[[quoteright:198:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Naturalbornkillersposter_541.JPG]]

->''The media made them superstars''

Considered to be one of the most controversial films of the 1990s, '''''Natural Born Killers''''' is a film by Creator/OliverStone. It derives from a screenplay written by Creator/QuentinTarantino (which itself was a rewrite of friend {{Roger Avary}}'s script, The Open Road, elements of which also contributed to {{True Romance}}), who conceived it as a dark exploitation thriller (with elements of satire), but Stone extensively rewrote it to the point where Tarantino [[DisownedAdaptation disowns it as part of his work.]] Stone turned the story into a satire of [[IfItBleedsItLeads the incestuous relationship between crime, the media and pop culture]], and how the latter two glorify the former and turn mass murderers into cult heroes. The film tells the tale of Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory Knox (Creator/JulietteLewis), who captivate the world with a cross-country murder spree. Despite being sadistic and largely unrepentant murderers, the media (led by a tabloid journalist played by Creator/RobertDowneyJr) turns them into pop culture icons.

While the equally corrupt detective who arrested them (Tom Sizemore) and the warden (TommyLeeJones) at the prison holding the two plot to have Mickey and Mallory killed while transporting them to a mental institution for psychiatric testing, Mickey uses a post-Super Bowl special interview to stage a riot in the prison and escapes with his bride to freedom, leaving a trail of carnage in their wake as the entire prison goes up in flames and the staff is savagely slaughtered by the prisoners.

A psychedelic and surrealistic film (one that has been called "The Most Expensive Student Film Ever Made") the film sadly fell victim to MisaimedFandom as some fans actually ended up liking Mickey and Mallory and their ultra-violent killing spree, which was what Stone was condemning. Similarly, quite a few critics failed to see the condemnation of media hype, instead fixating on the perceived glorification of violence. (Ironically enough, Tarantino's original script arguably places more emphasis on the "evil" of the Knoxes--making them less sympathetic.[[note]] Tarantino himself soundly condemned the "sitcom" sequences in the film, apparently for that reason.[[/note]] And those on the "side of the law" are ''not'' the NotSoDifferent types Stone makes them into....)

