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Man Bites Dog (The Criterion Collection)

4.2 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Documentary filmmakers André and Rémy have found an ideal subject in Ben. He is witty, sophisticated, intelligent, well liked-and a serial killer. As André and Rémy document Ben's routines, they become increasingly entwined in his vicious program, sacrificing their objectivity and their morality. Controversial winner of the International Critics' Prize at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, Man Bites Dog stunned audiences worldwide with its unflinching imagery and biting satire of media violence.

Special Features

  • 1993 video interview with the filmmakers
  • No C4 for Daniel-Daniel, a student short by the filmmakers
  • Stills gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Jean-Marc Chenut, Olivier Cotica, Rachel Deman
  • Directors: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: September 24, 2002
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FMCS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,162 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Man Bites Dog (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on November 23, 2003
Format: DVD
The Criterion Collection brings film lovers some of the most engaging, challenging pictures ever made. National borders mean little to the folks at this DVD company; they will release American films as readily as they will European cinema or documentaries about African dictators. Moreover, Criterion does not flinch from controversial films because they contain controversial themes. Thanks to this company, we can readily obtain excellent versions of Paul Morrissey's "Flesh for Frankenstein" and "Blood for Dracula" along with the ultra violent "Robocop." I have yet to fully explore the depths of Criterion's film catalog, but their other discs must surely be as interesting as the titles I have viewed so far. Criterion finally released one of my favorite foreign films, the independent little gem entitled "C'est Arrive Pres de Chez Vous," oddly translated as "Man Bites Dog." Made in Belgium a little over a decade ago, this fascinating movie viciously satirizes the media and its love for dramatic violence. Criterion not only presents this movie with a heap of extras, they also restored the film to its uncut form. This is important because the version I watched nearly ten years ago was missing two scenes that are arguably the most shocking parts in the entire film.
Filmed entirely in the style of a black and white documentary, "Man Bites Dog" is an often outrageous excursion into the underground world of a sadistic thug named Benoit, a travelogue of the daily activities and random thoughts of a bloodthirsty sociopath. Most of the time he robs the elderly of their pensions, commits burglaries, drinks himself silly, or kills innocent people for no other reason than that he feels like it.
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Format: DVD
MBD will undoubtedly receive its equal share of lovers and loathers...this is a very hard film to watch due to its extremity of the violence. Though its content is shocking to say the least, the overall effect is a startlingly satirical look at the media's fascination at peering from the safety of our collective couches at the levels of violence that run rampant in television.
An extremely tight budgeted camera crew follow a poetry spouting serial killer through the streets of Belgium in a quasi-documentary. Adhering initially to the unofficial press "rule" of not interfereing with the outcome of events, they capture the horrific details of Benoit's bloodlust, which can only be equalled with the evident psychosis in his mind as He swings from controlled to chaotic. Ben is an interesting soul- friendly, charismatic and intelligent- which provides a pleasant yet disturbing contrast to the depravity of his actions. What gives MBD that extra degree of cinematic edge is the interviews with the crew and cast (all of which coincindently use their real names in the movie, adding a greater sense of realism)...where they argue about costs, running out of equipment and film, again spurring on the documentary feel on a fictional film. When the line is crossed by the crew from neutral observers to participants, they follow the same overall repercussions as our diabolical hero.
Based on Criterion's history of giving beautiful transfers, I will be optimistic that MBD will recieve the similar royal treatment. Past VHS copies had both the Unrated Cut (which was missing the gruesome scene of Ben strangling a young boy) and the Unrated Director's Cut (aforementioned scene intact). From what I've heard, the DVD will be the unedited version. This important movie's message has become even more potent as the demand for "reality" shows has risen to ludicrous levels. We may find MBD distatesful and disturbing, but are we able to look away?
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Format: DVD
Let's get one thing straight right now: look carefully at Criterion's cover picture for "Man Bites Dog". Zoom in on it, take your time; I'll wait.

Got it? All clear in your mind what the Bad Man with the Gun is doing on the cover? That's right, that's a baby binky flying up out of that cloud of blood and brains and clotted gore.

Why a binky? Because I expect the baby was sucking on it before our hero Ben (Benoit Poelvoorde) showed up to do his thing.

His thing is killing people: men, women, postal workers, clerks, schoolgirls, elderly women with bad tickers, little kids, entire families. Come to think of it, "killing" doesn't get close to describing what Ben does to his victims---I'm thinking 'butcher' is closer to the truth. Anyway, a man's gotta have a hobby, and Ben sticks to what he knows best: slaughtering in pretty much every fashion imaginable.

Best of all, "Man Bites Dog" charts the rampaging wild rumpus of a whacked-out Belgian killer through the streets, attics, dive bars and country lanes by means of a documentary film crew---complete with narrator, camera-man, and two sound guys!---who follow and film Benoit's every brutal move.

Why did I start by asking you to check out the DVD cover art? Because you should know what you're getting into: this is a sick film. This is a warped, deranged, merciless little nugget of pure, horrible filth. If you get offended easily, if you're disturbed by what amounts to a stinking cinematic toilet of human filth and barbarity, if you find yourself saying "I'm Appalled!" a lot---trust me, stop reading, and stay far away from "Man Bites Dog".

Alright, are the Legions of the Appalled gone? Whew, excellent---now we can talk.
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