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Прирожденные убийцы (1994) watch online HD

Прирожденные убийцы (1994) watch online HD
  • Original title:Natural Born Killers
  • Category:Movie / Crime / Drama
  • Released:1994
  • Director:Oliver Stone
  • Actors:Woody Harrelson,Juliette Lewis,Tom Sizemore
  • Writer:Quentin Tarantino,David Veloz
  • Budget:$34,000,000
  • Duration:1h 58min
  • Video type:Movie

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Short summary

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.
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.

Trailers "Прирожденные убийцы (1994)"

During filming, Juliette Lewis actually broke Tom Sizemore's nose when she slammed Scagnetti's face into the wall.

Coca-Cola approved the use of the Polar Bear ads for its product in the movie without having a full idea of what the movie was about; when the Board of Directors saw the finished product, they were furious.

According to Oliver Stone, Rodney Dangerfield didn't understand the film during shooting, and didn't understand what Stone was trying to do by shooting such a dark subject, as a father molesting his daughter, in the style of a 1950s sitcom. As such, he found it very difficult to perform his part. However, Stone was delighted that when the film came out, Dangerfield's performance was hailed as one of the movie's strongest points.

Quentin Tarantino claimed to hate the final version of the film, up until meeting Johnny Cash in an elevator once. Cash told Tarantino that both he and his wife June were fans of his and that they especially liked this movie. Tarantino also stated that the fact that the producers allowed him to publish his original screenplay helped him get over his hate, as his main concern was that viewers would credit him with material he had no hand in creating, and would not have created at all.

Trent Reznor watched the film over fifty times to "get in the mood" for mixing the soundtrack.

In an infamous incident after the film had been released, Oliver Stone and Time Warner were sued by Patsy Byers, with the support of author and Producer John Grisham. In March 1995, eighteen-year-old Sarah Edmondson and her boyfriend Benjamin Darras (also eighteen) allegedly dropped acid and watched this movie. Later that night, Sarah shot and paralyzed Byers, a store clerk in Ponchatoula, and Benjamin killed cotton gin Manager William Savage in Hernando, Mississippi. John Grisham was a personal friend of Savage's, and after the murder, Grisham publicly accused Oliver Stone of being irresponsible in making the film, arguing that filmmakers should be held accountable for their work when it incites violent behavior. Byers decided to take legal action against Stone and the studio, and supported by Grisham, she used a "product liability" claim in the lawsuit, which argued that Stone had incited the teenagers to commit the crime. Initially, the case was dismissed in January 1997, on the grounds that filmmakers and production companies are protected by the First Amendment. However, in May 1998, the Intermediate Louisiana Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's decision, and the case went ahead. The attorneys for Byers' attempted to prove that Oliver Stone and Time Warner were culpable in the murder and in Byers' injury because they had purposefully meant to incite violence by "distributing a film they knew, or should have known would cause and inspire people to commit crimes." All of Hollywood eagerly awaited the outcome of the trial, because if Stone was found guilty, it would mean a drastic reexamination of the industry practices and would carry all kinds of far reaching implications as regards the content of movies. However, in a landmark decision, Byers' action was thrown out of court in March 2001, and its dismissal was rubber-stamped by the Louisiana Court of Appeal in June 2002.

During filming, Oliver Stone would play African tribal music at full blast on the set, as a way of keeping a frantic mood.

The color green is used to indicate the sickness in Mickey's (Woody Harrelson's) mind and shows up prominently several times during the film: the key lime pie at the diner, the green neon at the drugstore, the green room in the prison.

The prison riot was filmed at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois. Eighty percent of the prisoners there, are there for violent crimes. For the first two of four weeks on-location, the extras were actual inmates with rubber weapons. For the other two weeks, over two hundred extras had to be brought in, because the Stateville inmates had been placed on lockdown.

The camera never angles on a straight, horizontal level throughout the whole film.

Over one hundred fifty rattlesnakes, real and fake, were used for the scene when Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) tread through the snake field. Initially there were concerns that the actor and actress would being working too close to so many venomous snakes. But since the scene was filmed at night (when temperatures in the desert are significantly cooler), and since snakes (like all cold-blooded animals) are very sluggish in colder temperatures, most of the rattlesnakes slept through the filming of the scene.

Oliver Stone has always maintained that the film is a satire on how serial killers are adored by the media for their horrific actions, and that those who claim the violence in the movie itself is a cause of societal violence have missed the point of the movie entirely.

During Mickey's escape from prison during the tornado, there is a shot where a convict falls under a galloping horse. This was completely genuine, as the stuntman really did lose his footing and fall under the horse. Fortunately, he was uninjured.

Eighteen different film formats are seen in the finished film.

In the mess hall in the prison, a bald white man is staring at a black man, prompting the black man to try to attack him, before being intercepted by Warden McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones). The bald man was a real prisoner, who had been convicted of murdering his wife and children by beating them to death with a lead pipe. Oliver Stone gave him a featured role, because he said the man's stoicism terrified him.

According to Oliver Stone, the use of television commercials was an attempt to illustrate the comforting power such commercials have. Every commercial comes after a horrific moment or a flash cut of a demon, and Stone's idea was that commercials work to soothe people after they have been exposed to something extreme.

Oliver Stone calls the frequent cuts to black and white, where dialogue is often repeated with a slightly different intonation, "vertical cutting". Stone explains that the idea behind the technique is to create an outer moment (the color footage) and an inner moment (the black and white footage) at the same time. For example, he explains this in relation to the waitress in the opening scene (O-Lan Jones), who while taking Mickey's order in the "outer" scene, is actually flirting with him (or thinking about flirting with him) in the "inner" scene. Also, in the opening scene, when the cowboy (James Gammon) refers to Mallory as "pussy", there is a flash cut to Mickey covered in blood; this is Mickey's "inner" moment.

Took only fifty-six days to shoot.

This film contains almost three thousand cuts. Most films have six hundred to seven hundred. Negative cutter Donah Bassett cut four thousand negative images into the film, the most complex job ever undertaken by a negative cutter.

Michael Madsen was initially considered for the role of Mickey, but Warner Brothers wanted somebody less intimidating, and with a softer persona, as they felt this might alleviate the brutality of the character somewhat.

The editing of the film took eleven months.

When putting together the music for the film, Oliver Stone and soundtrack Producer Trent Reznor wanted to get Snoop Dogg involved, but Warner Brothers wouldn't allow it, as Dogg was on trial for murder at the time.

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.

Entertainment Weekly ranked the film as the eighth most controversial movie ever made.

Oliver Stone wanted Juliette Lewis to bulk up for the role of Mallory so that she looked tougher, but Lewis refused, saying she wanted the character to look like a pushover, not like a female bodybuilder. In the end, Stone agreed, but he insisted she take kick-boxing lessons so that she looked credible when fighting.

The film features Rodney Dangerfield's only dramatic performance.

Woody Harrelson, in an interview, spoke about the rape scene between Mickey and the hostage he takes. He expressed his hope that Oliver Stone had not added any additional footage of the controversial part into the Director's Cut. He was promptly told on camera that Stone had indeed done so.

Steve Buscemi and Tim Roth were both offered the role of Wayne Gale, and turned it down. Jane Hamsher claims in her book about the movie, that they did so because Quentin Tarantino told them he would never cast either of them in any of his movies again, if they took the role.

Robert Downey, Jr. spent time with Australian television shock-king Steve Dunleavy to prepare for the role of Wayne Gale, and when he came back with an Australian accent, the filmmakers decided to go with it, and Gale became an Australian.

The story told on "American Maniacs" about Mickey killing a cop after asking him for directions is taken almost verbatim from a story made up by J. Edgar Hoover in the 1930s about bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker to try to quash the public's growing favorable opinion of the pair. According to Hoover, Barrow approached an Oklahoma City officer, asked for directions and then blew his head off with a shotgun. The story fell apart, though, when questions were raised as to how, if the officer was alone when he was killed, Hoover could possibly have determined that it was Barrow who killed him, as there were no witnesses to the "murder".

Oliver Stone's least favorite scene in the film is when Mickey overpowers the prison guards after the interview with Wayne Gale is terminated. Stone feels that the device of having Mickey distract the guards by telling a joke is too unrealistic.

After Quentin Tarantino had written the script, he promised his friend Rand Vossler, a fellow clerk at Video Archives, the director's chair. The pair couldn't find funding, and eventually decided to shoot it guerrilla-style (without permits) on the streets of Los Angeles, on black and white 16mm film stock. Shortly before production, Oliver Stone found the script and wanted to buy it. In exchange for giving up his directorial debut, Rand is credited as a co-producer.

