a postman”
Man Bites Dog is a darkly comic horror film with a black heart. An incredibly simple film with a very complex agenda, Man Bites Dog is a wonderfully crafted movie that is certainly not for everyone.
Man Bites Dog is the story of Benoit, Benoit is a serial killer & he is being followed around by a group of filmmakers who are making a documentary about him & his daily life. It is as the film crew follow Ben & record his crimes, they begin to become more complict in his acts until they begin to participate in them.
While on the surface the movie is a black comedy, it is also a dark reflection on humanity & in particular the viewer him/herself. The film crew are basically us, the viewer. While Ben is never portrayed as cool, he is shown as being affable, friendly & sometimes even plays the clown. This makes him almost likeable. The movie plays on this, just as you start to warm to his character, Ben will do something truly horrific. Make no mistake, despite its comic tendencies there are some brutal, violent & shocking scenes in this film. There is a home invasion scene far more shocking than the one in Henry Portrait of A Serial Killer. Ben also kills a child in a scene many will find hard to watch. It’s these moments in the film that confront the viewer, the movie questions it’s own audience & thier voyeuristic nature in watching this sort of movie & the subject matter in general. While no one will ever outright glamourise murder, serial killers are for want of a better expression “en vouge” within the media, they have sensationalist names like “the crossbow killer”, “the butcher of plainfield” or “the son of sam” & they sell newspapers & books by the thousand. It seems the public cannot get enough when it comes to multiple murder & Man Bites Dog forces the veiwer to confront that curiousity in themselves & in society in general. The movie is also a pitch black comedy that had me laughing out loud several times. The scene where Ben expalins how to weigh down bodies, discussing how porus different bones are dependent on age is so tasteless, yet so farcical it becomes extremely funny.
Man Bites Dog is a wonderful movie that works on many levels. Shot in black & white, the film has a nice grainy, stark look to it. The acting is first-rate & the movie’s pacing is spot on. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking movie about serial killers & our fascination with them, look no further than this movie. If on the other hand you just want a grimly comic horror movie, again this movie is for you. Highly recommended & well worth watching.