Natural Born Killers: A little drama and a lot of trauma

Intro by Maria

For me, there’s nothing like a trip down old memory lane by watching the movie Natural Born Killers. It seems odd—right?—that a violent movie that focuses on serial killers would be one that a 14-year-old girl would identify with so much. Unfortunately (and, to some extent, fortunately), I was not a typical girl.

If you’ve been paying attention to the previous podcasts, you’d know that by now, but if you haven’t (and even still, if you need a reminder), I had kind of a rough childhood. It was punctuated by heavy drug use, lots of physical fights at school, depression, hospitalization, and continuous rape by a friend’s older family member.

It’s sad, right? Well, I’m not telling you this to make you sad, but perhaps now you get a little more of a clear picture of who I was back then, watching this movie, almost celebrating it. You’ll get plenty more personal stories in the podcast, but first, let me give you a quick synopsis of this movie.

Originally, Natural Born Killers was written by Quentin Tarantino, but because Tarantino was…well, not Tarantino yet…he sold it to Oliver Stone, who heavily rewrote it. Tarantino’s version, which I’m sure is out there on the internet for people to read, was said to be more focused on the life-sucking nature of media and reporters. But Stone’s version centers on Mickey and Mallory Knox, who seem to be, as the title suggests, natural born killers. Both have experienced abuse from family members, and unfortunately, the movie seems to suggest that this abuse is what causes them to go on a killing spree—starting with Mallory’s parents.

To give Stone credit, he attempts to frame the story using Wayne Gale, a journalist willing to exploit anything and anyone for ratings. However, Stone doesn’t succeed. Instead, the movie glamourizes Mickey and Mallory, and when everything is over, and Mickey and Mallory kill Gale in an attempt to destroy the media, which had the potential to be the real bad guy of this story, the film falls short.

This movie was extremely controversial when it came out in 1994. It even inspired copycat killers who proclaimed they murdered people because of the movie. I don’t buy that stuff—movies and video games don’t make anyone do anything, really, except perhaps move us to question life and examine our own selves. And this is exactly what Brandon and I try to do as we take to the highway and get real and raw on this next episode of the Peculiar Picture Show podcast.

Musical selections in this podcast include:

“Temperature’s Rising” by LoveFine: Music by LoveFine from Fugue

“Summer Lights” by Anchors and Seagulls: Music by Anchors and Seagulls from Fugue

“Arterial” by Stage Engine: Music by Stage Engine from Fugue

Quotes

B: If you could take the 90s and condense it down to something like an essential oil and turn that into a film, it would be Natural Born Killers. This is the most 90s movie I think I’ve ever seen.

M: When you’re 12, 13, or 14, when you’re a girl, when you have all these hormones going, I think that’s really the time in your life, especially as a girl, that you start getting really depressed. That’s when that shit starts kicking in.

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