By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Natural Born Killers
Natural Born Killers blew my mind when I first saw it in theaters. This week’s new release of the director’s cut is my first chance to see it on Blu Ray, so does it still? Well, no two scenes are exactly the same style and I can’t go scene by scene, but I’ll do my best to explain why it still does.
Natrual Born Killers in HD
The opening sequence looks like smooth film. It’s not gritty detail but it’s well preserved and the stark cuts to grainy footage stand out. Actually, the quick satanic flashes are the clearest and most detailed, but you’ll have to pause to see them.
The black and white looks good. Some of it is like 16mm footage but it’s clear, and it’s more grey than stark blacks and whites. Other black and white footage is clear and detailed with high contrast. The stuff that’s cut into the sitcom sequence is like that.
The sitcom sequence still looks like video. In fact, it looks like it’s from the film transfer of the video, back to this source. That’s appropriate. It’s the film’s version of video, not the first generation source.
All the rear projection scenes hold strong. The lighting on Mickey and Mallory in the car shines on their detail while the 2nd generation film plays in front of them. Lighting is good throughout the movie, especially that lime green supermarket. Scenes with TV backgrounds or magical apparitions keep the foreground clear and detailed while the crazy stuff happens behind them.
Their escape from Mallory’s burning home seems the clearest Blu Ray footage, at least that you can see at full speed. So the film does go there. Mickey’s proposal, some of the Native American sequences and some of the prison sequences look that good too, but of course they’re all cutting back and forth to different stocks.
The animated cuts didn’t do much for me, but then anime as a whole doesn’t. So it looks like anime, solid lines but choppy animation and dull color.
Natural Born Killers may move too quickly to see a lot of the gory detail but in the few moments where it pauses, you’ll see scuffs and grit in the prison, lush nature and porous perspiring of the heroes and victims.