Director William Friedkin may be 77 years old, he most definitely did not go soft on us since the day he let a teenage girl masturbate with a cross and throw up on a priest in “The Exorcist”.
Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) is a white trash drug dealer who owes 6000$ to Digger Soames (note to self: never trust a guy called Digger). ‘No worries!’ thinks Chris, I’ll just have my mother killed so I can collect the life insurance. He talks about it with his dad Ansel (a brilliant Thomas Haden Church as quite possibly the dumbest sonofabitch in the whole South), who does nothing but drink beer and spit on the floor of his (of course!) trailer and who agrees that yes, it does sound like a solid plan!
And so they contact Killer Joe (note to self: never trust a guy who calls himself Killer Joe), a cop played by Matthew McConaughey who moonlights as a hitman. Normally Joe likes his money upfront but the Smith family is facing a cash flow problem so Killer Joe settles on daughter Dottie (Juno Temple) as some sort of sexual collateral in case of non-payment.
And that’s just the opening act of this movie based on a play by Tracy Letts, with whom Friedkin previously worked on the movie “Bug”. From there on things continue to spiral out of control, leading up to a climax you did not see coming.
“Killer Joe” is dark, violent, menacing and funny all at once with the violence and menace being provided by McConaughey who’s excellent here as the psychopath passing for a Southern gentleman. It’s definitely not a movie for everybody but one thing’s for sure… you will never look at a fried chicken leg in quite the same way again!