After being saddled with an NC-17 rating back in March, Killer Joe has decided to just let it all hang out like last year’s Shame and push forward with its first trailer in anticipation of a July 27, 2012 release date. The self-proclaimed “totally twisted deep-fried Texas redneck trailer park murder story” is based on a play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tracy Letts (who also adapted the work for the film) and is directed by Academy Award winning director William Friedkin, who is usually credited as the director of The Exorcist and The French Connection because no one can seem to remember what he did after.
The tale of poor money management begins when Chris (Emile Hirsch), desperate to pay off his $6,000 debt to some friendly drug dealers, hires cop and part-time contract killer Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) to help in a life insurance scheme because those never go wrong. The target is Chris’s mother, whose $50,000 insurance payout would give Chris enough money to pay off the dealers and Joe, but there’s a catch: Joe wants his money upfront. Like that forgotten plot point in The Wedding Planner, Joe takes Chris’s little sister Dottie (Juno Temple) hostage as collateral and the two develop “an unusual bond”. Meanwhile, Chris seems to get beaten up an excessive amount.
Here’s the trailer:
With a cast of solid actors that also includes Thomas Haden Church and Gina Gershon, the darkly comedic mix of murder/food and what is purportedly McConaughey in the “performance of his career”, Killer Joe should be one of the more interesting indie alternatives to the usual summer blockbuster fare and fun for the whole family.
Check out our own Casey Carroll’s thoughts on the film in his SXSW recap.