105 Must See Films

105 Must See Films: Natural Born Killers (1994)


Starring: Woody Harrelson, Juliet Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, Robert Downy Jr

Director: Oliver Stone

This slick and stylish film was based on a story by Tarantino and was quite controversial on it’s release, though the MTV generation related to it.

It’s the story of a couple who go on a murder spree across America, and capture the popular imagination of the public, whilst being chased by a man determined to stop them at any cost. Whilst the good guys in this film are murderers, the bad guys are corrupt and have their own twisted agendas too.

Why Is It A Must See: Oliver Stones film is a strong commentary on the way that violence is idolised through television representation and movies, such that young people can’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy, and have no sense of conscience.

Shot a lot like a music video, with different styles and colours and popular music: black and white juxtaposed with colour, news journalism against animated sequences, sad tales told as though they are sit coms, the lovers believing they’re like Romeo and Juliet. The film is quite unusual and makes some seriously creative moves.

Perhaps based on real life serial killer couples, and the way that American teens in the 90’s were fascinated by them (and the way that people are still fascinated now), the film is amusing in that whilst it’s condemning and lampooning the way that we love violence, it makes for a very entertaining film, does that then undermine Stone’s message? Or make it more pertinent?

See It If: you love the 90’s MTV generation, or if you like slick violent films. It’s quite engrossing and unusual.

2 thoughts on “105 Must See Films: Natural Born Killers (1994)”

  1. I saw this in the theater when it came out, and I loved it. The big debate back then was whether or not it was better than Pulp Fiction (which came out almost exactly the same time). The general consensus was that Pulp Fiction was better, because Tarantino was expressing the creativity of Gen X, and Stone was trying to tap into that in order to make Tarantino’s screenplay relevant to himself. He had hired an assistant to teach him Gen X music, and had taken lots of hallucinogens during the production, probably trying to connect his Vietnam youth with Gen X. So he wasn’t genuine, exactly, at least at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow… great comment, thank you! I remember when this came out too, but as a kid, not quite a teen, I think the controversy about the violence made it seem like a daring film to watch. Nice to hear a different perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

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