Without this, there would be no Blair Witch Project, or anything with hand-held cameras.
Spoofing reality television, a fascinated documentary crew follows a charismatic yet unrepentant serial killer (Benoit Poelvoorde) on his murder sprees. The crew attempts to objectively document the horror, but as the violence escalates, they ultimately get sucked into participating.
The film starts off with showing us a murder that this dude commits, and right away you get a sense of what this film is going to be all about: bloody, disturbing, mockumentary.
I’ll give most of the credit to this film for actually doing its best job, even at such a small budget. There is a lot of writing here that still sticks with us almost 17 years after the film was completed. The themes about how reality TV makes all these terrible people look like superstars, has us murdering the normal people in the world. Behind all of the grisly killings, there is actually a couple of good dark laughs, mostly like real life, where not everything is so damn serious.
I have to say that this movie is probably one of the most disturbing films I have seen in a long time. I know it’s not a real documentary, and this dude is made up, and these people aren’t actually murdered like this, but it all seemed so real and that’s why it was effective. Some of the killings are so random and disgusting, that you just have to turn your head. As the murders keep piling on, the viewer starts to feel what the “film crew” starts to feel, utter and total disbelief of whats going on, but still amazed at the same time.
I had a couple of problems with this film however, mostly being other people’s problems too. I feel like the killer’s motives were never ever really told. I mean we do eventually get a little montage of this guy talking about how much the world is a desecrating place cause of problems, yadda yadda yadda. But we never really fully understand as to why this guy kills so many freakin’ people at random. Also, it kinds of hard to believe that this guy wouldn’t at least once get caught with a murder. i mean sometimes his killings are so sloppy, and ill-prepared, that somebody had to have at least found out about him sometime.
Benoit Poelvoorde is not a very well-known actor to us Americans, because he’s always taking appearances in French films, and its a shame, cause here is some real talent. Just like Michael Rooker, from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, he starts out all charming and normal, but as soon as you see him commit these murders hes a totally different person.
Consensus: Man Bites Dog may have its problems with the motives of its main killer, but is so so brilliantly acted, directed, and written, that almost everything you see in this film, no matter how disturbing, all seems so real.