Genre: Crime Comedy
Director: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde
Starring: Benoît Poelvoorde
Duration: 95 min.
A camera crew follows a serial killer around as he exercises his craft. He expounds on art, music, nature, society, and life as he offs mailmen, pensioners, and random people. Slowly the filmmakers find themselves caught up in the increasingly chaotic violence.
Man Bites Dog is a Belgian film created by Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, and Benoît Poelvoorde. It premiered in the Critics' Week section of the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the SACD award for best feature and the Special Award of the Youth.
The film is a black and white mockumentary that follows filmmakers Rémy (Rémy Belvaux) and André (André Bonzel) playing themselves, as they follow serial killer Benoît (Benoît Poelvoorde) as he goes on a reckless murdering spree, all the while explaining his methods to the camera and philosophizing about the world.
Along the way, the film crew gradually become involved in the crimes, first by innocuously aiming a spotlight to help Benoît locate a victim, but eventually they become full on accomplices helping to dispose of bodies, and finally in the film's most gruesome and unpleasant scene, they cross the line to become perpetrators as well. It's a clever jab at the real media and how complicit they are at glorifying violence and crime for ratings and advertising dollars. One of the funniest moments occurs when they encounter another film crew following a rival criminal.
This is a brilliant work, taking realistically graphic and gratuitous violence to an extreme, along with a wonderfully twisted and charismatic performance from then newcomer Benoît Poelvoorde, who is now a major star in Belgium and France, and turning a subject that should be utterly disturbing into a hilarious dark comedy.
— Bonjour Tristesse