Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Man Bites Dog

A long time coming:

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Man Bites Dog has been suggested to me a few times now and, with the offer of a free copy of it, to my doorstep in about a week, I couldn’t say no. Knowing my incredible fondness and interest in all things morose (particularly serial killers and bloodlust (relax)), a lot of people who recommended the movie felt it was right on the money. Even though I hate the French, people were still adamant that I’d love this one. Now, usually when people claim I’ll love something, I hate it by default but this, this my friends, is a different story.

This movie is pure genius and it ranks right next to (slightly above or below, I can’t decide) American Psycho. The opening scene (after the train murder) is fan-fucking-tastic and it even relates to a hot topic we’ve all been discussing lately: Midgets.

Leaning over a corpse wrapped in a sheet, our main character Ben, enlightens us on the technicalities of sinking a dead body, “…You may not be aware that a corpse under water swells up with air, see? So it tends to float to the surface… There’s a ballast ratio for corpses: 3 times body weight for an average adult, like this victim, but for children and midgets it’s different. Kids are lighter so it’s 4 times body weight. Midgets are heavier, so you double the weight. Midgets have denser bones… For old people multiply by five. Old bones are porous.”

The movie is filmed as a fake documentary (mockumentary) about Ben, a serial killer who is more than happy to tell all about his profession. The movie is similar to American Psycho in the way that it takes the topic of murder and death rather lightly and the jokes, probably offensive, just roll off the tongue naturally and freely. It’s also similar to This is Spinal Tap, not just because it’s a mockumentary, but because of the curse of the soundman/drummer and the partly non-chalant reaction of the crew/band to the inevitable doom of their members.

The movie was basically made by three film school buddies on a shoe string budget and therefore, it doesn’t have the look of a major Hollywood picture. The film’s directors work around this by making the movie about guys with no cash, giving it an excuse to lack frills and gimmicks. It’s filmed with black and white, in French with English subtitles… Don’t let that stop you! Let it encourage you to broaden your horizons and all that shit.

More quotes, because Ben’s philosophizing gets me off:

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“Take the train station murder. The restroom murder. Who got the headlines? Who? The Dental Mechanic! And the toilet attendant didn’t even get a single line! Little guys don’t make waves. If you kill a whale, you get Greenpeace and Jacques Cousteau on your back! But wipe out sardines and you get a canning subsidy. I go for the small fry.”

And this one is my absolute favourite (because I find racism utterly hilarious!). After shooting a night watchman:

“Those bastards! A black night watchman! What a dirty trick. So you can’t see him! Who would ever sink so low? I bet he grew up under the baobabs and here he is on a work site. Makes me sick. They try to get away with murder… Let’s go sink this Mubutu. A handsome fella’ to boot. But I’m warning you, I won’t touch him.”
“Why not?”
“AIDS, Remy… AIDS. Green Monkeys. Grab him by the galoshes, but I won’t touch him…”

Remy drags the guard away

“Here’s our golden opportunity. To see if that legend about their size is true. Remy! Pull his pants down. We’ll know in a jiffy! …Good lord. He’s really well hung. You can wrap it up now, it’s disgusting! The kid is barely 18 and already hung like a polar bear.”

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This movie is so ironic, it’s beautiful. Now I have to thank Eponymous for sending it my way and not taking the opportunity to kill me with anthrax, as I’m sure it was tempting.

Ps. Obviously I have a dark sense of humour. If you enjoyed American Psycho, it’s a safe bet you’ll like this one.
Pps. I was disappointed with the ending. Probably because I developed a big crush on Ben.

34 comments:

CraigS said...

Sounds very much in the vein of those Guy Ritchie films. I'll have to see if they have it at the local DVD store.

Q. Why do you think people find gangster movies so fascinating? Think Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Snatch, Goodfellas, Casino etc etc

eponymous said...

Apparently, my anthrax wasn't properly weaponized. But, I do know where you live now...

Matt Reynolds said...

Man Bites Dog -- friends of mine used to be mad about that film. I like the part where they get chase a documentary crew making a movie about a rival serial killer.

Got to say that I'm not a big fan of the movie. I admire the fact that they made it on a shoestring and the concept is a good one -- it just never really did it for me.

Elohimus Maximus said...

craigs, it is a sin to have a drawing instead of a picture...repent for blogging.
God 71
sinners 0
TCOJCOEMLDS

Anonymous Midwest Girl said...

Okay, you totally sold me. I have to see it now.

CraigS said...

Uh, ok. How do I repent?

Pro Bowler said...

I like the part where he said the thing about killing a whale. I killed a whale once....whales, like the french, are fags.

Anonymous said...

