One Of The Most Controversial 1990s Thrillers Gets Major Re-Release

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

natural born killers

The ‘90s had no shortage of controversial films, but the one that arguably made the most waves was Natural Born Killers. Directed by Oliver Stone, this movie had plenty to say about murder, media, sex, and the complex way that all three weave together in American society.

In short, the film captured the vibe of the 1990s while predicting coming decades with creepy accuracy, and you can now appreciate this fearless film as a 4K Steelbook available from Shout! Factory.

The Crazy Natural Born Killers Story

What is Natural Born Killers about, though? The film follows a crazy couple as they fill their days with sex, drugs, and murder.

They are being chased by a lawman nearly as bad as themselves, but we soon discover even the toughest cop is powerless to keep the media from glamorizing the awful acts of these killers and possibly driving them to even more frenzied acts of destruction.

Oliver Stone Directing

natural born killers

If you’ve never seen it, one great reason to check out Natural Born Killers is that it is directed by Oliver Stone.

This is the same legendary director behind movies like Platoon, Wall Street, and JFK. In short, he’s always been a filmmaker who has plenty to say about controversial topics, and seeing his examination of America breeding a new kind of combustive killer fueled by media attention is nothing less than fascinating.

Woody Harrelson And Juliette Lewis Star

natural born killers

The movie would have been far less fascinating if not for the stars: the titular Natural Born Killers are played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis.

They present a weird combination of steaminess and sin that it’s easy to imagine why the media (represented by future Iron Man star Robert Downey, Jr.)  in this film would try to turn them into folk heroes for the MTV generation. 

Tommy Lee Jones infuses his warden character with the actor’s usual gruff gravitas, but the real standout lawman is a detective played by Tom Sizemore, whose character secretly murders prostitutes even as he publicly hunts down other killers.

Quentin Tarantino Wrote The Original Screenplay

quentin tarantino star trek

Natural Born Killers is also connected to another major Hollywood talent, though he’d mostly like us to forget about it. Quentin Tarantino wrote the original screenplay, but Oliver Stone changed the script up so much that Tarantino wanted nothing to do with the final film.

That didn’t keep the Pulp Fiction director from receiving a story by credit, and even though he disowned the film, this one is worth watching for anyone who considers themselves a Tarantino superfan.

Critical And Box Office Reception

natural born killers

When Natural Born Killers came out, it generated a decent profit, bringing in $110 million at the box office against a budget of $34 million. Critics, however, didn’t love Stone’s film, which is why it currently has a 51 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s worth pointing out that it has an 81 percent audience rating on the same site, which is a strong indicator of how much this film has become a beloved cult classic in the last few decades.

Natural Born Killers 4K Release

natural born killers

Want to see what the hype is about, or maybe just rewatch Stone’s violent vision in the highest possible quality? Either way, you can now pre-order your Natural Born Killers 4K limited edition Steelbook from Shout! Factory.

You’ll get a theatrical and director’s cut of the film as well as a commentary by Stone and more documentaries, interviews, deleted scenes, and other special features than you can shake a gun at.

Just don’t try to get Quentin Tarantino to sign your copy after you receive it. Otherwise, you might personally be responsible for kickstarting that director’s early retirement from filmmaking before we ever get to see his final film.