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#280- Man Bites Dog

Quick recap: A documentary crew follows around a serial killer and it’s all fun and games until they are expected to help with the murders.

making the film crew a drink, like any proper serial killer host should do

making the film crew a drink, like any proper serial killer host should do

Fun (?) fact: Ben’s family (who played themselves in the film) knew nothing about the plot of the film, and his mother’s shock of seeing her son behind bars was real.

A very serial killer-y way to describe love, no?

A very serial killer-y way to describe love, no?

My thoughts:  Oh boy, was this movie dark! And disturbing. And hilarious. Obviously, I’m a little conflicted here. I’ve always been drawn to dark comedies but I never knew just how dark they could go until this list. The violence in Man Bites Dog is about as bad as it gets- murdering old ladies, children, and random innocent people. And the deaths are rather realistic too, which adds another layer I wasn’t fully prepared for. But the movie is also really funny. There is one scene where, right after Benoit kills an old woman, he wants to go out and celebrate. He invites the film crew, who, as if finally realizing they are hanging out with a serial killer, politely decline. It becomes this big awkward moment where they feel bad passing up the invitation and Benoit tries to play it off like it didn’t just hurt his feelings. It’s so human and yet he’s so evil.

What I really loved about this movie was how real it was, which is also coincidentally why I didn’t like it. Man Bites Dog is shot in a documentary style so while the audience is treated to many murders, we also get helpful tips about how to murder and how to hide bodies. I can see the why the filmmakers want to continue shadowing Benoit, even at the risk of their crew. A sound guy is killed during a scuffle and Rémy, the director, dedicates the film to him. But then another guy is accidentally killed later on and it becomes a situation like the interns in Welcome to Night Vale, where we all know no one is going to survive this, so don’t get too attached. By far, the most disturbing scene was the rape sequence when the film crew gets drunk with Benoit and ends up breaking into a couple’s home. They all have their way with the woman and the next morning,wake up well rested among the dead bodies. It made me sick to watch, which surprised me because I’ve seen so many disturbing things on the list. Apparently, in real life, the actors were disturbed by the scene too and the woman being raped felt the need to comfort them so they could do the scene.

Final review: Screw it. 4/5. I’d watch this again, but with someone who has never seen it to see their reaction



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