Harrowing, visceral and definitely not for the squeamish, the fake documentary approach is an effective and unsettling tool, and while the film never quite reaches the horrific heights of John McNaughton's chilling Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, it is, for better or worse, difficult to forget.
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The film's depicted cruelties (the rape and disembowelment of a woman, a pillow suffocation of a boy after Poelvoorde has chased the terrified tyke through the house) grossly overshadow their satiric purposes.
Obviously not a movie for everyone, Man Bites Dog boasts graphic displays of murder and rape. There's very little of the human body -- inside or out -- that isn't shown at one time or another during the course of this movie. Nevertheless, if you do venture to see Man Bites Dog, you would have to be made out of stone to miss the visceral, sardonic impact of a highly-unusual film.
Man Bites Dog defines audacity. An assured, seductive chamber of horrors, it marries nightmare with humor and then abruptly takes the laughter away. Intentionally disturbing, it is close to the last word about the nature of violence on film, a troubling, often funny vision of what the movies have done to our souls.
An offbeat, darkly hilarious portrait.
Is it a comedy? A documentary? An underground gore-fest? Man Bites Dog, the first feature film from Belgian director Rémy Belvaux, is all of these and much more, a ghastly, shocking and explosive debut with all the genuinely ruthless ability to disturb as an oily blue-barreled revolver jammed in your mouth. And it's funny, too.
It’s a sick piece of work—I felt like a heel for watching it, yet I couldn’t look away, either.
A grisly sick joke of a film that some will find funny, others simply appalling. On one level, it is an in-joke about movie making, since one reason given for Ben's rampage is the need to steal enough money to make the documentary. On another level, the film satirizes real-life television shows that purport to take viewers into the thick of the action. It suggests how profoundly the presence of the camera affects events, and thumbs its nose at the very notion of documentary objectivity.