My taste in movies is very . . . unique. Instead of heart-tugging romantic comedies, or big-budget action flicks, or gross-out comedies, I always opt for the bizarre disturbing movies that will seriously eff with your head. Some of my favorite movies include Donnie Darko, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Pink Floyd: The Wall. So it was only naturally for me to finally see Oliver Stone's 1994 assault on the senses known as Natural Born Killers.
Call me a sicko, but I thought it was great!
I avoided this movie for years because all I heard was how shocking and violent it was, so I was expecting major blood and guts flying around. The truth is, compared to Dawn of the Dead and the Saw movies, Natural Born Killers isn't that gory. What makes the movie shocking, though, is how the violence is glamorized. Stone isn't trying to encourage people to go on shooting sprees, but he is saying that the media has a sick way of glamorizing violence, so if you find yourself rooting for Mickey and Mallory Knox, don't worry because that's the whole point of the movie.
There's this one scene where the tabloid reporter Wayne Gale is interviewing Mickey for a live TV event. Gale is trying to understand why Mickey and Mallory killed all those people. Mickey downplays the impact of their abusive childhoods, and instead explains it's just nature.
Mickey: It's just murder. All God's creatures do it. You look in the forests and you see species killing other species, our species killing all species including the forests, and we just call it industry, not murder. But I know a lot of people who deserve to die.
Wayne Gale: Why do they deserve to die?
Mickey: I believe they got something in their past, some sin, some awful secret thing. A lot of people walking around out there already dead. They just need to be put out of their misery. That's where I come in. Fate's messenger.
According to Mickey, no one is really innocent; everybody has "the demon" inside. In fact, the characters that are supposed to be the "good guys" in the film--Gale, Jack Scagnetti, and Warden Dwight McClusky--are just as sick and evil as Mickey and Mallory. Scagnetti chokes a hooker to death in a motel room, McClusky is sadistic towards his prisoners, and Gale only cares about one thing: ratings. So Mickey is right: no one is truly innocent.
Maybe that's why we are so fascinated by mass murderers. On one hand we're thinking, "How could anyone do such a thing?" But on the other hand, we recognize a little bit of ourselves in these murderers. We know that rage, anger, hatred, and desire for vengeance. It's in all of us. True, not everyone is going on shooting rampages, but Jesus said hating your brother is just as bad as murder. And if that's true, then I must be Jack the Ripper!
While Natural Born Killers isn't the most spiritually redemptive film in the world, it's a pretty accurate depiction of the depravity of man.