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents:
** Mallory's parents, and maybe Mickey's, too.
** Well, maybe not abusive, but as a child, Mickey did see [[spoiler:his father kill himself.]]
* AdaptationalVillainy: Jack Scagnetti was written by Quentin as more of a tired, worn-out KnightInSourArmor, living with a reputation based on past glory, who ''eventually'' [[KnightTemplar snaps and attacks Mallory in the climax]]--as opposed to the corrupt, murderous DirtyCop obsessed with Mallory that Stone's film made him.
** In addition, Mallory's parents were not originally written as sexually abusive. In Tarantino's original script, the given reason for Mickey killing Mallory's parents was that they wouldn't give their blessing to the couple's marriage. The DisproportionateRetribution turned UpToEleven is discussed by Scagnetti and company as being the couples' EstablishingCharacterMoment.
* AppealToInherentNature: "Look, bitch, you knew I was a snake."
* AssholeVictim:
** Mallory's father and Jack Scagnetti.
** The redneck gang.
* AxCrazy: Two guesses. Mallory is the worst.
* BadassBeard: Wayne Gale
* BaldOfEvil: Mickey towards the end.
* BerserkButton: The only person who calls Mallory "You stupid bitch" and lives is Mickey.
* BottomlessMagazines: Nobody really seems to be particularly concerned with bullet counts here. A particularly obvious example happens during the prison riot, when Wayne fires a pistol with the slide locked open.
* BrokenAesop: Debatable, but Stone does make the life of crime seem pretty attractive at times...
* ChewingTheScenery: Wayne Gale, of course, and Mc Cluskey, with his [[EvilLaugh "horrific fucking laugh"]]
* ClusterFBomb
* CultSoundtrack: The [[Music/NineInchNails Trent Reznor]]-compiled soundtrack, which includes songs by Music/LeonardCohen, Music/PattiSmith, Music/BobDylan, Dr. Dre and Tha Dogg Pound.
* DerangedAnimation: During some of the more psychedelic scenes, we're treated to random frames of Mickey running down a hallway and a perverse FelixTheCat attacking Mallory and getting shot.
* DinerBrawl: Or a Diner Massacre anyway.
* DirtyCop: Jack Scagnetti and the prison warden.
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Arguably the whole point of the movie, and a vicious satire of it.
* TheFamilyThatSlaysTogether: [[spoiler:[[SubvertedTrope Subverted]]. Mickey and Mallory end their killing sprees after they decide to settle down and have kids.]]
* FanDisservice:
** Mallory's armpits.
** The numerous [[FootFocus shots of Mallory's bare feet.]]
* TheFarmerAndTheViper: A variation is recounted to by a Native American who shelters Mickey and Mallory. [[spoiler:Sure enough, he's killed by Mickey, but accidentally - Mickey comes out of a nightmare and fires his gun on reflex. Mallory is not amused.]]
* FreezeFrameBonus: The credits of the fake sitcom "I Love Mallory" are full of [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110632/faq#.2.1.12 punny names and jokes]] such as "Best Boy: C. Noevil".
* FreudianExcuse:
** Mickey and Mallory both had abusive fathers, with Mallory's dad molesting her and Mickey's dad killing himself in front of his son.
** Scagnetti had a similar excuse, as his mother was killed by a spree killer (Charles Whitman).
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: The scene showing Mallory's family life is done in the style of a 90's sitcom, complete with canned laughter, exaggerated set design, and sitcom-styled joke script... which informs the viewer that Mallory's father has been raping her for longer than her brother has been alive (because the only reason Kevin was born is because Dad didn't realize he was in his own bedroom and not Mallory's) and her mother doesn't object because he beats her.
* HollywoodHealing:
** For someone who has just bitten by a rattle snake, Mickey didn't have a problem engaging in a shootout.
** Also, Mallory gets sprayed in the eyes with mace by Scagnetti and is capable to see perfectly not two minutes later.
* {{If It Bleeds It Leads}}: A ruthless satire of this trope.
* IllKillYou: Everyone. Yes, everyone.
* {{Important Haircut}}: Mickey, right before his interview.
* KarmaHoudini:
** [[spoiler:The two run away and spend their days in an RV, raising their kids and being normal. Oliver Stone was actually aiming for this trope - they're heroic, in a twisted sort of way, because they killed the mass media figure that propagated their doings, the corrupt cop and the warden.]]
** Not so, however, [[spoiler:in the deleted scene. See KarmicDeath below.]]
* KarmicDeath:
** [[spoiler:In a deleted scene, instead of [[KarmaHoudini running away and raising a family]], Mickey and Mallory are killed by the same serial killer that helped them escape the prison, because [[WordOfGod Stone said]] that the best comeuppance for the two was to be killed by "their own ilk".]]
** [[spoiler:When Wayne Gale, the bastard who propagated Mickey and Mallory's killings, starts killing people himself for the sake of ratings, Mickey and Mallory give him a ''vicious'' TheReasonYouSuckSpeech before killing him as well.]]
* MindScrew: All the strange imagery inserted almost subliminally into the film, such as a beheaded, bloody man sitting on a couch which also begins moving near the end of the film (the fake sitcom at the beginning is also credited to "Headless Mann Ltd."; see FreezeFrameBonus above).
* {{Mood Dissonance}}: All the frakkin' time.
* OutlawCouple: Mickey and Mallory
* {{The Plan}}: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in that Mickey and Mallory didn't actually plan the riot. They instead attribute their miraculous escape to "fate."
* RedOniBlueOni: Mallory and Mickey, respectively.
* {{Scary Shiny Glasses}}: Mickey's glasses.
* SlasherSmile
* StrawmanNewsMedia: Type 4.
* TitleDrop: "Shit, man. I'm a Natural Born Killer."
* [[WhatTheHellHero What The Hell, Villain?]]: [[spoiler:When Mickey accidentally kills the Indian, Mallory really lays into him.]]
* {{Villain Protagonist}}s
* WagTheDirector: Very little of this film is derived from Tarantino's screenplay. Tarantino says that the only aspect of the film he'll acknowledge as being his are the character names Mickey and Mallory.
* XMeetsY: ''{{Kalifornia}}'' meets ''{{Network}}''
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Mallory's mother has purple hair, mostly a ShoutOut to Alex's mother in ''Film/AClockworkOrange''.

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