Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Killer Joe Review - 3½ Stars

I can’t remember when a movie has made me feel more uncomfortable than “Killer Joe”—the hilarious shocking degrading violent thriller directed by the man who brought us “The Exorcist” — William Friedkin.  “Killer Joe” converts a play by Tracy Letts into a classic film noir.  We begin on a stormy night on the wrong side of Dallas and gradually meet a family of white trash low rent dumb as dirt dopes who decide they can strike it rich by killing a woman with no redeeming social races who also happens to be an ex-wife and mother of the plotters.  Emile Hirsch comes up with the scheme with a little prompting and brings his father Thomas Haden Church into the plan.  The ex-wife/mother owns a $50 thousand dollar life insurance policy and has named her low IQ but virginal daughter—played by Juno Temple—beneficiary.  Enter Matthew McConaughey—a crooked Dallas policeman available for murder for hire.  The plot thickens with twists featuring one of the great tough women in movies — Gina Gershon.  “Killer Joe” features graphic nudity and sex, none of it erotic.  The final scene delivers degradation and shocks so great I still can’t get over them.   The audience left the theater with their heads spinning.   Many will hate “Killer Joe”—and at one time I might have joined them.  But frankly when a movie shocks and jolts and stays with you like this one, I can only state my admiration.  Please note the well deserved NC 17 rating.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Shocking murder-thriller-erotic romance.  Is it entertaining?  Hard to take your eyes off the screen—like watching a car crash.  Is it worth the price of admission?  For the brave among you.