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4.1 out of 5 stars46
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 9 August 2004
This is just to warn you that the sub-titles are often difficult to read because they're white against a black and white picture. The film itself is pretty good; provoking lots of thought about violence, media coverage of violence, the viewer's reactions to media coverage of violence, and so on.
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VINE VOICEon 9 September 2009
I am old enough to remember the utter outrage that this film provoked when it was released and also old enough to understand that such a reaction was exactly what these guys were hoping for. 'Man Bites Dog' is one of those films - like 'Baise Moi' and 'Henry: portrait of a serial killer' - that has a certain cachet; like some kind of snuff film. That's what they wanted; that's what they got. Bravo!

Actually it's a so-so French-language (though crucially Belgian) film that looks like it was made out of pocket money and seems to be sniggering the whole time. It is absurd. Not absurd in an Albert Camus 'life is absurd' kind of way - it doesn't have the discipline for such musings - just absurd in its set-up; a group of film-makers tracking a serial killer (who's not a proper serial killer; just someone who kills people all the time - a variant of the breed that does not exist.) Therefore, it's hard to take seriously any point it might be making about the nature of voyuerism and screen violence. Yes it pre-dated Big Brother and the X Factor, but so did Schwarzenegger in The Running Man; prescience does not equal quality.

The rape in it is not 'the most shocking rape ever committed to celluloid' - for that you need Tuesday Weld and Robert De Niro in 'Once Upon A Time In America; sexual violence played for laughs - though the amount of splatter poured onto the victim after she's murdered does probably constitute 'the least realistic murder victim ever committed to celluloid.'

In short, this is a silly film; condemned by the easily-offended; praised by the easily-impressed. It gets quite boring after a while; the lack of a narrative structure in a film which lacks any aesthetic interest will do that. Don't get me wrong. There are bits I like - such as the film crew covering the 'other' killer and - for some reason - the little monologue on architecture, which perfectly chimed with what I think - but, really, this is like Bugsy Malone, which Alan Parker made as a stunt to get noticed.

This is a bunch of film students messing about. The furore and reverence this thing provokes must have them giggling still.
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on 30 December 2015
One of the best films ive seen...but admit you need to be a lover of black comedies...there are lots of people who just dont get it...although they might enjoy something similar...a tour de force..
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VINE VOICEon 25 April 2013
Years before the common theme of `fly on the wall' film-making became popular, this 1992 film from Belgium came as a sharp satire on the whole idea of reality TV, and documentary films.
A film crew decide to shadow the `work' of a mundane serial killer. They go everywhere with him, and film his ramblings, as well as his frequent, and often very violent murders. Their involvement with him begins to spiral out of control, as they sink ever deeper into his dark world.
This is not a comfortable subject, nor is it filmed sympathetically. However, as an idea, and as the film shows, it just works.
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on 6 December 2013
This is a real must-see for movie fans. Amazingly fresh and original idea and has some laugh out loud moments, but also very disturbing and not for the faint hearted
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on 13 October 2010
Man bites dog is about a psychopathic serial killer masquerading as a working-class hero and modern day Robin Hood, followed by a film crew that are making a movie about him It is Beautifully shot in black and white with handheld cameras, no music and most of the actors are amateurs. But there is nothing amateurish about this film. The violence is shocking and the party rape scene is very disturbing. The real standout is the abruptness with which Ben (the killer) switches' from being a swell guy to a total monster. Truly a powerful piece of cinema.
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on 13 November 2014
Sensitive viewers might find this film bizarre or shocking but I loved the black humour and laughed a lot as each scene unfolded. I particularly liked a scene near the beginning where the assassin is dumping a body off a railway bridge into a river and a train goes past. He makes no attempt to hide what he's doing as if everything was perfectly normal.
The film takes the extraordinary and makes it ordinary.
It wasn't so great the second time I watched it.
Definately worthwhile though.
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on 31 March 2014
When I first saw this I wondered if it was real as the acting is so good it looks like a genuine documentary about a guy killing people in different way whilst being filmed by a documentary crew. The most shocking scene for me was how he kills a pensioner in her own apartment and the way he disposes of the bodies. You will despise him by the end of the film. Showed it to someone else who said it was the most disturbing thing they had ever witnessed.
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on 9 February 2004
This film has a seriously dark side to it but at the same time it's highly amusing, I'm no sadist but this film is at its best when making humour and being grotesquely violent at the same time. The Rape scene is a very sobering picture as the preceeding scene was tinged with humour. Films that win Cannes are (debatably) 'different'. Look to Lars Von Trier for an example! I reckon this is good different and one of my favourite films.
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A black and white, pseudo fly on the wall documentary, with French dialogue following the weird antics of a man teetering somewhere beyond the edge of normality. That may sound like a description of "Mr Hulot's Holiday" but it also sums up "Man Bites Dog".
The film follows the exploits of Benoit, a serial killer. It is his vocation and he takes it seriously indeed. Serious, not just about killing individuals but about being a serial killer. He is aware of his filmers and, on occasion, plays up to the camera. We see him commit a number of gruesome killings and dispose of the bodies of his victims. Gradually, the film makers become dragged into his crimes and finally, they are fully fledged accomplices.
Some people have ascribed motivations and meanings to this film as being a comment on the way in which the media fixates on and lauds some violent criminals. I cannot agree with this. The film was made as a student project and with no expectation that it would be viewed outside its immediate academic environment. It is perhaps unconstrained by the expectation that it would be widely exhibited.
There is a lot of violence in this movie. Explicit, gratuitous and, on occasion, sexual. At the same time, there is a lot of, albeit very dark, humour. It is not for the squeamish or for the narrow minded and indeed, I could not really argue with anyone who found this film profoundly offensive. On the other hand, it does have something to say which can only be said in this way.
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