My goodness Matthew, what happened big guy?
Last time I saw you you were irritating me with tales of your girlfriend’s past and now you’re smashing people’s heads in with canned peaches!
Where do you start with ‘Killer Joe’?
The film tells the tale of a very (and I mean very) dysfunctional family and their misguided idea to bump the mother/ex-wife off for her supposed $50,000 insurance.
The son, Chris (an excellent, energetic and increasingly broken Emile Hirsch) has lost $6000 worth of cocaine and his dealer is a touched miffed.
He needs to get the money and as he’s pretty certain his mother is the one who stole the aforementioned narcotics he feels that she owes him. Enter Killer Joe.
Killer Joe is actually Joe Cooper, a Dallas detective who has a small hitman business on the side. For $25,000 he’ll get the job done but herein lies the problem.
Killer Joe always gets the money up front which, of course, our band of misfits don’t have. There are no exceptions to this rule. None whatsoever, unless....
Enter the youngest daughter, Dottie (the perfectly cast Juno Temple) a strange, beautiful and slightly insane creature that the father and brother are more than happy to pimp out to Killer Joe until the job is done and they can give him his money.
There, what could possibly go wrong?
‘Killer Joe’ is William Friedkins first film since 2006’s ‘Bug’ and I can assure you he has lost none of his dynamic, visual flare.
He has coupled it here with perfectly black comic timing to create a film that grabs you by your bits, squeezes them for 103 minutes before releasing and sending you back out in to the real world trying to work out what on earth just happened. It’s a blistering return to form matched only by the above-mentioned Matthew McConaughy.
I, like most men, had written him off as being lost forever in Rom-Com land, cast adrift forever in that world of crazy misunderstandings and comedy, soft-focus in-laws, where his only respite would be the occasional coffee with Jennifer Aniston or Kate Hudson, but I was very, very wrong because in this he is absolutely brilliant.
He is a terrifying, psychopathic, scene-eating monster whose burgeoning relationship with the very odd Dottie seems to be his only chance at any sort of redemption and he isn’t going to let it go.
Whether he was talking calmly, yelling biblical revenge or administering some justice he terrified me and has instantly leapt into my top 5 movie psychopaths (sorry Travis Bickle but you’re now in 6th).
‘Killer Joe’ is an anarchic smash-in-the-face which left me horrified, confused, sickened and thoroughly, thoroughly entertained. It is cinema at is most visceral.
Go and see it, but be warned... you may never order the Dixy Chicken ‘Fun Bucket’ again.
Killer Joe is showing at Cornerhouse, for more information visit here.