The 38-minute Merde is one of a trilogy of films which came out in 2008, creating a feature length one under the name Tokyo!, as all three are set in that city. Perhaps the main theme linking them is that they are all outsiders. The other contributors are Michel Gondry and Bong Joon-ho.
A wild-eyed man (possibly half-blind) emerges from a sewer via a man-hole cover in central Toyko, walks oddly, snatches a cigarette, a wallet (from which he takes a note, eats it and discards the rest, licks a young girl's arm, then disappears back down his cover and into the sewer, where he sleeps. Television is full of the story.
The following day he re-emerges from his cover, releases several salvos of an explosive device and kills a number of people at random. When the police find him naked in his sewer that night, they arrrest him and he risks capital punishment by hanging. Me (Maître) Voland (Jean-François Balmer) defends him, and he has a similar beard, a similar eye complaint, and also speaks the language of the man. And the man (Carax's acteur fétiche Denis Lavant) gives his name as Merde, so he becomes M. Merde. Merde hates the Japanese, hates everything in fact, but this nihilist serial killer oddly falls into two categories with the Japanese: those who want him to be executed, and those who are in his favour.
Merde is hanged, pronounced dead, although he appears to come back to life, escapes from his noose, and disappears.