Man Bites Dog

Critics Consensus

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72%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,636
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Movie Info

Man Bites Dog is a Belgian faux-documentary and high-concept satire of media violence which follows the lethal exploits of Benoit Benoit Poelvoorde, an affable, and very talkative, serial killer. He kills for money, and he kills for pleasure, and he talks all the while about philosophy and the proper technique for weighing a corpse down underwater. He is followed through his slaughter-fest by the filmmakers, Rémy and André (the actual filmmakers, Rémy Belvaux and André Bonzel), and the line between reporter and subject becomes blurred pretty quickly. The filmmakers become more and more involved in Benoit's actions, starting with the relatively innocent act of holding a flashlight for him. Eventually, when their funding runs out, Benoit hires them to continue making the film, and soon they are accomplices in a gang rape. While this film has the subtlety of a sledgehammer, its message rings true: the media tend to become part of the stories they report upon as surely as a physicist changes a wave by looking at it.

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Cast

Rémy Belvaux
as Remy (Reporter), Reporter
Nelly Pappaert
as Ben's Grandmother
Hector Pappaert
as Ben's Grandfather
Jean-Marc Chenut
as Patrick (Sound Man #1)
Alain Oppezzi
as Franco (Sound Man #2)
Vincent Tavier
as Vincent (Sound Man #3)
André Bonzel
as Cameraman
Rachel Deman
as Mamie Tromblon
André Laime
as Bed-ridden Old Man
Sylviane Godé
as Rape Victim (Martine)
Zoltan Tobolik
as Rape Victim's Husband
Marcel Engels
as Cameraman
Franco Piscopo
as Sound Recordist
Venelin Poikov
as First Postman
Alain François
as Video Reporter
Antoine Chapelot
as Wine Waiter
Hughes Tavier
as Buffet Waiter
Pol Vanderwarren
as Ben's Lawyer
Anne LaGrange
as Journalist
Paul Bottemanne
as Taxi Driver
Irene Gilissen
as Lady on Train
Sabine Tavier
as Madame Pipi
Carlos Miranda
as Night Watchman
Pascal Lebrun
as Featured Victim
Stephanie Aubier
as Featured Victim
Alain Hologne
as Featured Victim
Micheline Hologne
as Featured Victim
Philippe Blasband
as Featured Victim
Aldo Fostier
as Featured Victim
Jean-Pol Cavillot
as Featured Victim
Anny Hologne
as Featured Victim
Elaine Leonard
as Featured Victim
Marie Travier
as Featured Victim
Bruno Belvaux
as Featured Victim
Lucien Belvaux
as Featured Victim
Jean-Claude Maschetti
as Featured Victim
Laurence D'Hondt
as Journalist
Daniel Tursh
as Journalist
Benoît Mariage
as Journalist
Emmanuelle Bada
as Journalist
Stéphane Aubier
as Journalist
Jean-Paul Geets
as Malou's Customer
Clotilde Francois
as Victim in Montage
Steven Artels
as Victim in Montage
Bertrand Tavier
as Victim in Montage
Bob Lens
as Victim in Montage
Josephs Craeynest
as Victim in Montage
Willy Van De Waele
as Victim in Montage
Andre Kuys
as Victim in Montage
Patrick Goisse
as Victim in Montage
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Critic Reviews for Man Bites Dog

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for Man Bites Dog

  • Aug 03, 2013
    Man Bites Dog is probably the best low budget/mockumentary ever, it really grows inside of you. Man Bites Dog follows the life and work of serial killer Benoit Poelvoorde, who teaches us how to become a successful serial killer and the art of being one. It's hilarious, satirical and chilling to the bones all at the same time.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jun 17, 2013
    Man Bites Dog is an intensely disturbing movie that, despite having frequent moments of dark humor, is shockingly violent and very difficult to watch. In the movie, a (fictional) documentary crew follows charming serial killer Benoit around in his day-to-day routine. Ben is a vicious and remorseless killer, yet he is also witty, intelligent, and very charming, making his murders all the more terrifying. He is completely devoid of any guilt for what he does, and he even casually points to a concrete wall at one point and says that he had stuffed the bodies of two Arabs in the wall, "facing Mecca of course." He starts off every month by killing a postman and even teaches the documentary crew about the correct amount of weight needed to weigh down different corpses underwater. Gradually the filmmakers begin to assist Ben more and more with his murders until they become just as bad as him in a horrifying rape scene. The movie acts as a satire on our society's morbid obsession with violence, and it definitely makes a point to disgust its audience with violence. The movie opens with Ben suffocating a woman to death onboard a train, and it doesn't get much tamer after that. His victims range from small children to elderly women, and it's all shown onscreen. Needless to stay this is a challenging movie to watch. Despite the (deliberately) appalling violence depicted, Ben is carefree and casually makes remarks that are funny in the sickest of ways. I wouldn't surprised if someone characterized this movie as a dark comedy, because it's intended to be funny much of the time, but this humor is mixed with brutal violence to create a sort of nightmarish paradox of a movie. I wouldn't dare recommend Man Bites Dog to a friend, but for those who are willing to take a major risk and watch it, it's a fascinating and well-made, albeit very disturbing, movie with a very dramatic way of expressing its themes.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 08, 2012
    This film is violent, nasty, and has some of the best black humor since Dr. Strangelove. The serial killer being followed by the documentary crew in this mockumentary is Ben. He is an expert in killing, dirty jokes, and probably majored in philosophy in college. Which is probably why he steals to pay the bills. While I wouldn't rank this near the most disturbing film like many have, there were sequences of violence that were hard to watch. Most notably the rape scene, which had an even more gruesome aftermath than the one in A Clockwork Orange. Ben killed 34 people in this film, one of them a child. We only saw one man escape from him. All the kills were unique, the three directors didn't reuse ideas. We can only assume the countless amount of people he killed before this showbiz crew somehow found him. While the serial killer is enjoyable to listen to the cast made sure you didn't forget how bad he really was. That's a problem with some of the films that follow purely the villain, you start rooting for him. There were a few plot holes I spotted. Why wouldn't the police seize the documentary footage? It didn't really take much away but it could be the reason this is refereed to as an exploitation film. Which is not what the directors intended. The movie could bring humor into dark areas. It was even cartoonish in a sense, Ben looked at killing as if he was animating Tom & Jerry. This made it a unique and powerful film.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 18, 2012
    A shocking and engaging mockumentary that takes a unique and often difficult look at violence in our society. The subject of the film Benoit is disturbingly believable as the maniacal yet oddly likeable sociopath. While Benoit participates in extraordinary acts of violence, the filmmakers do a great job making sure that we are entertained the entire time. In that way we are giving consent for the madness to continue. Even as the camera crew in the film began to become more and more complicit in Benoit's crimes, we as the audience can share in their wonder. It is a well made film and even though it is hard to watch at times, you cannot help but watch. It is violent entertainment critiquing violence as entertainment and it does a very good job at achieving that goal.
    Reid V Super Reviewer

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