Oliver Stone says that his biggest regret about the film is the fact that he had to cut out most of Pruitt Taylor Vince's performance as the prison guard Kavanaugh. As filmed, Kavanaugh becomes a comic character, who Mickey uses as a shield while moving through the prison, and who ends up being shot sixteen times by the time Mickey meets Warden McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones) at the stairs. In the finished version of the film, you don't actually see Kavanaugh being shot at all, prior to the stairs. Stone says he was forced to cut much of this, because the studio insisted that the movie be under two hours. Strangely however, the footage of Kavanaugh was not restored by Stone for his Director's Cut, nor was it included as a deleted scene on the DVD.

The idea for the image of the headless man came to Oliver Stone in a dream.

When producers Jane Hamsher and Don Murphy first brought Quentin Tarantino's screenplay to Oliver Stone's attention, Stone's initial idea was to make a lighthearted all-action blockbuster. His previous film, Небо и земля (1993), had been a difficult shoot which had failed at the box-office, and he saw this movie as a way to make a fun movie and play with genre conventions. As he puts it himself in Chaos Rising: The Storm Around 'Natural Born Killers' (2001), he planned to make "something Arnold Schwarzenegger would be proud of." As the project developed however, Stone found the movie getting deeper and deeper, and soon all hopes for a simple action spectacular were gone.

This was Quentin Tarantino's second feature length screenplay (his first was Настоящая любовь (1993)). The script was re-written by Director Oliver Stone, Producer Richard Rutowski, and Screenwriter David Veloz prior to, and during production. The finished film bears little resemblance to Tarantino's original script.

Mickey Knox is named after actor Mickey Knox, who wrote the English dialogue for Хороший, плохой, злой (1966) and Однажды на Диком Западе (1968), Quentin Tarantino's favorite westerns.

Oliver Stone met with singer Tori Amos and openly offered her the part of Mallory. Early in her career, Amos had been pursing acting as well as singing. She was interested, until he explained he also wanted to have her song "Me and a Gun" play during each scene where Mallory kills someone. The song is an a capella account of Amos' real-life rape. In response, Amos slapped him across the face and stormed out. Amos details this story in her autobiography "All These Years". She also references the incident in her hit song "A Sorta Fairytale", with the lyrics: "Feel better with Oliver Stone until I almost smacked him; it seemed right that night."

Tom Sizemore plays Detective Jack Scagnetti in this film. The name "Scagnetti" was also mentioned as the name of Mr. Blonde's parole officer in Бешеные псы (1992), also written by Quentin Tarantino.

Tommy Lee Jones has said that his over-the-top performance was partly inspired by Molière's play 'Le Bourgeois gentilhomme'; a satirical look at social climbing and the bizarre things people will do to achieve fame.

Owen (Arliss Howard), the inmate that helps Mickey and Mallory out of the prison, is shown in the first scene. He is at a table reading a newspaper that reads "666 death". He is only shown for a second. He is also seen in the prison as Wayne Gale (Robert Downey, Jr.) tells Warden McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones) how famous he could become; Owen is mopping the floor behind them as they walk past a cell.

During the scene where Micky and Mallory take a hostage to a motel room, the films Midnight Express (1978) and Лицо со шрамом (1983) are showing on television. Oliver Stone wrote the screenplays to both films.

The drugstore scene was filmed in an Albuquerque building, that was a real drugstore, that had closed just prior to filming. The original fixtures and pharmacy area were still in the store, making set-up very easy. The sign above the door was added for the movie, and was still there several months after filming ended. The building is now a Hobby Lobby. One thousand green fluorescent bulbs were used to light the scene.

When Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore) goes into Mallory's cell, and throughout this scene, you can read two different paragraphs above the door in the cell, and below Mallory, on the bedside. The one near the door reads: "Come let's away / to prison we two / alone will sing / like birds in a cage." This is from 'King Lear', a play written by William Shakespeare, as Lear and his daughter Cordelia are being taken away to prison. The other paragraph reads: "He is coming! He is coming! / Like a bridegroom from his room / Came the hero from his prison / To the scaffold and the doom." These lines are from the poem "The Execution Of Montrose" by William Edmondstoune Aytoun.

For the numerous scenes involving rear projection, the projected footage was shot prior to principal photography, then edited together, and projected live onto the stage, behind the live actors and actresses. For example, when Mallory drives past a building and flames are projected onto the wall, this was shot live using footage projected onto the façade of a real building.

The interview between Wayne Gale (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Mickey (Woody Harrelson) was based upon Geraldo Rivera's interviews with Charles Manson and the infamous Mike Wallace interview with Manuel Noriega.

Senator Bob Dole publicly denounced the film for its promotion of violence, even though, as he was later forced to admit, he had never actually seen the film.

Mallory's line to Scagnetti about him being "so specific" when he asks her to pinch his nipple was improvised by Juliette Lewis on-set.

Rodney Dangerfield wrote all the "filthy stuff" his character said. Oliver Stone didn't give the comedian a script. He simply told Dangerfield he was going to play "the father from Hell".

The main characters are loosely based on Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate, a young Nebraska couple, who in 1958, embarked on a mass murder spree across the Midwest, that horrified the country. The characters in Terrence Malick's Пустоши (1973) are also loosely based on Starkweather and Fugate.

The scene where the police beat up Mickey and Mallory at the pharmacy was purposely shot as a take on the Rodney King incident.

The bridge where Mickey and Mallory get married, is the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge over the Rio Grande Gorge, outside of Taos, New Mexico.

The title card for the film is an homage to Roger Corman.

Woody Harrelson said he was cast because Oliver Stone told him he had the look of violence in his eyes.

Robert Downey, Jr. and Tom Sizemore served time in prison, for drug-related offenses.

(At around twenty-seven minutes) According to a newspaper article seen briefly, Mickey and Mallory's murder spree began on May 7, 1993.

In late 1994, the film was banned from theatrical distribution in Ireland. The Irish Film Centre, which is a membership club, and not subject to the same rules as public theaters, booked the film and had it scheduled to screen for a month long run in early 1995. The film censorship board threatened legal action if the film was shown, and it was withdrawn.

Acclaimed as the number one film of the 1990s by Entertainment Weekly.

Scagnetti's (Tom Sizemore) story about how his mother was killed, was based upon a real-life incident involving one of America's first mass murderers, Charles Whitman, who shot people randomly from the University Tower in Austin, Texas, in 1966.

In the UK, the film's video release was to be the same week that Thomas Hamilton walked into a primary school, in the Scottish town of Dunblane, and killed sixteen children and a teacher, before killing himself. Warner Brothers immediately went to the British Board of Film Classification to take another look at the certification granted the film. The BBFC however stood by their decision, so Warner Brothers took it upon themselves to withhold video release. Thus, when the film had its television premiere on the UK's channel 5 two years later, it became one of the few films to be broadcast on television, without having a video release beforehand.

Gary Oldman and James Woods were considered for the role of Jack Scagnetti.

A scene featuring Denis Leary, doing a crazed monologue, was cut from the film. However, it can be found be on the DVD.

Deputy Sheriff Duncan Homolka's (Joe Grifasi's) name is a reference to Karla Homolka who, with her husband Paul Bernardo, murdered two teenage girls and her own sister.

Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 25 Most Dangerous Movies".

The unique look of the film was based upon Arthur Penn's Бонни и Клайд (1967), one of Oliver Stone's favorite movies. In particular, Stone was influenced by the famous death scene, which used innovative editing techniques provided by multiple cameras shooting from different angles at different speeds. Stone had used similar, although considerably more restrained, techniques in his previous two films, Джон Ф. Кеннеди: Выстрелы в Далласе (1991) and Небо и земля (1993), and would continue to employ these techniques for his next two films, Никсон (1995) and Поворот (1997).

The film was originally going to be shot in Panavision, as Oliver Stone's previous four films had been, but he decided that it should be framed in standard 1.85:1. The Panavision E-Series anamorphic lenses that had been reserved for the film were used to shoot Дело о пеликанах (1993) instead.

The red glasses Mickey wears during the opening scene of the movie are reminiscent of chicken glasses, tiny red glasses once sold to farmers to keep their chickens from murdering one another. The red glass kept the chickens from seeing the color red, or more specifically, blood. For some strange reason, when chickens see red, they peck at it. If they see red on a chicken in the flock, they gang together and peck at the bloody spot until the offending chicken is dead. Conversely, in that opening scene, once Mickey and Mallory saw red, they didn't stop until almost everyone was dead. Industrialization now keeps chickens pinned up, and incapable of getting at one another, so chicken glasses are no longer used.

According to Tom Sizemore, he got the part of Detective Jack Scagnetti after writing a monologue for the character, which he made Oliver Stone listen to in the parking lot of a bar. In addition to reading up on Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy, he got clean for ninety-seven days before filming. Unfortunately, the sobriety didn't last.

Robert De Niro and Juliette Lewis had worked together on Cape Fear (1991). When De Niro praised her work in the film, Lewis explained that she improvised most of her lines, which De Niro did not like. He admonished the young actress for disrespecting the film's writers.

Mickey calls Mallory "Mal". In Spanish, "Mal" is the common word for "evil".

