Man Bites Dog (film)

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Man Bites Dog (French: C'est arrivé près de chez vous, It Happened in Your Neighborhood) is a darkly comedic Belgian mockumentary starring Benoît Poelvoorde. In the film, a crew of filmmakers follow a serial killer, recording his crimes for a documentary they are producing. At first dispassionate observers, they find themselves caught up in the increasingly chaotic violence.



Benoit is a charismatic serial killer who discusses at length whatever comes to mind, be it architecture, philosophy or classical music.

A film crew made up of three men join Benoit on his sadistic adventures, recording them as a fly on the wall documentary. Benoit takes them to meet his family and friends, while explaining at length the "craft" of his work.

He then ventures into apartment buildings explaining how it is more cost-effective to attack old people than young couples because the former have more cash at home and are easier to kill. In a following scene, he screams wildly at an elderly lady, causing her to have a heart attack. As she lays dying, he casually remarks that this method allowed him to spare a bullet. Benoit continues with his candid explanations and his murders, targeting anyone who comes his way: women, children, immigrants and postmen (his favourite victims).

The camera crew begin to get more and more involved in the murders, first as mere accomplices but eventually taking an active part in them. During filming, two of them are shot, their deaths later called "occupational hazards" by the crew.


The film is shot in black and white and was produced on a shoe-string budget by four student filmmakers, led by director Rémy Belvaux. The genesis of the idea came from shooting a documentary without any money. This film is rated NC-17 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "strong graphic violence."[1]

Although it is never shown or suggested in the film itself that Benoit kills a baby, the original poster features an image of a baby's pacifier with spattering blood coming from an unseen target at the end of Benoit's gun. For foreign release posters (not including the Region 4/Australian release), the baby's pacifier was changed to a set of dentures.


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