Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Natural Born Killers (1994)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Natural Born Killers (1994)

In Oliver Stone's visually-riveting (MTV-style and color-switching), controversial and brutal film (from a Quentin Tarantino original script) was about two serial killer-lovers, mass murder, obsession and media sensationalism in America to maximize profits. It came under critical fire for its own graphic, on-screen violence, and was severely-edited (to get an R rating instead of an unrated or NC-17 rating).

The over-the-top, visceral satire about the desire of the violence-obsessed, exploitative media was portrayed with an eclectic style mix of film styles (of 35mm, Super-8, animation, and back projection), including a fast MTV-style with color-switching, skewed camera angles, quick-cut editing, a loud rock soundtrack, some animation, and various special effects.

The energetic film precipitated at least eight 'copycat' murders and violent incidents by self-professed 'natural born killers,' including two Oklahoma teens who watched the film repeatedly and then went on a similar shooting spree. Some viewed the protagonists as glamorous and romantic folk heroes -- similar to what happened after the release of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971).

  • the film's introductory pre-title credits sequence set in a New Mexico diner introduced two white-trash, serial killers-outlaws-lovers: Mallory Wilson (Juliette Lewis), who was dancing sexily to jukebox music, while Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) was eating pie at the counter and reading an Albuquerque newspaper about their recent murders: (MICKEY AND MALLORY KILL SIX TEENS DURING SLUMBER PARTY); when Mallory was sexually-harrassed by one of the redneck customers, and she taunted him: "Are you flirting with me?...You want a piece of me?" - she punched him until he was senseless and then danced on his body ("You made my s--t list") before breaking his neck
  • at the counter, the man's buddy was also sliced up by Mickey with a large bowie knife; even the female cook (with a meat cleaver), Mabel (O-Lan Jones) the waitress and other patrons were murdered as well as a third man outside (with the knife thrown into his back), but the killers let one obese cowboy survive to tell their story: "When the people come here and they ask you who done this, you tell them 'Mickey and Mallory Knox did it', alright, say it!"
  • the married couple fled - - it was the start of their violent, cross-country Southwestern states random killing spree
The New Mexico Diner Massacre
  • a disturbing flashback was presented of the abusive family life of Mallory Knox - portrayed as a situation-comedy (with a canned laughter track); the fantasy parody about a dysfunctional family was called "I Love Mallory" - similar to I Love Lucy, All in the Family or Married With Children; it featured comic Rodney Dangerfield as Mallory's perverted, sexually-abusive, beer-drinking dad Ed Wilson, her mother (Edie McClurg), and her 10 year-old brother Kevin (Sean Stone)
  • Mallory's dad often threatened molestation, called her a "stupid bitch," and grabbed her butt: ("If your ass is in this house, it's my ass, so you move it upstairs and take a shower. Make sure it's a good shower because l'm comin' up after to see how clean ya are"); her neglectful "old bag" mother was also constantly threatened and intimidated by Ed, who called her "a f--kin' idiot"
  • Mallory instantly fell in love at first sight with meat delivery-man Mickey after he came to the Knox family door, hauling in his arms a bloody 50-lb package ("It's beef, lady. 50 pounds of beef") - he complimented Mallory: "You ought to change your name to Beautiful"; they went on a joy-ride after stealing Ed's car and leaving a note for Ed: "Out with the meat man. Back before dawn. Love, Mallory"
  • after being charged with auto-theft and escaping prison, Mickey returned to rescue Mallory, and there was a dual death scene of them both murdering Mallory's parents; Mickey struck Ed in the face with a crowbar, dunked his head into a fish-tank to drown him, and struck him with a meat cleaver; then they gagged and bound Mallory's mother in her bed, and burned her alive after dousing her with charcoal lighter fluid and setting her on fire with a flame starter
  • during their flight from authorities, they 'married' atop the Rio Grande Gorge bridge by exchanging snake wedding bands and clasping their bloodied hands together as blood dripped down into the river: (Mickey: "Put them together." Mallory: "lt's very romantic, baby. We'll be livin' in all the oceans now." Mickey: "God - before you and this river and this mountain and everything we don't know about, Mickey, do you take Mallory to be your lawful wedded wife to have and hold and treat right until you die?...")
  • self-serving TV tabloid show host/reporter Wayne Gale (Robert Downey, Jr.), an Australian and a 'yellow journalist', made the pair famous crime celebrities for his sensationalist "American Maniacs" show featuring mass murderers (Charles Manson, Charles Whitman, Richard Ramirez), and elevating their status to admired heroes around the world; he conducted a live interview along Route 666 in the Southwest, calling it their "candylane of murder and mayhem" rather than a "beautiful stretch of the American landscape"
  • the two killers were pursued through New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah by slimy, fame-seeking author and sleazy sociopathic Detective Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore), where they ultimately claimed 52 victims. Scagnetti's real personality was revealed during an encounter with Pinky (Lorraine Farris), a young prostitute that he strangled to death during sex in his hotel room
  • the fugitive couple accidentally murdered kindly Navajo Indian Warren Red Cloud (Russell Means) in his New Mexico hut, who perceived that there was a demon in Mickey and attempted to expel it through chanting while he slept
  • the crazed and raging Mickey awoke from nightmares of his abusive childhood and shot and killed the Navajo in the chest (as he died, he spoke: "Twenty years ago, I saw the demon in my dreams. I was waiting for you")
  • after both received rattlesnake bites, Mickey and Mallory entered a Drug Zone store (a scene shot almost entirely in flourescent green), where Mickey assaulted (and killed) the obese druggist (Glen Chin) to acquire snake-bit antidote; a silent alarm was activated and the police arrived (led by Scagnetti) and he seized Mallory; a stand-off and gunfight, a knife threat against Mallory by Scagnetti (threatening to cut her "tits off"), and a taser attack ultimately led to their arrest; an excited Japanese reporter commented with sexual innuendo: "He has a very large gun... He's now rendered impotent"
Drug Zone Scene
  • during at least a year in prison for the homicidal couple, the two were responsible for many violent incidents against other inmates and guards, and Mallory even killed her psychiatrist; both were declared criminally insane; in cahoots with the cruel, paranoid and venal prison warden Dwight McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones), Scagnetti's plan was to move the two imprisoned killers from jail to a mental hospital (so they could be murdered during an alleged escape attempt)
  • Wayne Gale, who had made them famous crime celebrities for his sensationalist "American Maniacs" show, held a post-Super Bowl Batonga Penitentiary interview between Mickey and Gale, when Mickey admitted to his one true calling in life: "S--t man, I'm a natural born killer"; his words incited a prison riot (in the Rec Room and B-wing) among the other inmates who were watching the live interview