Chris Penn turned down the role of Jack Scagnetti in favor of Настоящая любовь (1993), which was also written by Quentin Tarantino.

John Cusack turned down the role of Wayne Gale.

Rosanna Arquette pursued the role of Mallory.

The car featured in the film is a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T convertible.

Rodney Dangerfield and Robert Downey, Jr. appeared in Back to School (1986).

Oliver Stone offered Jack Palance the role of Warden McClusky, He turned it down, due to the violence in the script.

An urban legend states that Rodney Dangerfield refused to shoot the brief black-and-white shot in which Mallory's father gropes her buttocks, either out of respect for his co-star, or because he felt it was too disturbing, and that the hands seen on-screen do not belong to him. In fact, the hands and the buttocks in this shot belong to body doubles. Accounts vary as to whether Rodney Dangerfield, Juliette Lewis, or both refused to film the scene, if the scene was a last-minute addition for which one or both were unavailable, or if it was always intended to use doubles.

According to an early draft of the script, this movie was originally intended to be directed by Rand Vossler, until Oliver Stone came to the project and Vossler ended up being a co-Producer. The story behind this change in directors was chronicled in the book "Killer Instinct" written by Producer Jane Hamsher.

Principal photography took only fifty-six days to shoot, but editing went on for eleven months.

The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Tommy Lee Jones and Steven Wright; and three Oscar nominees: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, and Robert Downey, Jr.

Oliver Stone considered this to be his road film, specifically naming Бонни и Клайд (1967) as a source of inspiration.

Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey, Jr. appeared in Служители закона (1998).

Whilst shooting the POV scene, wherein Mallory runs into the wire mesh, Robert Richardson broke his finger, and the replacement cameraman cut his eye. According to Oliver Stone, he wasn't too popular with the camera department that day.

The wrestling match that Rodney Dangerfield is watching involves Chris Chavis as Tatanka (the Native American wrestler) and Barry Hardy.

Quentin Tarantino watched the opening scene with Mickey and Mallory in the diner and immediately demanded his name be removed from the credits.

Although famously distancing himself from the final film, Director of Photography Robert Richardson and Quentin Tarantino later became frequent collaborators, and as of 2018 made five films together. That constitutes half of Tarantino's filmography.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

According to Oliver Stone, the headless man is Mickey's father, who killed himself by blowing his own head off with a shotgun. The three shots of the headless man all occur during scenes of great strife and tension for Mickey (during his dream at the Indian's house, during his interview with Wayne Gale, and during the prison riot), and they could represent the fact that even though his father is dead, Mickey is still not free of him. When things get tense, and when pressure starts to build, Mickey automatically thinks of his father, a man who made his early life miserable. In the third shot of the headless man, he is rising out of the chair, and starts moving towards the camera, possibly representing Mickey's fear that he may still come and "get him".

Tommy Lee Jones (Warden Dwight McClusky) and Joe Grifasi (Deputy Sheriff Duncan Homolka) appeared in Бэтмен навсегда (1995).

The song "Back in Baby's Arms" plays on the soundtrack at one point. That song also played in Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), which also featured Edie McClurg in a brief role. She has a small role in this film as Mallory's mother.

The guns Mickey uses in the pharmacy are a 9mm Beretta 93R and a .475 caliber Wildey Magnum (the gun featured in Death Wish 3 (1985)).

Juliette Lewis also starred in Kalifornia (1993) the previous year as half of a couple who are involved in serial killing, but unlike this film, she never kills anyone in that film.

The pinball machine being played in the cafe near the beginning is Williams' Whirlwind (1990)

McClusky mentions his mother being from Texas. Tommy Lee Jones is from Texas.

Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey, Jr. appeared in A Scanner Darkly (2006).

Woody Harrelson and Tommy Lee Jones appeared in No Country for Old Men (2007).

Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson, are both in Marvel films, Downey Jr. as Tony Stark aka Iron Man in the MCU, and Harrelson as Cletus Kassidy "Red", aka Carnage in Venom (2018).

Mallory responds to Mickeys by dreamingly saying, I see angels Mickey. "They're coming down for us from heaven. And I see you riding a big red horse. And you're driving the horses, whipping them, and they're spitting and frothing at the mouth. They're coming right at us. And I see the future. There's no death, cause you and I, we're angels." Perhaps the most obvious interpretation of this cryptic vision is a biblical one. In the Book of Revelation, the second of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse rides a red horse; Revelation 6:4 (King James Version), And another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. The rider of the red horse is usually taken to represent war, hence he takes peace from the earth, leading people to kill one another. The horse itself is often interpreted as being red to signify the blood spilled during battle. Interestingly, of the Four Horsemen, the rider of the red horse is the only one who represents a specifically manmade agency. The other three riders all represent disasters that are above or beyond the immediate power of man; the first (on a white horse) represents strife, the third (on a black horse) is famine, the fourth (on a pale horse) is death. Only the red rider represents something which Man can visit unto himself, and as such, he is the only one of the four who actually represents humanity itself. In this sense then, the obvious symbolism is that Mickey is the red rider who will remove peace from the earth, slay his fellow man, and cause blood to be spilled. The rider of the red horse is described as having a great sword with which to kill all those he encounters. Mickey is armed for almost the entirety of the film, and seems capable of killing just about anybody at any given stage of the movie. In the bible however, the red rider's primary function is not to kill people himself, but to remove peace from the earth, prompting Man to kill his fellow Man. In this sense, a biblical reading of Mallory's vision also makes sense. One could argue that Mickey is responsible for Jack Scagnetti's (Tom Sizemore) murder of the prostitute Pinky (Lorraine Farris), insofar as Scagnetti uses this murder to jack himself up so as to go after Mickey (as Oliver Stone makes clear on his commentary track). One could push this even further and argue that Mickey is responsible for the prison riot, which is, in very real terms, a war in which blood is spilt and in which people kill other people. In this sense then, the rider of the red horse has done his job, he has removed peace and caused the shedding of blood by means of human conflict. As such, Mallory's vision has come true.

In Christianity, snakes are often seen as a symbol for Satan, or for evil in general. In the Book of Genesis, Satan takes the form of a serpent to steal into the Garden of Eden and convince Eve to taste of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge; Genesis 3:1-15, Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" [2] The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; [3] but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die'." [4] The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! [5] For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." [6] When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. [7] Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. [8] They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. [9] Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" [10] He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." [11] And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" [12] The man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." [13] Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." [14] The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; [15] And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel. Satan again assumes the form of a serpent in the Book of Revelation, 20:1-3, Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. [2] And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; [3] and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. In this context then, the snake is simply the evil that assists Mickey and Mallory on their journey, as if Satan is lending a hand (for example, it is a snake which helps Mickey escape from prison during the tornado). however, the Christian reading may not be the only valid reading. According to Oliver Stone on his commentary track, the snake is "a creature of knowledge", because every time Mickey encounters one, he learns something important from it. This culminates in the snake field after the Indian shaman (Russell Means) has been killed, and both Mickey and Mallory are bitten by rattlesnakes (bites which should prove fatal but don't). In relation to this scene, Stone points out, they will be consumed by the knowledge that they have absorbed from the Indian. The knowledge takes the form of the rattlesnakes, which will come at them [...] The knowledge is ripped into both of them, their consciousness is in a sense altered, and raised [...] They never die from it, it doesn't become an issue, consciousness doesn't kill them, knowledge does not kill them. Looking at it this way, the snakes represent wisdom and knowledge. Indeed, it is worth noting that Oliver Stone is a Buddhist, and in Buddhism, snakes (known as nagas) are openly associated with wisdom and knowledge. The legend goes that Buddha gave the Prajñaparamita Sutras (or Perfection of Wisdom Sutras) to the King of the Naga (Nagaraja), because Mankind wasn't ready for them yet. When the time came, Nagaraja handed the sutras over to Nagarjuna, founder of the school of Mahayana Buddhism. Hence, snakes are seen as intelligent, wise and trustworthy, carrying none of the negative connotations associated with them in Christianity.

Originally banned on home video in the UK after released theatrically in 1994 but had it's first UK screening on UK TV on channel 5 only two years later.

Kathy Long: is the female police officer who beats up Mickey at the pharmacy.

Jane Hamsher: As a demon-like character during a hallucination sequence.

Don Murphy: One of the jovial guards who gets shot and killed by Mickey, when he begins his escape from prison, after the interview with Wayne Gale.

Hank Corwin: Is the headless man in the living room.

Richard Rutowski: A demon during the prison riot.

Kevin Watson: As an inmate in the prison being escorted by a guard.

Body Count: one hundred forty-five.

When Detective Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore) is speaking with Warden Dwight McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones), he says something about being as big as Jack Ruby. Later, Scagnetti is shot to death on live television, like Lee Harvey Oswald.

The Director's Cut of the film shows the death of Warden McClusky. In the theatrical version, you can only guess that he dies in the huge riot of prisoners, but the Director's Cut shows his body parts and impaled head. This is one of many large differences between the theatrical and Director's Cut.

