EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|KILLER JOE (director: William Friedkin; screenwriter: Tracy Letts/based on the play "Killer Joe" by Tracy Letts; cinematographer: Caleb Deschanel; editor: Darrin Navarro; music: Tyler Bates; cast: Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe Cooper), Emile Hirsch (Chris Smith), Gina Gershon (Sharla Smith), Juno Temple (Dottie Smith), Thomas Haden Church (Ansel Smith), Marc Macaulay (Digger), Danny Epper (G-Man); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: NC-17; producers: Nicolas Chartier/ Scott Einbinder; Lionsgate; 2011)|
|"As sordid and
vile as possible."
by Dennis Schwartz
sadistic exploitation over the top black comedy family
drama about a severely dysfunctional white trash
trailer-park Texas family, that can make your skin
crawl even if it makes you laugh at the weird antics
of the misfits. It's based on Tracy Letts'
1993 play and directed by William Friedkin ("The
Exorcist"/"Cruising"/"The French Connection") with an
inexorable eye on making it as sordid and vile as
possible, leaving every character as wretchedly
craven. Friedkin also directed Letts' play Bug.
an evening rain storm in Dallas, worthless 22-year-old
drug dealer Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) awakens
his dumb mechanic father, Ansel Smith (Thomas
Haden Church), and his unfaithful waitress
second wife Sharla (Gina Gershon) and Ansel's
12-year-old daughter Dottie (Juno Temple),
living with him because Ansel's ex-wife Adele tried
killing her. Chris has just been tossed from Adele's
home, after she stole his blow worth $10,000. The
local king pin drug dealer Digger (Marc
Macaulay) threatens physical harm if
he doesn't get the drug money owed him immediately.
Chris's scheme to get out of debt is to hire
recommended moonlighter hit man Dallas detective
Killer Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey)
to kill his mother Adele for her $50,000
life-insurance policy and pay the killer $25,000 for
the contract killing before splitting the remaining
insurance money. Chris wants dad to advance him the
money to pay off the hit man and get in on the split.
When father and son can't come up with Killer Joe's up
front total payment, the charming but menacing cop
takes the virgin Dottie as a retainer and deflowers
her in her trailer home with the reluctant approval of
her family. The oily smooth menacing cop blows up
Adele in her car, making it look like an accidental
death.Then things get even more bizarre, but are
when you think things couldn't get sleazier, the last
part tops the first part in sleaze and violence.
It's a damning bad taste film noir that is erotically charged, gory and played out to see how far the foul characters are willing to go as sicko monsters while still retaining some modicum of humanity. The pleasures in viewing such trashy venality is that it's so well-acted and executed it becomes a like it or hate it impactful art film treasure for how to do the the low-life rednecks without backing down to making them Hollywood acceptable.
REVIEWED ON 1/18/2013 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