I don’t know what’s more disturbing, two people with a genuine love of killing or an entire country fueling their passion by giving these murders the attention they want. Natural Born Killers may be a little on the extreme side, but the media really is responsible for turning killers into household names. On August 25th you’ll have the opportunity to own the director’s cut of one of the most controversial and sadistic films ever made on DVD and Blu-ray.
You’d think Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) are a typical loving couple, but get on their bad side and all hell breaks loose. Actually, you don’t even have to get on their bad side; around these two, your life is always at risk. From the moment they meet, this duo has only love for each other but rage for just about everyone else. They turn Route 666 into a bloody playground as they carve a trail of mass murder, always leaving one survivor to keep their story alive. Detective Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore) and journalist Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.) are on their trail, not so much to bring them down, but to acquire fame for themselves.
The most disconcerting element of this story created by Quentin Tarantino (although he didn't get screenplay credit) is its twinge of truth. Yes, the film was originally given an NC-17 rating by the MPAA and only granted an R rating after four minutes were cut, but blood and guts aside, this is a sick and twisted reality. People will do anything for national attention, and whether what they’ve done is reputable or deplorable, the country will respond. This is a difficult movie to recommend because it could go either way. You could be completely turned off by the violence and troubling nature of the film or you could find the deeper meaning and honor the film for its novel style. Not only does Oliver Stone manage to throw in a sitcom-like scene, but he also uses a number of unusual but effective camera angles, filters, and even some animation.
Watching the uncut version of this film is the way to go. Not only will you experience Natural Born Killers the way Stone meant it to be seen, but you’ll also get a significant amount of bonus material, which is necessary when you have a movie that’s evoked such a significant amount of controversy. The two-disc DVD and the BD come with a brand new featurette called “NBK Evolution: How it Would All Go Down Now,” which looks at how current technology would have affected Mallory and Mickey’s murder spree; commentary by Oliver Stone including a new introduction; a 44-page booklet, “Chaos Rising – The Storm Around Natural Born Killers”; an alternate ending; and alternate/deleted scenes. I don’t want to support serial killing, but spending the $28.99 on the Blu-ray or the $20.97 on the DVD edition is probably worth it.