Every time Mallory engages in sexual or sexually suggestive activities with someone (other than Mickey), she attacks them (the trucker in the bar, Scagnetti, the gas station attendant).

An alternate ending depicts Mickey and Mallory murdered by Owen (Arliss Howard) after picking him up in their RV. Mallory begs in vain for mercy, her last line being "Wait!" before being shot. Oliver Stone admits that the ending is foreshadowed by Owen's ghostly appearance in the diner at the beginning of the film, and that it reflects karmic justice, but stated he preferred the ambiguous ending in which it is possible that "love beats the demon."

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Negal
    ...people really need to take another look at "Natural Born Killers."

    The plot: Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis in roles that are a little too convincing) are a husband/wife pair of serial killers whose vicious crime spree across the country has made them into media superstars.

    This movie is a barrage of frightening and surreal images, and is damn near hypnotic to watch.

    I can see where the controversy surrounding this film comes from but what I don't understand is where the hate is coming from.

    1994's "Natural Born Killers" has to be one of the best movies of the 90s - its sole purpose on this planet is to showcase America's fascination with violence.

    But lets try to understand the hate. This movie is here for one reason and I think that we can all agree on that reason. Oliver Stone is a competent and accomplished filmmaker and most of the hate seems to be directed towards him. Stone, who is working from a script that has since been virtually disowned by Quentin Tarantino, pretty much took over and shaped the screenplay to his own vision.

    I can understand why fans of Tarantino have a right to be p*ssed off, but I find it extremely difficult to believe that they truly hate the finished product, and the same goes for Tarantino. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Tarantino fan myself, and I'm sure he didn't appreciate Stone re-writing his script, but he should be proud of what was done with it.

    The message, if you can call it that, is that we are obsessed with violence, and Stone exposes our love for it and spits it back in our faces. To quote Marlon Brando - "The horror, the horror." I say to hell with the hypocritical people who find this movie offensive for they are the ones that this movie is truly aimed towards.

    Yes, horrific images are displayed in this movie and terrible things happen to people all throughout, but it's giving us we want, and we hate it. The hate surrounding this film is extremely misguided. My high school paper recently did an article about sex and violence on television and one of the supposed outlets of that violence would be our fascination with the war in Iraq and the Jessica Lynch story.

    It said that we are much, much more concerned with the sex (I personally don't think today's teenage girls are THAT impressionable, but who knows?), rather than the violence (which apparently seems to be causing a misguided sh!tstorm of controversy, too, and like the sex, I don't think that people are that impressionable), namely the kind that is seen in music videos and such. Though the article refused to go into specifics (but we know who the people being discussed are and I'm sure they do, too), it brings me back to "Natural Born Killers," which I think people need to take another look at.

    In this day and age, violence on television is becoming more and more commonplace, and this movie's relevance seems to make its viewing that much more important. Before we go and continue to bash the hell out of it again, people need to come back and take a look around themselves and watch "Natural Born Killers."
  • comment
    • Author: xander
    From director Oliver Stone comes this flashy but frustratingly uneven and unfocused story of a sadistic, recently married couple who brutally butcher random people across the United States as part of their honeymoon. Their heinous acts and eventual apprehension attract the attention of the media and interested viewers all over the world, but instead of punishing them they would prefer to tell their life story. Well-crafted film holds your interest by making social points that are poignant, provocative, at times even satirical, but alas, they're set in the midst of noisy and excessive action scenes that are relentless and headache-inducing, not to mention extremely violent. Cast is good, especially Harrelson and Lewis who make a good match, but they need much more sturdy direction. **
  • comment
    • Author: Hanelynai
    Natural Born Killers

    Released just long enough ago to be forgotten by today's standard of speed amnesia, this film by Oliver Stone is worth seeing again. The violence in it was sickening just a few years ago, but such things have quickly gotten normalized in our culture's ongoing desensitization. Ironically, this very process of media desensitization is precisely the topic of this film's satire. NBK has since even been the subject of copycat crime sprees, or so the culprits claimed. This is troubling, because while the film works hard to analyze the dubious process by which violent killers are turned into romantic heroes in the mass media, NBK seems unable to escape from the same orbit, ending with the killers as living happily ever after, justified by the brutality of their backgrounds, and morally superior to the prison officials and popular journalists who pursue them. But as a postmodernist satire of media saturation-violence, from wrestling to sit-coms to real crime dramatizations to obsessive live news interviews, Stone's film is a thought provoking exercise that is stylistically mesmerizing.

    As a postscript, several people accused Stone of inciting copycat crimes and called for him to be sued for damages-- which happened. The lawsuit was dismissed. At the least he was negligent, they argued. Interesting to me that the glorification of violence found everywhere in the thriller genre is taken to be safely neutral, while a powerful satire of glorification is condemned as, well, too violent. The last time I checked, this was always defined as "hypocrisy". The major contradiction in media culture now is that on the one hand, Natural Born Killers is reviled for inciting violence, while on the other hand, it is reviled for being _too obviously_ critical of media violence in a simplistic and unsubtle manner. But can we have it both ways? No.

    A 2nd postscript on another form of hypocrisy: Quentin Tarantino, the reigning postmodernist "King of Cool" who plays with pastiche of pop culture genres, wrote the script for Stone's Natural Born Killers, but then criticized the way the film was directed. Ironically, Tarantino then copied several formal film techniques and innovations straight out of NBK for his later "Kill Bill" films. -- with the key exception that Tarantino continues the tradition of glamorizing violence. The Tarantino crowd sees itself as properly aesthetic and cool, far above the ham-fisted Stone! Creepy isn't it?
  • comment
    • Author: watching to future
    This is a big, loud, colorful tragicomic and articulate satire on human society, media, politics and the most inner desire and organic need of man to destroy. There has been criticism on the high content of violence, and has been categorized as instigating, but it's actually quite obvious that it's just a satiric view of contemporary "personal success" driven society. All characters are natural born killers, not only the ones doing the actual killing. They are all shown as predators with no morals, who will do anything to achieve their goals. The movie will take you flying, smash your brains and feast your eyes..., it will feed your senses, it will make you love it and hate it. Combining the brilliant early writing skills of Tarantino, Oliver Stone's addiction to violence with the brilliant performance of Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, and all the supporting cast(Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey Jr, Tom Sizemore and Tommy Lee Jones). Fantastic soundtrack and graphics. It's THE eye opener. The ultimate 90's movie.

    It's a ride!
  • comment
    • Author: Doomwarden
    Oliver Stone seems to have outdone himself on this one. Not only is Natural Born Killers a visual masterpiece, but it is probably one of the most insane and nonsensical social commentary films I have ever seen. Disappointing, since it was penned by one of my favorite film directors, Mr. Quentin `Bad Motherf***er' Tarantino himself. The elements of a good story are there: Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love and go on a mass murdering spree which is lapped up by the media. While there is definitely a strong social statement, the story is too erratic and scattered to be completely coherent.

    Visually however, Natural Born Killers is stunning. It is intensely colorful, unflinchingly violent and innovative in its cinematography. This movie is not for most, but if you decide to try it out, be warned: It is not for the faint of heart, and not for the weak of stomach. But it is an important film for its visual merits, at the very least.

    --Shelly
  • comment
    • Author: Xurad
    Natural Born Killers is a disturbing film. It is a great film as well. Visually it looks great and between all that violence there is a message. Criticizing the influence of media with another form of media called film.

    With a lot of cuts, strange camera angles, different colors, the kind of music and a lot of symbolism the sick world of mass murderers Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) is presented. And the sick world of how people react to their violence. Director Oliver Stone shows it to us with this satire in a great and really disturbing way.

    Harrelson and Lewis hit the right tone for Mickey and Mallory. Tom Sizemore as a cop, Robert Downey Jr. as a journalist (representing the whole media) and especially Tommy Lee Jones as the prison warden are great too. Originally written by Quentin Tarantino, although he was not too happy with the result in the end, this is one of the best satires I have seen. May be it is not for everyone, the images are not always that nice, but the meaning must be for everyone.
  • comment
    • Author: Awene
    I remember "Natural Born Killers" making a huge fuss when it was released because the media and conservative families were in an outrage over the level of "glorified violence" in the film. To some extent they were right -- the violence isn't glorified but much of it is unnecessary. The movie could still be a brilliant satire of society/the media without going into such graphic detail -- it's been proved in cinema before that sometimes seeing less is better than gratuity. If Oliver Stone's movie has one outstanding flaw, it's the lack of subtlety.

    That said, if you can handle the level of violence and take it tongue-in-cheek, "Natural Born Killers" is so bizarre and funny that it's worth the "trip." (Pun intended.) This is a crazy drug odyssey that would have made Hunter S. Thompson look like Ronald Reagan. The film is twisted, outlandish and out of its mind -- Oliver Stone has gone stone-cold crazy and it's awesome.

