Why is it that the serial killer comedy genre never quite took off? If a Pauly Shore or a Carrot Top can find a niche, then why can’t a loveable, wisecracking murderer win over the movie going public?
One of the more controversial foreign films of the 1990’s, “Man Bites Dog” is also one of the finest commentaries on violence in the media we are ever likely to see… and it is funny as hell. The film follows the exploits of a documentary film crew as they observe a serial killer named Ben (Benoit Poelvoorde) as he goes about his work. Along the way, Ben takes out time to explain his philosophies, and some of the tricks of his particular trade (such as the art of properly weighing down a body, how to save bullets, etc.). The audience learns quickly as Ben murders victim after victim, that he is not only a rather entertaining fellow but he is actually a funny, likeable guy who just happens to be a serial killer. We don’t exactly know why any of this is funny and you may even begin to think there is something wrong with you for thinking so, but there is no denying that it is indeed hilarious.
The film is shot in a grainy and white documentary style that lends to both the intimacy and absurdity of the various situations. Included in the special edition DVD is the short film “No C4 for Daniel-Daniel”, which is sort of an extended trailer / parody of a non-existent spy movie, along with some other strong extras.
“Man Bites Dog” is exactly the kind of movie that is used as a whipping boy for various, self-serving, violence in the media causes awhile serving as a strong indictment of such nonsense causes. Those who are a bit squeamish will undoubtedly have a problem with the blatancy of the on screen violence, but for those who can appreciate the ultra-black comedy, the film is a gem. It is one of those great, weird films that you will enjoy showing to friends and loved ones just to see how they react.