The film is from Belgium, and was released in 1992. It came out shortly after Reservoir Dogs and its profile at the time was probably raised by the similarity in name to Tarantino's first film.

The serial killer does not do it for money (as far as I can recall), but just for the hell of it.

The film is a mockumentary, supposedly filmed by a group of film students (cf The Blair Witch Project) who met the killer by chance.

The killer is a funny, affable conversationalist, and he does a great interview: he tells jokes, he explains the small details about ballasting corpses, before throwing them in a flooded quarry. He introduces the crew to a drinking game -- Dead Baby Boys.

How we laugh at his japes, at the comedic ways he kills. When we (and the crew) later witness, and vicariously take part in, the horrific rape of a woman, witnessed by her family, before murdering them all, we the audience feel incredibly guilty about our laughter earlier on.

A great film.

A slang referring to the fact that everyday events aren't what the public want for news. Contributes to the sensationalism that is created in the media. Helped to lead to the incredible media machine that came to be in the later part of the 20th century.

The original title is C'est arrivé près de chez vous (sometimes translated as It Happened In Your Neighborhood).

The Dead Baby Boys drinking game is called a "Petit Gregory" in the original movie. It refers to a true story, involving a lost child (called, you guessed it, Gregory) who was killed (and found later, drowned in the river Vologne). The inquiry and trial lasted for years, and many people in France or Belgium were touched by this affair. I wonder why this movie did not even lead to a scandal here when it was released.

Anyway, here is for your drinking pleasure the recipe :

Le Petit Gregory

Dive the victim in the glass. The owner of the first victim to come back up pays the whole round.

This is a nice game because everyone gets to drink as much. And the drop of gin can be a really huge drop.

*Yes, you can spell it color too. I don't mind.
In fact, the term 'man bites dog' exists longer than the movie :-)

It's used by belgian (and maybe some other countries) teachers to explain the importance of the position of various parts in a sentence. If you switch 'man' and 'dog', the sentence gets a whole new meaning, the words have another grammatical role.

eg. In English, French or Dutch this sequence of words is extremely important but in languages like German, Greek or Latin (where more cases exist) this is less important because if the function of a word changes, the article and the noun's ending changes. That way you can derive the function in the sentence.

Interestingly JerboaKolinowski mentioned a whole other meaning :-)

'Man bites dog' is a story that's interesting enough to print in a newspaper, as opposed to 'dog bites man', which is normal, dull and hence not newsworthy.
Slim's review is spot on, but for one problem; the American version of Man Bites Dog does not contain the rape scene, and a scene of a child being killed has been edited out as well.

The box is still branded the "special edition", and I've also heard it called "Unrated Edited".

According to the Oxford English Dictionary man bites dog (or man-bites-dog as the OED prefers) is an adjective of U.S. origin used to descibe a news story or event, "arousing interest because of its bizarre or unexpected nature".

The first recorded reference to the phrase comes from the Story of Sun by F. M. O'Brien published in 1918, which recounted how a former a city editor of the New York Sun named John Bogart once said to a young reporter; "When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news." Thus the origin of the phrase is generally attributed to John Bogart, although it is quite possible that Bogart was simply repeating what was a commonplace saying at the time. In any case this has never stopped other newspapemen (such as the first Baron Beaverbrook) from claiming that they'd originated the phrase.

Man bites dog was also the title of the Belgian movie which won the International Critics' Prize at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival which according to Amazon "stunned audiences worldwide with its unflinching imagery and biting satire of media violence".

The phrase has also been utilised as the name for a number of musical groups, each of which no doubt believed they were being breathtakingly original. There is one band of that name from Penrith in Cumbria and another from the Coachella Valley in California (both of whom have profiles on MySpace), another jazz band that uses the same name, as well as a Moscow based post-punk band. There are probably more.

Man Bites Dog (PR With Teeth) is also the name of a Public Relations agency which describes itself as "a new independent PR agency with global expertise and a passion for delivering results that make a real difference to the bottom line". Based at Brighton in the United Kingdom its clients include Microsoft, IBM, and the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, although quite why the last named should require a PR agency with "global expertise" is a question that the citizens of Nottinghamshire should no doubt be putting to their elected representatives.

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