    Despite my reservations about his lack of subtlety, there is a flip side to the coin: It is a story about excess. Stone's film-making has gone somewhat awry over the years (look at the pointless excess of his films after this), but this fits the bill because it IS a story of excess.

    Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis play the titular "Natural Born Killers," Mickey and Mallory, a pair of crazy serial killers who both suffered traumatic childhoods and are now rampaging America on a literal killing spree.

    After they are finally apprehended, the media has by now turned them into such icons and glorified personalities that the public and media seems to respect them as titans of filth.

    This is where the social satire of the film comes into play, essentially saying: We focus more on the killers than the heroes.

    I do think it's a bit hypocritical of Oliver Stone to attempt to point this out, as he is a die-hard liberal at his core and, as the controversy surrounding this film's release proved, the conservatives are too conservative to praise killers. It seems to be the liberal media that glorifies violence (to some extent of course) so I thought Stone would be the last person to ever criticize the media.

    So yes it does come across as somewhat of a moot point but nevertheless the film is still enjoyable despite its sometimes sickening amount of over-the-top violence (the opening sequence of the Director's Cut is stomach-turning).

    The cast is superb - Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, Edie McClurg (the rental car agent from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and Rooney's assistant in "Ferris Bueller"!) and Denis Leary and Ashley Judd in deleted scenes included in the Director's Cut.

    The story was conceived by Quentin Tarantino (and it's very similar to his "True Romance" script -- a sort of modern-day "Bonnie and Clyde Redux") and re-written by Stone (much to the chagrin of QT). I'm not sure which would have made for a better film but, despite its flaws (which are mainly a none-too-subtle message and too much violence), "Natural Born Killers" is a sort of bizarre, outlandish masterpiece of drugged-out cinema. --
  • comment
    • Author: BOND
    I haven't seen too many Oliver Stone pictures; JFK, Scarface(which he wrote, not directed), and this one. I don't know too much about his directorial style, but if any of his other films are like this one, I'll have to watch more of them. The visual style is amazing. The whole film has sort of a psychedelic visual style, and utilizes constant cuts and constant change in color scheme, often changing between powerful green, blue, red and even black/white. Of course, none of this is random. It's there to project symbolism and keep the mood intense and constantly evolving, and, believe me, it works perfectly. With many references to popular media(television, mainly), demons and the desensitizing effect of television. The effect of half of the imagery being seen through a television screen or hallucinated is amazing. The film is experimental and psychological. As Stone puts it in the documentary, it's a film about two people breaking the rules, so it's only fitting that the film-makers are also breaking the rules. It's chaotic and wild, insane and mentally exhausting. It's a film about pain, violence and giving in to cravings and desires. But it in no way romanticizes the aforementioned three points. Quite the opposite. I believe someone once told me that the film makes killing and violence look appealing. I can't even explain how wrong that is. This truly is an amazing film. If you can sit through this, and you (honestly) think of yourself as perceptive and intelligent, you have to see this movie. It's not just recommended or a good idea to watch, it's mandatory for anyone that 'get' it. The plot is great and well-paced. It's never boring. The acting is great. The characters are well-written, credible and so easy to understand and sympathize with that many will hate the film for it. The whole film is amazing on so many levels. I recommend it to any person who believes himself or herself to be hardened and intelligent enough to sit through it, and, more importantly, understand it. I recommend you get the directors cut, as it keeps everything that the other released version cut off. Highly recommendable. 10/10
  • comment
    • Author: Arcanescar
    Note: This is probably the longest review I have ever written and it mostly deals with the source of controversy surrounding Natural Born Killers, so if you just want a brief summary of why this film is worth watching, skip to the end!

    I remember when Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers was released in 1994 and delivered a well-deserved kick up the arse to American audiences. Stone set out to criticize media for its mindless glorification of violence and criminals in the media and did so through a sharp satirical spectacle about two infamous killers-turned-idols, starring the "it" actors of the early 90s.

    Unsurprisingly, conservative American families were outraged—disgusted at what was presented to them and saw the film itself as a mindless glorification of violence and criminals as opposed to criticism. Indeed, they were so outraged that, when teen-fans left their Oklahoma home to go out east and shoot fellow Americans, parents blamed Natural Born Killers for having inspired the shootings. Oliver Stone was left with blood on his hands, while more murders were being linked to his masterpiece. Lawsuits were filed; cases were tried and reinstalled, until finally they were dismissed in Louisiana in 1998.

    The reason I bring this up again, after so many years, and so many more violent films later, is because Entertainment Weekly has published a list of The 25 Most Controversial Movies of All Time and Natural Born Killers is ranked as #8. Now, I don't want to knock Entertainment Weekly as they report on reality, but when a film like NBK gets a high ranking as 8, they should be called Entertainment, Weakly. My point is, rather, that this is a film that dealt with such an important, realistic issue that it should never have been controversial in the first place. So why was it?

    The reason for this high ranking, I assume, is the ending of the film. Instead of opting for your typical, clichéd cop-out in which the "good guys" win and the "bad guys" are punished, Stone lets Mickey and Mallory Knox—the glorified killers—get away with precisely everything and ride off in their car on the highway. This was what lead to a public outcry and what caused an anti-violence film like Natural Born Killers to be mistaken for a pro-violence advertisement.

    Firstly, it is my opinion that audiences who need everything to be carefully spelled out for them in a film in order to get the message and morals right are probably devoid of morals in the first place (no offense, Crash (2004)). So because Natural Born Killers did not have a perfect righteous ending with a "good guy" shaking his finger and telling you that this was unacceptable and having the bad guy repent their crime, some people took this as homage to serial killers. This fills me with concern for your average movie-goer.

    Secondly, Natural Born Killers shouldn't have inspired this much controversy because, while it often exaggerates to get its message across, it is realistic to the core—and why should realism be labeled controversial? Isn't it just the opposite? Having violence in a film is a realistic portrayal of the world today. Having media glorify violence is even more so, because that is what is happening. By making Mickey and Mallory Knox into infamous symbols ("If I were a mass murderer, I'd be Mickey and Mallory!" one worshipping teen tells the TV camera team), Stone is parodying reality. He is parodying the idea of media turning serial killers, like Jeffrey Dahmer, into celebrities. Dahmer was on the cover of new magazines more than once, for example. The prison interview with Mickey is based upon the Charles Manson interview with reporter Geraldo Rivera. The story told on "American Maniacs" about Mickey killing a cop after asking him for directions is taken almost verbatim from a story made up by J. Edgar Hoover in the 1930s about bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in an attempt to try to silence the couple's growing fan base. In other words, no one can argue that Natural Born Killers is not a realistic portrayal of the media's response to criminals.

    Now thirdly, it is my guess that the film struck a little too close to home when it opened and therefore attracted unfair criticism. It pointed to things that were too familiar with audiences. Take the famous sitcom scenes of Mallory's family, featuring hammy acting, clown-like sound effects and canned laughter. All the stylistic elements were present –it was just the content that was overblown; Mallory's father made lewd suggestions and it all culminated in a ruthless killing spree. Yet, somehow, it was still funny because it was so close to the average sitcom. This was Stone's intention. In prison, when Mickey is being interviewed on national TV, the film cuts to a simple black and white image of a typical American home. The family is sitting around watching the interview, glued to the television like mindless zombies—the very same people who hated this film. That's biting irony.

    So, controversial? I have watched Natural Born Killers many times and cannot see anything else than a satirical masterpiece. I also do not think that exaggerating images or scenarios is overkill – I think exaggerating morals and 'happy endings' to get a point across is overkill. Natural Born Killers had the perfect balance and was meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek. It doesn't glorify violence; it shows how desensitized the media and the public have become to it. And it does so with flair and fury.

    9 out of 10
  • comment
    • Author: Lilegha
    NATURAL BORN KILLERS (1994)

    Cinema Cut: R

    Director's Cut: NC-17

    It's an unusual Oliver Stone picture, but when I read he was on drugs during the filming, I needed no further explanation. 'Natural Born Killers' is a risky, mad, all out film-making that we do not get very often; strange, psychotic, artistic pictures.

    'Natural Born Killers' is basically the story of how two mass killers were popularised and glorified by the media; there is a great scene where an interviewer questions some teenagers about Mickey and Mallory, and the teenager says 'Murder is wrong.... but If I was a mass murderer I'd be Mickey and Mallory'. Mickey describes this with a situation of 'Frankenstein (the monster) and Dr. Frankenstein' - Dr. Frankenstein is the media who has turned them into these monstrous killers

    Most Oliver Stone films examine the flaws of the America, the country that the director loves and admires. I guess 'Natural Born Killers' is about the effect of mass media, technology and how obsessive as a nation, Americans are (and most of the world) over things such as mass killers and bizarre situations.

