One of cinema’s most controversial movies due to its depiction of violence, Natural Born Killers is a dizzying trip into the minds of Mickey and Mallory Knox as they embark on a ruthless killing spree. Quentin Tarantino’s script and director Oliver Stone’s vision is one of the most visceral satires in film history, which would inspire Behemoth’s frontman Nergal – a man who would go on to be no stranger to controversy himself.
“This movie had a huge impact on me when I saw it,” he tells Metal Hammer. “I remember going to see it the week it came out at the cinema in Poland in 1994, I was so determined to see it as soon as I could. I’m a huge film nut, I still go to the movies once a week, and when I go I obviously want to be entertained, but I want to be moved, inspired, thrilled and made to really think. So many movies are there and then they just fizzle away, but this is still relevant and contemporary to this day.
“It’s aged so gracefully, because it basically predicted what we have in society now; this obsession with death. Every social media video that gets the most views is something awful, we revel in it, and the way society went is predicted so perfectly in the film.”
The way that Oliver Stone refused to condemn the Knox’s behaviour was one of the movie’s most unique moral quandaries, which Nergal pinpoints as one of its most powerful elements.
“I remember seeing it and feeling confused because of the conflict it stirs up in you,” he says. “These people are killers and yet they are the heroes, they are the people you find yourself rooting for and falling in love with. Their relationship is so touching, and I think that’s why it caused so much controversy, that is why it is so dangerous. This isn’t The Evil Dead, which is a fucking great movie also, but it is fantastical and full of escapism. I watched Natural Born Killers and thought ‘Oh shit, so this is where we are now. This is the world we live in.’
“It’s so daring, it’s shot so beautifully, it’s so unique in the way it looks and feels. And let’s not forget, it had an incredible soundtrack. It was the same deal with (1997 movie) Lost Highway, I remember seeing the people who contributed the music and they were not just some asshole that you’d never heard of, these people were artists with a capital A. So to see that, to see that you could be an amazing musical artist and be welcomed into an amazing cinematic medium, was very inspiring to me.
“Everything about Natural Born Killers feels like a landmark, made by true artists, true visionaries shining a light on some of the most vulgar aspects of our society. I don’t ever see a day where it doesn’t have the ability to move you in some way.”