There are quite a number of French films available on instant Netflix. We will be featuring some of them this week. Man Bites Dog is currently available on instant Netflix.
WATCH: Man Bites Dog (It Happened in Your Neighborhood – 1992) – UR – This movie is unrated but the theatrical version earned a rare NC-17 for strong graphic violence.
“A satirical look at how the media affects and promotes violence in modern society. Spoofing reality television, a fascinated documentary crew follows a charismatic yet unrepentant serial killer on his murder sprees. The crew attempts to objectively document the horror, but as the violence escalates, they ultimately get sucked into participating. Man Bites Dog won the International Critics Prize at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.”
“I try to start the month off with a postman.”
“I once buried two Arabs in a wall over there…facing Mecca of course.”
Here is a movie that proves that you do not need a big budget to make a good movie. This movie is shot in black and white, has no stars, no special effects, no score and essentially no action. In spite of this it is very enjoyable.
It is basically exactly what the synopsis describes: a film crew following a serial killer around documenting his thoughts and exploits. The best moment in the film is when they encounter another camera crew.
I do have to warn you that the humor in this film is very dark and twisted. As if being a serial killer was not bad enough, our protagonist, Ben, is also a racist and a rapist. It is odd that while I find the killings humorous, the rape scene made me very uncomfortable. Perhaps there are some things that play better for European audiences.
There is even some meta-humor in the film. At several points it is mentioned that the documentary crew does not have enough money to complete the film. In reality, it took over a year to complete the film because the real crew ran out of money several times.
I do have to admit that I found out after the fact that this film is a bit of a cheat. It is in French but is actually a Belgian film.
The acting is just fine in the film. Everyone is very natural except for Ben (Benoit Poelvoorde). Ben displays not only some charisma but that sense that everyone is a character in his play. He discounts anything others say or do and apart from his cheerfulness and whimsy (which are fun), plays the role of sociopath quite well.
I recommend this film but you have to appreciate a dark sense of humor, not mind black and white films, and not mind reading subtitles.
People Watch: The mother, grandmother, and grandfather of Ben (Benoit Poelvoorde) are played by, you guessed it, his mother, grandmother and grandfather.