    The killers played by Woody Harrelson (Mickey) and Juliette Lewis (Mallory) are executed astonishingly by two excellent actors who step into the lives of two interestingly brutal killers. Mickey and Mallory believe that some people are worthy of killing, perhaps in the cruel theory of Social Darwinism (survival of the fittest) - Mickey says in his interview in prison, that other species commit murder, we as humans ravage other species and exploit the environment; the script is interesting, but it is questionable how much this film amounts to, in the sense of making us think about society and human behaviour, rather than the intensity of a 2 hour bloodbath that we have seen.

    The last hour of the film takes place in a maximum security prison; we see the harsh realities of prison life; the attitudes of the warden etc;overfilling of prisons - maybe Stone is questioning the future, the path that society is leading to.

    Two other interesting characters; First, a reporter who runs a show about 'America's Maniacs' and is obsessed with boosting ratings, that he goes to any length to capture the story of Mickey and Mallory. The other is police officer Scagnetti, an insane, perhaps sadistic officer that is in love with Mallory - he also has some weird obsession with mass killers, since his mother was killed during the massacre at Waco, Texas by Charles Whitman.

    The cinematography is superb; different colours, shadows, styles create a feeling of disorientation; the green colour most evident of all is green, to resemble the sickness of the killers (in the drugstore when they are looking for rattlesnake antidote).

    The camera work is insane; shaky, buzzy, it takes some determination to get use to it and accept it. Highly unorthodox, psychedelic and unusual.

    'Natural Born Killers' does not glamourise the existence of insane murderers, it questions it and how we as the public may fuel this attribute...

    Although the above review sound quite positive, I did dislike the film. Quentin Tarantino, who originally wrote the script for the film, was not pleased with the altered screenplay and he asked for his name to be removed. I can see why. While mildly interesting at times, Natural Born Killers is a mess of a picture.

    4/10
  • comment
    • Author: Nilador
    Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers is quite possibly the most controversial film ever made. No other has sparked such a debate of violence in cinema, and has caused such a divide between lovers and haters. Many people see it as a poignant social commentary, a wickedly funny and dark outlook at a society gone mad with the idea of celebrity and media obsession. Others see it as depraved celebration of sick violence, and a catalyst for what it seeks to undermine. The film certainly contains scenes of horrific, deplorable, violence, but I would argue that the over-the-top 'cartoon' violence is done to let the audience know that the film is not meant to be taken too seriously. Yes, the message is serious, but we need a bit of black comedy with our satire, otherwise it's just like watching a very boring fact based documentary. The violence (and the whole film) is completely over the top because that is what Stone is telling us; "We have gone too far."

    Based on a script by Quentin Tarantino, the film follows two young lovers, Mickey and Mallory (Woody Harrelson and Julliette Lewis) as they travel across America killing because it's what they want to do. Hot on their heals is hot-shot cop Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore) who is not quite what you would call an "honest cop". Also along for the ride is sensationalist journalist Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr) who hosts (and produces, and directs) the cheesy tabloid show 'American Maniacs'. The first 45 minutes of the film shows us how Mickey and Mallory meet, and shows us their murderous rampage across the country. Like Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, the first act of the film is the most shocking part. Most people who have turned off either film has done it by the end of the first act. The two films share many other things in common; at the end of the first act our antagonistic protagonists are caught and sent to prison, they both have "graphic violence" and are hated by politicians and mother's groups, and both have much to say about our society and the mindset of it's outcasts. NBK is very much the A Clockwork Orange of the 90's.

    Whilst incarcerated Mickey gives an interview to Wayne Gale, and it is here that the film is at its most interesting. He provides a thoughtful, in-depth insight into why he is what he is and does what he does, and the brilliance of the film is that it makes us see his point of view. Of course, this is also where the film makes itself vulnerable to attack because anybody who goes out and murders somebody, and happens to have a copy of the DVD, can be said to have been "warped" by the films 'pro-violence' message. The film is about as pro-violent as American History X is pro-Nazi, but unfortunately far too many people are unable to watch a film with an open mind, or a view to learn something new, and so the message goes over their heads. *SPOILER* If NBK had ended with Mickey and Mallory being killed by a relative of one of their victims then I'm sure everybody would applaud it's "profound message of evil never triumphs". Instead, Mickey and Mallory escape from prison and are last seen walking into the sunset, so therefore Stone must like killers because he lets them live. Right? *END SPOILERS*

    How can you talk about NBK and not mention the fabulous look of the film? Shot on everything from grainy black & white 8mm to glossy Super 35mm, and using in excess of 2500 edits, the film is a visual feast. Stone uses 'vertical cutting' to show what a character is reading into a situation, rear projection to show what is influencing their thoughts and decisions and many other great techniques which make NBK the most unique film I have ever seen. Unlike Tony Scott's cinematic turd Domino the style is not done merely for the sake of it, to "look cool", it is done to place us amongst the chaos of the film. Plus, it looks really friggin' cool! I must also mention that all of the performances are top-notch. Harrelson and Lewis fit their roles perfectly and really convey that these two people love each other. Sizemore also gives a solid performance, as does Downey Jr, who is absolutely bloody hilarious! The best of the bunch, however, has got to be Tommy Lee Jones as the prison warden Dwight McClusky. He oozes with creepy redneck sliminess, but is also incredibly funny and charismatic.

    NBK is without a doubt one of the finest pieces of art ever produced. For years to come it will be talked about, and I'm sure it won't be long until another murder is blamed on it. NBK sets out to show us that we are far too obsessed with fame and celebrity, and in my opinion it does just that. The media makes celebrities out of criminals whilst people who deserve recognition go unnoticed. How many of the 9/11 victims can you name? How many doctors who have saved hundreds of lives can you name? How many of the Columbine victims can you name? Can you name the killers? Probably. THAT is what NBK is all about, and that is what it seeks to discourage.
  • comment
    • Author: Tolrajas
    *Spoilers* Some people claim that Natural Born Killers is brilliant criticism of the media obsession with violence. But this contention ignores the actual content of the film. Oliver Stone could have shown his serial killers as vicious, inhuman murderers of innocent people and contrasted this with a morbid media fascination. Instead he lends them justification. The movie portrays just about every victim as someone who deserved to be hurt. Engaging in vicious stereotyping, Stone presents the victims as unpleasant caricatures - dumb rednecks, broken-English speaking immigrants, lazy fat people. The one person that the homicidal lovebirds is also a stereotype. Of course they befriend the old, hallucinogen-using American-Indian - because they're trendy, dude? Let's make him an admirable character. Fat, Chinese clerks and "hicks" are uncool, so let's make it seem like the deserve to die. Instead of twisted,hateful that are corrupted by their misdeeds, their rampage makes them happier and more in love. Mickey and Mallory are made sexy and cool and surreal visuals are bound to entice more impressionable people. Justice is mocked. The police and prison officials are portrayed as brutal, ugly and scowling compared to the GQ murderers. Again, this is not in the media reports within the film but in the "reality" in the film. There is no nuance or subtlety in the film - just overblown performances and visuals. The film says nothing new or specific about the obsession with violence. The proof that the film fails in its message lies in actual real world reactions to it. Some impressionable young people who saw this movie cited it as inspiration for murders that they committed. The film's "message" is a failure because it inspires people in the opposite direction with horrendous real-life results. The clever message is nowhere to be seen.
  • comment
    • Author: Araath
    Unlike the media it lampoons, I don't despise Natural Born Killers because it's violent; I despise it because it's crap. Honestly, are there any other films that are quite so heavy-handed, poorly executed and mind numbingly dull as Stone's turgid 'satire'? I can't think of many – it certainly must rank amongst the worst films of the 90s.

    Of all the things I hate about the film, it's Mickey and Mallory themselves that I hate the most, especially as the film loves them. I mean, as much as the film tries to be a clever comment on the violence obsessed media, the film, despite itself, idolises these two losers – murders are filmed in slow-motion and different film stocks, and their love is portrayed as honest and true. Compare this with everyone else – all the other characters are liars, schemers and scumbags. But while any right thinking individual would have nothing but contempt for all of these characters, Stone allows Mickey and Mallory to come out clean at the other end. What a load of rubbish.

    One of the most infuriating scenes in the film is when Mickey and Mallory go and visit an Indian. He talks gibberish for a while and then Mickey appears to go to sleep (I can't blame him; the scene strains for meaning in every frame and fails at every turn). Then while Mickey's sleeping he has a nightmare about being abused as a kid. However, when he wakes up, Mickey kills the Indian. Mallory's response is one of horror, saying, 'You killed life. He fed us.' Let it be noted that this is the only murder that Mickey and Mallory feel really bad about. And the only reason they feel bad about it is because the Indian gave them something. The lesson to be learnt here, so Mickey and Mallory appear to be saying, is that it's fine to kill people and not feel bad about it if they do nothing for you.

    But that scene touches on another annoying element in the film – childhood abuse. Of course it's a fact that most violent people have been either been abused or have come from a violent upbringing, but the film gives us that and nothing else – oh, they were abused, that's why they're the way they are, it all makes sense. What a load of crap.

