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Natural Born Killers Essay

1840 words - 7 pages

Oliver Stone’s 1994 classic, Natural Born Killers, excited and traumatized its audiences while also causing controversy. The tale of white trash lovers caught up in a realm of chaos that includes a continuous murderous rampage from state to state, draws in audiences with its graphic violence and riveting pulse inducing music. Yet, the message of this film seems to be much deeper than just exposing audiences to yet another chaotic action movie filled with guns, blood and mayhem. Stone’s Natural Born Killers examines the subject of media’s investment in serial murder very thoroughly, and so it seems likely that it has the potential to offer a more rigorous interrogation of the nature of the American public’s fascination with the serial killer superstar (Schmid 123). Natural Born Killers is a film that exposes modern society’s obsession with serial killers and how the media aids in the glorifying of these notorious icons. The film also plays into the fact that society while finding murder repulsive are just as sick as the serial killers because the enjoy watching such films.
In Natural Born Killers, Mickey and Mallory the main characters kill 52 people before being caught and imprisoned. Prior to the arrest, the manhunt for them has gained them celebrity and half of the country if not the world are rooting for their triumphant escape form the law. Though their clean getaway is shattered by imprisonment their celebrity persists. When they do break out of prison, in the midst of a riot, their escape is filmed live by the host of a true-crime program.
Naturally Born Killers gets most of its message across visually as all films do. By making use of animation, colored filters, a variety of different types of film stock, in both color and black and white, and numerous other techniques, Stone gives Natural Born Killers a distinctive, psychedelic look that greatly increases its nightmarish quality. The film is so surreal, disorienting, and consistently disturbing that the viewer, mortified by the wild, intoxicating spectacle it reveals to him, is left feeling like a drunk who, having committed some terrible deed, realizes what he has done only when he subsequently looks in dismay at the grisly effects of his actions (Sweeney 156).
Not only is Natural Born Killers is a uniquely-directed feature, because of the wide-range of camera angles, filters, lenses and special effects used during its production but it also films much of the film in what seems to be told from a "television-perspective". The varied aspects of the film that are done in this “television-perspective” or “media vision” bring out the grittiness of the plot. Often time scenes are either in black and white or in what sometimes resembles Technicolor. It makes the audience feel as though they are either watching a documentary or the news for that matter.
Some scenes in Natural Born Killers are satirical of television shows of the time, including a serious-scene which is told in the...

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