Premium

Mayhem, murder, and movies: the saga of Natural Born Killers

Juliet Lewis and Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killers
Juliet Lewis and Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killers Credit: Rex

Brawling stars; rioting extras; a furious Tarantino. The making of Oliver Stone's psychotic satire was almost as crazy as the film itself. But then the real trouble began...

It is March 1993, and at the Stateville Correctional Center on the outskirts of Chicago, a truly apocalyptic prison riot is in progress. Fires are burning, explosions can be heard and a crazed mob of convicts are baying like wolves.

It is all being staged for a new movie, true - and yet here and there, the line between fiction and reality is starting to fray. Instead of film extras, more than 450 of the facility’s own violent inmates have been ‘cast’. And now, armed with rubber clubs and knives, they’re chasing a hapless TV news crew and Robert Downey Jr through the narrow corridors of cells.

Except this time, something’s different. Maybe it’s because of the African tribal music, blasting out of speakers between takes...

To continue reading this Premium article

Register for free and access one Premium article per week

Enjoy unlimited access to Premium articles with a subscription

  • Subscriber-only events and experiences
  • Access Premium articles on our mobile app

30-day free trial

then only £2 per week

Unlock all Premium articles for 24 hours. Only £1.