    And all the segments to do with childhood are completely removed for reality. For example, Mallory's childhood is filmed like a sitcom, with laughs in the background as daddy feels his daughter up. But rather than be a clever comment on the corrupting influence of television, the sequence is so over the top that it feels like petulant whining. Boo hoo, daddy felt my bum. Look what he made me into. Again it's a gross oversimplification. And the burning of Mallory's mother is ridiculous. You were abused, too, and you did nothing to save me. Therefore you deserve to be burnt to bits. What the…?

    But despite all this, the film still tries to make us feel sorry for Mickey and Mallory. Just take the scene where the two of them get arrested. Mallory gets the crap beaten out of her and Mickey gets tasered before getting beaten up himself. But rather than weep tears at the excessive Rodney King-style police brutality, I could only think that the two deserved more punishment. They deserved a severe beating followed by a bullet in the brain. But alas the film never gave me this satisfaction, thus making it even more painful for me to watch.

    However, the film did at least give me the satisfaction of seeing Mallory get maced. That was fun. And it's rather telling that while the film wants us to love the two mass murderers, it's the sleazy journalist, the evil cop and the wicked prison warden who are the most likable. And they're likable because, unlike Mickey and Mallory, they're not full of pious, sanctimonious BS. They're scum and they know it. But Mickey and Mallory are always justifying their actions, always claiming to be pure when they're anything but. It's infuriating.

    Also annoying is Stone's filming style. He's obviously snorted too much blow and watched too many music videos, because the film uses different film stocks, skewed angles, stock footage and front and rear projection to nauseating effect. It's a mess. But of course, Stone probably thinks it's making a wonderful comment on the sensory overload that is present in our multi-channel, television obsessed culture. But no, the film has nothing intelligent to say about television, as anyone with half a brain knows that the masses are glued to the idiot box and that crass, ratings-obsessed journalists do nothing but desensitise the people who watch them. (A ridiculous detail in the film is when Mickey and Mallory visit the Indian. 'Too much TV' is projected onto them. It strains for profundity, but it ends up as being a visual trick more suited to a pretentious R.E.M. or Radiohead video.)

    However, to briefly defend the film, I will say that Robert Downey Jr. is quite funny in parts (Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Sizemore also provide a couple of chortles, even though they play two-dimensional grotesques). And there's a segment in 'American Maniacs' that gave me a laugh. But what Stone doesn't realise is that the reality is even more ridiculous. Just watch World's Wildest Police Videos with Sheriff John Bunnell. Wayne Gale is tame in comparison, and nowhere near as disturbing or amusing.
  • comment
    • Author: Ese
    It is rare to come across a film so offensive and thoroughly reprehensible and devoid of entertainment value like Natural Born Killers that it should almost earn another star for that distinction alone. Alas, I will restrain myself from that scant praise.

    Oliver Stone's over-the-top acid trip follows the exploits of a pair of serial killer lovers played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, who become a media sensation during their cross country killing spree. And there you have the plot.

    Stone's fans will say that the film has lots to say about our media culture, sensationalism and violence. While it is true that it may have something to say - it is an overstatement of biblical proportions that it has "lots" to say. In fact, one can argue that it barely scratches the surface and rather than being a stinging indictment of any of those issues, ends up glorifying them in its own right. Rather than castigate the media culture for raising the remorseless killers into some sort of folk hero status, Stone's film rather seems to half believe that they are worthy of such status and he often depicts their army of hapless victims as a gallery of grotesques that have it coming.

    The violence and imagery of the film is disturbing and not in a good way. There is literally no restraint or sublety...anywhere. Not in the direction, not in the acting and not in the - although I am loathe to use this term for this screenplay - writing. Whereas Bonnie and Clyde may have been romanticized for cinema, NBK's Mick and Mallory are appalling in every way. Certainly no one could possibly sympathize with them. They murder people for kicks and basically get away with it. If anything, the fact that the film has any complimentary critical accolades and supporters merely cements my assertion that if legendary lousy film director Ed Wood had been born later, he would have been deemed a genius. Stone's film is incoherent, rambling, overlong, largely pointless and drenched in violence. His imagery is completely foolish and oftentimes laughable. Characters will be sitting in a hotel room, while babies float by the window. While traveling down the highway, a giant monster stomps by the car. It is like Stone raided the stock footage department and pell mell superimposed it into the background of his wretched film. When depicting Lewis's crummy home life, the film suddenly takes on the guise of a bad TV sitcom. Stone apparently thinks these flourishes are brilliant, but they instead remind one of Woods' work - with Bela Lugosi narrating while stock footage of an unrelated cattle stampede is interspersed.

    Acting is universally horrible. Robert Downey Jr. probably comes off best as an Australian news documentarian, but even his work is spotty. Lewis, well on her way to becoming to go-to girl for white trash roles, is dreadful, and Harrelson manages to condescend to equal her every step of the way.

    Some people insist the film has a message, but the problem is that Stone makes his point in the first 30 minutes and spends the remainder of the running time sledgehammering it home. The point is not deep and the biggest problem is that Stone the filmmaker seems just as in awe of his murderous amoral central character as the film that supposedly derides their supporters and the society that makes them celebrities. Stone and his film has absolutely zero sympathy for the human wreckage that they leave in their path, which makes both the director and his production more than a tad hypocritical and ultimately pointless.
  • comment
    • Author: Musical Aura Island
    I didn't see this (ahem!) "film" for a long time because it sounded like a load of garbage.After hearing others tell how much they liked it,I got weak and watched this thing(luckily I checked it from the library and didn't pay rental).What a psychic I am!!!It WAS a load of garbage!!!I don't know why everyone seems to love this junk and think Mickey and Mallory are cool...I was ready for them to die after the first 15 minutes.The only good thing about this "Director's Cut" version I got was the unused scene where M and M get blown away by Arliss Howard's character.Should have put that in the original...right at the beginning!!
  • comment
    • Author: Duktilar
    Many have been quick to judge NBK as a senseless exploitation film that glorifies violence. When in fact the film is quite obviously a jab at news media and the Hollywood T.V. and film industry for their lack of true depth, and insane glorification of brutal violence. The very propaganda that has led to an extreme level of desensitization for a large percentage of the general public, and as a result, an inevitable increase in violent crimes. For years, Hollywood and other media outlets have been glorifying violence as a progressive means to an end. To the extent that even our own news media reports almost exclusively from the point of view that war is often necessary, and can lead to a positive outcome. While Oliver Stone's film is filled with over the top violence and hilariously profane dialogue, it strikes a very true cord in its symbolic and open references. NBK also poses interesting questions about the natural instinct of murder, and the overly programed thoughts and reactions of a deeply fabricated society. Mostly, Natural Born Killers is a satire of exploitation, to kick dirt in the faces of the senseless and irresponsible. Not that they would understand the film of course, nonetheless, Stone's bulls-eye is squarely planted on their foreheads. NBK is certainly an entertaining and thought provoking film for open minded individuals. The film is filled purposely with larger than life characters that are wonderfully performed by some of Hollywood's finest actors. Most notably...Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Sizemore, Edie McClurg and last but not least, Rodney Dangerfield. While NBK certainly is a film that exploits violence, no film this interesting and thought provoking really qualifies as senseless.

    "Doesn't anyone out there in Hollywood believe in kissing anymore?" - Mickey Knox

    9/10
  • comment
    • Author: Mr_Mole
    What a whirlagig of a movie. It is in your face every second of its running time. It never stops. It may take a lickin but it keeps on blaring. The only soothing thing about it is the musical score, which ranges from "A Night on Bald Mountain" to the heftier portions of "Carmina Burana" when the electric guitars aren't whanging and the electronic drums not palpitating.

    The story, insofar as I could make it out among the glitz, roughly follows that of Starkweather and Fugate in the 1950s. Woody Harrelson is Mickey Knox. He runs off with teen-aged Juliette Lewis after he kills her hated father. They indulge themselves in a spree of moral nihilism. Dead bodies abound. There are bath tubs of gore. The screen, and the people on it, are riddled with bullet holes.

    The malignant duo are turned into heroes by the media. Fan clubs spring up. Their Hooper rating goes up with each new pile of cadavers. Finally, though, they are cornered by police, led by Detective Scagnetti, famous as the author of a book called "Scagnetti on Scagnetti." The two are isolated for a year in the same penitentiary.

    A rabidly ambitious Australian journalist, Robert Downey, Jr., who hosts a TV program called "American Maniacs" is given permission to interview Harrelson. But Woody, no more of a slouch in the department of brains than in gonads, grabs a shotgun during the interview, rescues Lewis, and shoots his way out of prison, while the elated Downey follows them with his TV camera and immortalizes them.

