Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.
Maybe it's because I'm a girl and the rape scene is still haunting my brain in an ugly way, but this seems like an attempt to see how far someone can take the "over the top".
It's not the violence, mind you, some of my favorites include: The Way of the Gun, Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs (incl. ear scene), & Seven. And it's not the French either (*wink*), I like French film. I'm also in health care, blood and exposed tissues, or the handling of them (with gloves) don't bother me in the least.
It's the way the violence is presented. The lack of fiction attached to it. I can't see this as art. (Ahh, now THERE'S an argument spinoff: What is art? Not my purpose here.)
The rape scene commences with breaking into an apartment, surprising a couple already naked and intimately involved in the kitchen, or maybe they're catching a snack, it's unclear and not really the point. The point is they are utterly exposed and helpless when this guy breaks in sporting his big gun and his camera crew. The serial killer uses his big gun to subdue the couple, then invites his camera crew to directly participate instead of just spectate and help clean up with this one. The reaction he receives is akin to a shrug and an "ok", pointing out the lemming quality of most individuals even in the face of such a suggestion. So they go to it, all the while having the critiquing narration of the serial killer accompanying their actions as he watches closely while they perform. Then, the serial killer takes his turn, showing them the correct way of doing things. All the while, her mate is standing by helpless and naked as the action unfolds in front of him on the kitchen table. As with most French film, very graphic sex scene, full frontal, etc. As they film the rape, everything on the woman is starkly visible, except her face, adding to the overall quality of the scene. Cut to the next morning. Both the rape victim and her mate are tossed dead, disemboweled, and forgotten on the kitchen table and counter top, respectively. Not a quick look either, a camera shot intended to give the viewer time to think about what happened there. Just meat, left for whomever finds it. All with the shaky, B&W home movie quality to it.
Very icky. The presentation draws you in with its gritty, real-life feel in the viewing of it. For those that appreciate that sort of thing, this film is for you. Just bear in mind that the content may not be something with which you want to experience that level of exposure. I still wish I'd never seen the bloody thing. I cringe as I type this. The only movie that has given me an even mild sense of distaste similar to the one experienced here is the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Again though, that was mild compared to the taste I walked away with after viewing Man Bites Dog.
Fair warning or encouragement, hope this is helpful.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age