Director William Friedkin has always been attracted to lurid movie material. From the gruesome, overcooked The Exorcist to the vile and unhinged Cruising, he craves plots about deeply conflicted characters who are hopelessly alienated, disconnected from both the society that surrounds them and even their own lives. One craves another well-crafted action nail-biter like his Oscar-winning The French Connection, but at 76, his view of the world just gets darker than ever. Small wonder, then, that he has found his literary soulmate in Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts, whose twisted, controversial and fascinating work has found its way to the screen through Mr. Friedkin’s jaundiced camera twice—first in the repellant schizophrenic thriller Bug, and now in the toxic trailer-trash thriller Killer Joe. When this sick, ludicrous cocktail of sex, violence and mayhem was first unveiled a year ago at the Toronto International Film Festival, one wag aptly described it as “the ghost of Tennessee Williams meets the spirit of Quentin Tarantino.” For shock value, cut to Gina Gershon, crawling across a filthy kitchen floor covered in blood to perform fellatio at gunpoint on a Colonel Sanders drumstick, and you have a high-water mark in tastelessness that gives depravity a bad name. Read More
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