The french are cool, leave them alone.

-Captain Moody

G-Man said...

Nicely done.
If it's even remotely close to American Psycho, it's gotta be great.

Captain Moodys Pimp said...

Captain Moody - Only french people think french people are cool. Go fuck yourself. Il fait beau.

The Moviequill said...

adds it to Netflix even though I don't parlay vu de frenchie (wife slaps head) "they have subtitles now you know"

Noh Dancer said...

Well, thanks for the review. There will be one I won't be watching :)

I only watch subtitled films if the original is Japanese or malaysian[spelling?].

And Noodle just pointed out to me that Elo needs to share the chicks and get a real pix himself :) Rock on Craigs.

All Hail Noodle!

A Sheltered Town said...

Jap movies suck shit. Just my humble opinion.

Elohimus Maximus said...

The Lord commandeth that:

craigs should get a real picture of himself and eat 20 raw noodles to honor demi-God "noodle"

The french are the nicest people in europe and they should continue to speak french.

The prophet of the only true church will now stop hogging all the chicks...turn away from his sinful ways and share chicks with other worthy males en an vulgus orgia.

eponymous must change his name becuase it sounds too much like elohimus.

God 88
sinners 0
TCOJCOEMLDS

CraigS said...

It is a real picture - its just had a filter applied

CraigS said...

Maybe this is a little better...

Christopher Trottier said...

That looks like a movie I may want to see.

Angus said...

I think I'll check this one out.

"Even though I hate the French, people were still adamant that I’d love this one. Now, usually when people claim I’ll love something, I hate it by default"

Fair enough. Did the Frenchness of it bother you too much?

CraigS said...

The local shop only has it in VHS. What century are these people living in?

A Sheltered Town said...

No, it wasn't very French. It was filmed in Belgium, I believe, not France.

Elohimus Maximus said...

The brugge bell tower is quite wonderful...except the stairs to get up it are hard and they have ropes so you don't fall down all 300 something stairs. The Lord commandeth anyone visiting Belgium to go to Brugge and make a pilgrimage up to the top of the bell tower.
God 98
sinners 0
TCOJCOEMLDS

Another Bystander in a World of Dementia said...

Why does everyone hate the French?

Is it the language?

Cause I hate the language.
I'm mortal enemies with my French teacher...

But other than that, I think that the French have a wonderful country with beautiful architechture.

Sure they might come off as being snotty and total jerks with large egos...

And they often think that Americans and the English are barbaric and declasse..

But couldnt that be a movie
stereo-type? How many of you guys have actually met a real French person?

I think demosthenes is French.
The fact that he hasnt commented on this blog even if he is one of its regular commentators strikes me as odd..

That takes me back to my first question.

Why does everyone hate the French?

eponymous said...

Why does everyone hate the French?

Because they dare to be almost as arrogant as Americans. Americans, insecure and uncouth as they are, hate that.

your friend Si said...

It's been a couple of years since I've seen Man Bites Dog but you've reminded me how much I like it.
I can't decide whether it would go above or below American Psycho, maybe above cos it's a touch darker. (it's NOTHING like anything that shitmonger Guy Ritchie would do)

At last someone else who doesn't like Japanese cinema :) I'm quite happy for Quentin Tarantino to filter out the good bits for me.

CraigS said...

Si man, can you explain "Napolean Dynamite" to me? I just dont get why so man people rave about that movie...

There was only one funny joke in the whole thing...

Dead Midget said...

Napolean Dynamite was funny because the main character was a redhead....and redheads are fucked up, similar to the french and whales, only with freckles.

your friend Si said...

I know theres only 1 joke in Napoleon Dynamite but it last for 90 minutes. I don't really know why its so good but it just is.

Supermans Foot said...

yuo've got me really exciteed bout seeing it damn you

CraigS said...

Its been a week, time for another review...

The Constipated Writer said...

I'll have to see it, if not for your love of American Psycho alone.

Andy said...

Good review of "Man Bites Dog" I also dug the "Spinal Tap"-ness of it. In Harold and Kumar's defense...it is one of those throw in your player comedies that I don't need to think through. Kind of like those paintings in dentist's offices everyone can paint that good and therefore those paintings are cheap. Anyone could have made Harold and Kumar so it is also cheap...but it is good brain dead fun.

Used Tampon said...

A Sheltered Town's opinion on Jap movies sucks shit. Just my humble opinion.

Used Tampon said...

You forgot to mention Remy's break down and cry sessions, my favorite part of the movie and a model for my Saturday nights.

Used Tampon said...

Hey Andy, hook me up with a dentist's office for my shitty paintings please.
Wow triple post, that deserves a vertical slit.