Natural Born Killers is the story of Mickey and Mallory Knox, cold-blooded murderers and passionate lovers. This is a story that demonstrated what happens when the media turns mass murderers into celebrities, begins to manipulate the public's point of view, and the backfire that may result. Overall, it is a reflection of media's impact on the violent and criminal aspect of today's society.
"The Media Made Them Superstars" was the tagline used for this film (Natural Born Killers, 1994). The media is very well known for exploiting violence through extensive coverage of stories. This point is displayed best in the end of the film, where there is a montage of actual media events that were very publicized, including the Tonya Harding scandal, the Menendez brothers" trial, O.J. Simpson's trial, and the Rodney King beating. These clips are very symbolic in that they represent the media's over-reaction to these brutal crimes. The people involved immediately became national celebrities. This film is a similar representation of the media's portrayal of violence. Mickey and Mallory were cold-blooded murderers. They spared mercy on no one. The only reason they left anyone alive was only for that person to share their story with the public, which in turn increased their popularity. They thrived on the media and it seemed as though the public could not hear enough about them. With exposure through interviews, documentaries, and re-enactments, they became an international fascination.
The violence in this film is very theatrical. In every gruesome scene of Mickey and Mallory brutally ending someone's life, the number of camera shots used is nearly uncountable. All of the images are distorted in some way, whether it be a shift from color to black and white, an extreme camera angle, variation in camera speed, or an unusual point of view. Through the use of these effects, one consistent message is being sent to the audience.