    Well! This movie raises a lot of questions. The first question is, "Why was it made?" The director was Oliver Stone and I guess his message is clear enough. The media and violence feed on one another. You know -- "If it bleeds, it leads"? But was it really necessary to put the viewer through the wringer like that? Okay. Stone understandably disapproves of the degradation of vernacular culture, but what did WE ever do to him? I can't speak for you, but he doesn't even KNOW me! Some of the cinematic chicanery is germane to the story or the message it puts so much effort into conveying. The tornado that permits Harrelson to escape from his first prison is straight out of "The Wizard of Oz." During scenes of violence, there are momentary inserts of cartoon monsters. Lewis's tragic home life is presented with a laugh track as a situation comedy. We get it. The visual media intrude into every aspect of our lives and we frame our experiences in accordance with the models they provide.

    But other exercises in directorial pyrotechnics lead nowhere except to confusion. There is an ordinary two-shot of law enforcement officers -- Tom Sizemore and Tommy Lee Jones -- walking along a corridor. The simple scene goes from color to black and white to negative and back; from slow motion to step motion; to point-of-view shots of Jones' shoes. Why? The tricks tell us nothing about the story, the characters, or the moral principle.

    The title of the movie, "Natural Born Killers", is Harrelson's reply to Downey's query about why Harrelson committed those dozens of murders. Inmates have ready responses to questions like that. (In sociology they're part of a generic process called "accounting.") Harrelson is saying, "I did it because that's the kind of guy I am." He goes on to explain that murder is part of nature. That's not bad as far as it goes, although it's utterly meaningless. Other, real examples that I've heard inmates give for theft or murder include, "It was nothing personal," and (for a killing in prison), "He had no business being there (in the wrong wing)." They're not meant to be taken literally. They're just a way of indicating that logic is dispensable because there is no answer. Incidentally, when Lewis unzips Harrelson's trousers in the visitor's room, that conforms to my observations at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo. (I was there for a job interview as a psychologist.)

    I hope that last paragraph wasn't too scrambled. I think I'm still a little dizzy. How did all these tiny butterflies get into my office in the dead of winter? Gee. They're chartreuse.
  • comment
    • Author: Unsoo
    How on earth Stone can be regarded as a worthy director after this drivel is beyond me. Perhaps people are tricked into adoration by Stone's hyperactive camerawork. 8mm, 16mm, animation-- they're all deployed without rhyme or reason, except perhaps that Stone is suffering from ADHD and can't bear to have one medium on the screen for longer than five minutes at a time. Why does the waitress at the start of the movie get shot in black and white, with a big freeze-frame and operatic scream? What does that MEAN? A film student could go crazy trying to analyse this mess.

    In fact, the only one of Stone's ideas that actually works on either a satirical or purely visual level is the sit-com section, where Mallory's sexually abusive father (Rodney Dangerfield, in a genius spot of casting) is treated to laughter and acceptance, rather than derision, from the canned audience. But that, too, is heavy-handed and plays on for far too long.

    The most depressing thing about the entire film is that there really IS a solid, interesting satirical point to be made about the relationship between criminals and the media, and had this film embraced it fully, it could have been a genuine classic. As it is, it's a showreel for indulgent, mindless direction.

    If you want to watch a movie which satirises the relationship between a serial killer and the media more successfully (and also manages to be funny!) rent Man Bites Dog.
  • comment
    • Author: Stan
    When the psychopaths Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory Wilson (Juliette Lewis) meet each other, they immediately fall in love with each other. Mickey kills Mallory´s abusive father and uncaring mother and they go on road trip, committing crimes and killing cops and ordinary people. When they finally are arrested, the sensationalized journalist Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.) promotes an interview in the penitentiary with Mickey. What will happen next?

    "Natural Born Killers" is a film written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Oliver Stone with stylized violence. The love story of the psychopaths Mickey and Mallory has bizarre characters and a criticism to the yellow journalism. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "Assassinos por Natureza" ("Killers by Nature")
  • comment
    • Author: Hidden Winter
    This is not what I expected. I thought it would be violent but instead it was just boring. A seemingly endless barrage of visuals that are just plain silly. The point of romanticizing crime is beat to death and then beat some more. This movie is living proof that outrageous cinematography cannot overcome a sever drought of ideas. The fact that so many people enjoyed this film frightens me. It's like the emperors new clothes. Do they really believe what they say? I like movies that are different but this is just junk. I watched for about and hour and realized I was being used. I didn't think it was going to get any better. Don't waste your time unless you feel the need to fit into the crowd
  • comment
    • Author: Umi
    What I found so bizarre about this movie is that this movie itself is guilty of what it accuses the media of doing. Yes, the media irresponsibly glorifies violence, but this movie ended up being the worst offender of them all. Okay, this movie defines the problem, this movie BECOMES the problem, and offers absolutely no suggestion on how to fix the problem, which makes it appear to me that Tauranteno and Stone are just two wise guys sitting on the sidelines taking potshots. Rule One of Satire: Don't be a hypocrite. Also, did anyone NOT see that end coming? A waste of time.
  • comment
    • Author: Lavivan
    I'm sick of everyone saying movies are great just because they are unique. This movie sucked, the story is stupid, the directing is overrated, and just because it's not like other movies doesn't mean it's a masterpiece. This movie is extremely overrated and probably one of the worst movies I've ever seen. 1 out of 10.
  • comment
    • Author: Dagdatus
    When I first saw this movie upon its theatrical release, I was seventeen, mad at the world. I had a blast. I knew other kids my age liked it for the same reason I did, so I wasn't surprised when I heard two idiots were blaming the film for their crimes. It's been a while since I last watched the film, but I can tell you in retrospect I don't think I would like it as much as I used to. I don't even care to see the director's cut. The image of the severed head on the back of the box turned my stomach. This is the sort of thing I welcome from a stupid horror movie, not from mainstream Hollywood and a movie that, yes, hypocritically purports to convey some sort of "message". If someone has to sit through this dreck to get it in their head (assuming they didn't know it already through osmosis) that, yes, the media is corrupt and glorifies violence, then they are probably better off living in ignorance. This is like making a film with the "message" that eating results in excrement. We all know we live in world that is often corrupt and ugly. This film would not be HALF as hard to take if it were simply a violent, fun, exploitation-type movie, as it would seem Tarantino originally intended. I know I would think of it more favorably now. This movie was just complete overkill in so many areas, that it is genuinely stupid.
  • comment
    • Author: Jox
    Natural Born Killers was quite possibly the worst "big budget" movie from a "big name" director that I have ever viewed.

    Where do I start:

    The story was inane at best. The imagery and symbolism utterly heavy-handed (Oliver, PLEASE show me the car hurtling through flames for another 5 seconds... I didn't "get it" during the first 15 seconds). The only character that was even moderately interesting was the newscaster (Robert Downey Jr.). Many of the events were utterly implausible. It was a half-baked version of the Bonnie & Clyde story, only more modern, and less interesting.

    After viewing Natural Born Killers, I thought less about the film and more about what Oliver Stone must have been thinking when he made it. This film was utterly devoid of anything interesting (I didn't even find the violence to be particularly exciting, in contrast to a film like Heat).

    Probably the only insight I gained from watching this film is that *I* am generally an optimist. How did I come to that conclusion? Well, that's the only reason I can fathom as to why I watched the entire film. I kept hoping against hope that it was going to get better.... it never did.

    Don't waste your time with this mess of a film.
  • comment
    • Author: Arthunter
    fine, i was wrong, i admit it. in fall of 1994 i went to the theater and sat thru several hours of what i believed at the time was complete nonsensical garbage. the initial impression made by 'natural born killers' was one of overkill...literally. several years later i had the chance to revisit this film with the directors edition, what a difference it was. i still do not know whether it was seeing the entire movie as stone envisioned it, or if it had to do with seeing the nineties play out as a decade obsessed with celebrity, prizing infamy over fame. it was hard for me to come to terms with juliette lewis's style of acting. one has to admit that she is unlike any other to come before, or will probably come after. it is the same intensity that she brings to every role that makes her a star, and an annoyance when in the wrong mindset.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Woody Harrelson Woody Harrelson - Mickey Knox
    Juliette Lewis Juliette Lewis - Mallory Knox
    Tom Sizemore Tom Sizemore - Det. Jack Scagnetti
    Rodney Dangerfield Rodney Dangerfield - Ed Wilson, Mallory's Dad
    Everett Quinton Everett Quinton - Deputy Warden Wurlitzer
    Jared Harris Jared Harris - London Boy
    Pruitt Taylor Vince Pruitt Taylor Vince - Deputy Warden Kavanaugh
    Edie McClurg Edie McClurg - Mallory's Mom
    Russell Means Russell Means - Old Indian
    Lanny Flaherty Lanny Flaherty - Earl
    O-Lan Jones O-Lan Jones - Mabel
    Robert Downey Jr. Robert Downey Jr. - Wayne Gale
    Richard Lineback Richard Lineback - Sonny
    Kirk Baltz Kirk Baltz - Roger
    Ed White Ed White - Pinball Cowboy
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