|THE KILLER INSIDE ME (director: Burt Kennedy; screenwriters: Edward Mann/Robert Chamblee/based on the novel by Jim Thompson; cinematographer: William A. Fraker; editors: Aaron Stell/Danford B. Greene; music: Tim McIntire/John Rubinstein ; cast: Stacy Keach (Lou Ford), Susan Tyrell (Joyce Lakeland), Tisha Sterling (Amy Stanton), Keenan Wynn (Chester Conway), Don Stroud (Elmer), Charles McGraw (Howard Hendricks), John Dehner (Bob Maples), John Carradine (Dr. Jason Smith), Royal Dano (Father), Pepe Serna (Johnny Lopez); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Michael W. Leighton; Warner Bros.; 1976)|
by Dennis Schwartz
music score is provided by Tim McIntire and
John Rubinstein. Both actors/musicians
are the sons of actor John McIntire and pianist
Noted Western director Burt Kennedy ("Big
Bad John"/"The War Wagon"/"Hannie Caulder") helms it
as a rambling modern western crime drama, with a film
noir look. The so-so screenplay by Edward
Mann and Robert Chamblee misses the essence of
what Jim Thompson's 1952 smoldering pulp novel was
striving for. The poor editing and poor production
values over-ride Stacy Keach's electric performance as
a Jekyll and Hyde character.
Keach is Lou Ford, a psychotic deputy sheriff of
a Montana mining town, called Central City. We learn
the friendly deputy never carries a weapon but
secretly has anger management problems stemming from a
traumatic childhood incident. His dark side manifests
itself when dealing with white trash hooker Joyce (Susan
Tyrell ), whom he severely beats. The low-life
hooker, yearning for a real man, tells Mayor Conway (Keenan
Wynn) that his alcoholic son Elmer (Don
Stroud) beat her and threatens to expose him
unless given $50,000 in hush money. The mayor gives
the deputy the money to give to the whore, but he
instead kills her and Elmer. He then tries to pin the
murder on another.
The implausible story is never convincing. Furthermore the clumsy direction keeps things awkward.
REVIEWED ON 8/232015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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