I Rented It on DVD: Killer Joe

Trust me. I may never eat fried chicken again after seeing Killer Joe.

Killer Joe - The Film
Killer Joe – The Film

The scene involving the abovementioned food may be one of the reasons the film was rated NC-17 (kind of a glorified X) by the American film ratings board.  A  scene involving  the character played by (the obviously) fearless  young  actress, Juno Temple, probably contributed to the dreaded rating as well.

Matthew McConaughey (with Emile Hirsch in the background) in Killer Joe
Matthew McConaughey (with Emile Hirsch in the background) in Killer Joe

Matthew McConaughey, presumably tired of lounging through movies like Sahara and posing shirtless for paparazzi on the beach, is chillingly convincing as a ruthless sheriff who earns extra bucks on the side as a cold-blooded contract killer. Emile Hirsch plays a down-on-his-luck drug dealer who gets more than he bargained for when he hires McC’s character to ice a close family member for the insurance money.

Yeah, it’s that kind of movie.  ‘Course, when you have Exorcist director William Friedkin and Bug playwright  Tracy Letts teaming up together you ain’t exactly talkin’ Disney. 

Juno Temple in Killer Joe
Juno Temple in Killer Joe

Ms. Temple is once again cast as a trailer park temptress.  But when she plays the part so well, hey, who’s complaining? Still, it’s hard to reconcile the character she plays in this film with the demure 23 year old English actress who recently won a Rising Star BAFTA   (Awarded by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts the BAFTAs are the Oscars of the U.K. film biz. You can see Ms. Temple accepting the award on YouTube.)

Gina Gershon also stars in Killer Joe - She May Never Eat Fried Chicken Again, Either
Gina Gershon also stars in Killer Joe – She May Never Eat Fried Chicken Again Either

There’s not a likeable character in the bunch. Still, there are some remarkable performances, old pro Friedkin’s capable direction and moments of queasy black humour.

So if this sounds intriguing and/or interesting to you, check it out.

But remember, you’ve been warned. 

Originally, Killer Joe was a play (believe it or not)
The Stage Play
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