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Natural Born Killers (1994)

R | | Crime, Drama | 26 August 1994 (USA)
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Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

Quentin Tarantino (story), David Veloz (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
672 ( 15)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Harrelson ... Mickey Knox
Juliette Lewis ... Mallory Knox
Tom Sizemore ... Det. Jack Scagnetti
Rodney Dangerfield ... Ed Wilson, Mallory's Dad
Everett Quinton Everett Quinton ... Deputy Warden Wurlitzer
Jared Harris ... London Boy
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Deputy Warden Kavanaugh
Edie McClurg ... Mallory's Mom
Russell Means ... Old Indian
Lanny Flaherty ... Earl
O-Lan Jones ... Mabel
Robert Downey Jr. ... Wayne Gale
Richard Lineback ... Sonny
Kirk Baltz ... Roger
Ed White ... Pinball Cowboy
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Storyline

Mickey Knox and Mallory Wilson aren't your typical lovers - after killing her abusive father, they go on a road trip where, every time they stop somewhere, they kill pretty well everyone around them. They do however leave one person alive at every shootout to tell the story and they soon become a media sensation thanks to sensationalized reporting. Told in a highly visual style. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the media circus of life, they were the main attraction. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for extreme violence and graphic carnage, for shocking images, and for strong language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Navajo | Japanese

Release Date:

26 August 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Natural Born Killers See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,166,687, 28 August 1994

Gross USA:

$50,282,766

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,282,766
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director of Photography Robert Richardson hated the script, and didn't want anything to do with the film, but Oliver Stone used their close friendship to persuade him to accept the job. For numerous reasons, Richardson called shooting the film a "nightmare" and one of the worst experiences of his life. The story brought up bad memories from his childhood, leading to insomnia, and a dependence on sleeping pills, throughout the entire shoot. During location scouting, his wife Monona Wali nearly died from an illness (and they later came close to divorcing because of the film). While filming a difficult scene, he broke his finger, and the replacement cameraman cut his eye. Near the end of shooting, his brother went into a coma. However, Richardson has said that all of these problems actually provided him with the creative energy he needed to shoot the film. See more »

Goofs

Shadows of the camera/cameraman can be seen sporadically during the final sequence. See more »

Quotes

Wayne's Wife: Now who the hell is Ming?
Wayne Gale: Ming? Ming is a fucking resturant!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are superimposed over a vast amount of stock footage, ranging from the future of Mickey and Mallory, stock A-Bomb tests, childhood photos of Mickey and Mallory, time-lapse footage, scenes from the movie, and so on. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Director's Cut was originally released by Vidmark Video, after Warner Bros. refused to distribute it because of a company policy that won't allow them to release unrated or NC-17 rated tapes (the Director's Cut was unrated). The Warner Bros. logo was thus removed from the beginning of the film. However, in 2009, Warner Bros. did release their own edition of the Director's Cut, in which the logo was restored. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Business End: Violence in Cinema (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Wrong Side of Relaxation
Written and Performed by Barry Adamson
Courtesy of Mute Records
by arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Was it worth all the controversy?
3 July 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Mickey and Mallory Knox are lovers. She is beaten and abused by her father until Mickey rescues her by killing them. Bound together by blood they go on a killing spree across Middle America. As they go they become media celebrities as the television crews glamorise what they do. However it isn't long before they are caught and sent to prison. However a live television interview with Mickey offers him the chance to turn events to his advantage.

Stone's film was cursed with controversy in the UK. Mostly because it was seen as glamorising or trivialising serial killers but also because it had been originally a script by Tarantino, who had already had one film banned in the UK at this point. The media frenzy was uncalled for because really the film takes swipes at the media for the way they build killers up into minor stars, with column inches and TV specials etc. However the film benefited from the hype by covering over the fact that it isn't really a very good film!

The first half is mainly them killing people, and can get pretty unpleasant and relentless to watch. The second half allows for more comment on the media etc and is better for it – despite still having violence glamorised to some extent. The film is Stone trying to be hip and almost getting it. He uses comic book images and inter-cut shots of violence etc to show what's in the characters heads during the film. It is quite well done but doesn't feel like Stone.

Sadly his content lets him down. Only bits of the second half feel like he's making some kind of point and this is almost nullified by the fact that the violence of the first half is so well put together and full of clever ideas (like basing them on old TV shows) that it could be accused on being hypocritical by attacking the media for glamorising killers. However he does get good performances.

Woody Harrelson (Woody in Cheers! What have they done to you?) is really good if a little too convincing. Lewis is OK but I always find her whiney voice to be irritating. Solid roles are put in by the support cast – and they are used to illustrate the points made in the second half. Robert Downey Jnr is great, Tom Sizemore is good and Tommy Lee Jones just plays a cartoon character.

As a pop-culture movie it's worth watching as the video editing etc is really effective (even if it does feel like an old man trying to fit in), however as social comment it is bogus and has been done better elsewhere. The second half is worth watching but sadly this means having to sit through the whole first hour.

Overall this only made money in the UK because the media frenzy around it where all the `we'll all be killed in our beds' tabloids made a big deal out of it. Without that this would have been a failed message movie that falls into the very trap that it criticises others for – glamorising violence and murderers. Worth watching for the visual effects and nothing more.


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