'Natural Born Killers'

The serial killer as folk hero
by
ABR Arts 01 October 1994

'Natural Born Killers'

The serial killer as folk hero
by
ABR Arts 01 October 1994

Mickey and Mallory love to kill. Murder comes naturally to them – it’s all part of a successful day’s work. Bullets fly, bodies drop, and the couple move on as if enjoying a prolonged shopping spree in which the objects consumed just happen to be human lives. Their actions blend in perfectly with a culture that emphasises mass production, mass consumption, repetition, seriality. After all we live in an era that has not only produced a new breed of serial killers but also raises them to the status of folk heroes – icons to be consumed, in turn, by the media, fans, filmmakers, writers, profiteers. Mickey and Mallory are also deeply in love; a starry-eyed Romeo and Juliet whose passion, in the post-consumer society, feeds on a continual diet of violence, cruelty, death. (It is perhaps telling that in many contemporary films, violence and murder serve to unite the couple rather than drive them apart.) This circuit of consumption, repetition and seriality is self-regulating, continuous, carnivorous.

From the New Issue

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.