"S--t, man, I'm a natural born killer"
Wayne Gale During Prison Interviews with Mickey
  • an incredibly violent riot occurred (all the mayhem was filmed by Gale), and in the midst of a chaotic and full-scale bloody massacre and Mexican stand-off with Mickey, Scagnetti's throat was slashed and he was shot dead point-blank in Mallory's cell by Mallory, using Scagnetti's own gun - as she asked him: "Do you still like me now, Jack?"; there was a controversial see-through view of the bullet hole piercing Gale's right hand, and a quick view of the Warden's decapitated head on a spike (only in the Director's Cut)
Bloody Violence During Prison Riot: Mexican Stand-Off
Gale's Right Hand with Bullet Hole
Scagnetti's Stabbed Throat and Murder
  • the twosome made a getaway-escape with Gale to a rural setting; there, Mallory filmed him for an interview - as he narrated (subtitled): "This is Wayne Gale, unfortunately no longer live. l am wounded. All my crew is dead. l have left my wife, and my girlfriend has left me"; although Gale was able to interview them for a few minutes with his own camera, but failed after begging to be a sole survivor: ("Wait! Don't Mickey and Mallory always leave one person alive to tell the tale?"); Mickey confiscated the camera - to be used as the sole witness - and threatened what they were planning to do: "You'll be starin' down the barrels of our shotguns, and we're gonna be blowin' your brains all over that tree back there" - and soon after, they brutally executed him as promised, with the camera on the ground (still recording the scene as the sole witness); Gale died as he extended his arms in a crucifix posture
The Ending: Demise of Gale
  • the ending revealed that the broadcast had been transmitted via Gale's in-ear microphone to a news-show, where the horrified Channel 6 female news anchor Antonia Chavez (Melinda Renna) cried out: "Oh, my God!"; the next WGN news story was about a wedding day massacre
  • the film's ending montage consisted of rapidly-spliced together excerpts of recent real-life, homicidal and criminal media circuses that were presented with sensational TV-tabloid coverage:
    • the Menendez Brothers' trial for murdering their parents
    • the Los Angeles Rodney King beating trial
    • the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan ice-skating scandal
    • the Waco, Texas conflagration
    • the case of O.J. Simpson's trial for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole
    • and rapid-fire images of bloody, demonic faces
  • the last excerpt before the ending credits was a quick shot of a pregnant Mallory in an RV watching their two children play, as Mickey was driving

Flashback: Parody Soap-Opera: "I Love Mallory"

Mallory's Abusive Family

Mallory: "Who are you?"

"Mickey. Who are you?"
Love at First Sight

The Murders of Mallory's Parents

'Marriage' Vows Atop Bridge

American Maniacs TV Show Hosted by Wayne Gale (Robert Downey, Jr.)

Detective Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore)

Prostitute (Lorraine Farris) - Strangled by Sleazy Scagnetti

Death of Navajo Indian

Scagnetti with Prison Warden Dwight McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones)

Chaos and Riot in Prison During Interview

Warden's Head on a Spike

Horrified On-Air Channel 6 News Anchor Antonia Chavez During Prison Riot and Gale's Death: "Oh, my God!"

Before Ending Credits: Mickey and Pregnant Mallory in RV with Two Children


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