August 26, 2019
The controversy-courting 1994 road movie about a couple of bloodthirsty killers took the media to task but failed to investigate further
Natural Born Killers at 25: the problem with Oliver Stones hit film
Natural Born Killers came to theaters on 26 August 1994, only a few short months after OJ Simpson’s infamous flight from justice in a white Ford Bronco in June. At the time, director/co-writer Oliver Stone could not have anticipated the scale of the spectacle that the scandal would mutate into, a 24-hour news orgy of speculation and generally ghoulish exploitation of the public’s morbid fascination with carnage. The trial wouldn’t even begin in earnest until January of the next year, and yet there’s the Juice, stuffed in the final moments of Stone’s blood-spattered road movie. His hangdog visage flashes past the screen in the whirlwind montage of shocking images that close out the film, a canny symbol for the toxic symbiosis between America’s epidemic of murder and the culture of TV press feeding on it which Stone rails against. Simpson appears only for a split-second as an unwitting warning – the ghost of media circuses yet to come.
Related: Oliver Stone on Vladimir Putin: ‘The Russian people have never been better off’
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