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Killer Joe Preview

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Mark Kermode | 10:46 UK time, Tuesday, 6 March 2012

William Friedkin has a new film coming out later this year - Killer Joe.

The advance word is that it's pretty full on - here I give you my instant reaction to a preview screening.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Bug was great, can't wait to see this one. However it has just recieved an NC-17 in the States, a distribution kiss-of-death. Is it likely it will get released here anytime soon and if so, uncut?

  • Comment number 2.

    Why does no one ever mention The Hunted in lists of best films of the decade/Friedkin films? I think it's fantastic and one of the best actioners of the 21st century.

  • Comment number 3.

    Agree with you on Bug, and I actually rather enjoyed the Guardian. It's a good job we don't have a KFC where I live really.

  • Comment number 4.

    When Friedkin is on form he's brutally brilliant such as with the oh-so-80's-it-hurts To Live and Die in L.A. THAT ending was an absolute shocker. Can't wait to see how far he pushes the envelope this time around.

  • Comment number 5.

    For better or worse, I'm looking forward to seeing this as well. Always interesting to see whether a director like Friedkin can still pull it off in the way he did all of 40 years ago.

    Also, it is interesting that the front picture you have for this video is of Matthew McConaughey leaning.

  • Comment number 6.

    Looking forward to this. Friedkin's triple whammy of French Connection / Exorcist / Sorcerer was one of the hottest streaks of the '70s.

  • Comment number 7.

    Apart from "The French Connection" Friedkin has never held any interest for me as a film maker -
    "The Exorcist" becomes so full on so fast it never leaves us any room for doubt as to Regan's condition - This is why Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" is superior -

  • Comment number 8.

    Mark, I know you talked before about films like Sorcerer and Cruising, but I’d like to know what your opinion is on Rampage (1987), Friedkin’s second serial killer film of the 80’s.
    I managed to track it down on a Polish DVD release and thought it was Friedkin’s last interesting film before he went a bit naff in the 90’s. Although I prefer Cruising and still think Mann’s Manhunter is the best of its genre.

  • Comment number 9.

    I need to see Rampage sometime.

    My favourites are Sorcerer, The Exorcist, The French Connection, Cruising in that order.

  • Comment number 10.

    But, as you always have such a downer on him, was Matthew McConaughey any good in it?

  • Comment number 11.

    Another addition to the 'films with repulsive fried chicken' hall of fame, beside Precious.

  • Comment number 12.

    Not one single Matthew 'Mahogany' reference... It's like you're whistling past the graveyard. Mark.

  • Comment number 13.

    You mean Mahogany's NOT playing a lawyer???????

  • Comment number 14.

    Hold on... wait a minute... just a second... something doesn't add up... wait a second.... this ain't right...

    Mathhew McConaughey is good in a film?!>!>!?!?!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Friedkin's intention with his films is to have people come out and say "what did you make of that ?"so the fact that you were so shaken by it means he succeeded. I suspect 'Killer Joe' will be a better film on the second viewing when the viewer knows whats coming and can see past the violence to Friedkin's intentions for the film. In an era when so many films are bland and safe to decribe a film as "full on" to me is recommendation and i do like bit of American red neck.

    Some posts have mentioned 'Cruising' i saw it last year and thought it fixated on the manhunt and the more interesting theme of identity gets pushed to the margin. Sorcerer is not available in the UK but people are reappraising that film and say its much better than previously acknowledged.

  • Comment number 16.

    I for one am not going to rush out to see this, and all because of Bug. I couldn't stand it, and the fact that Friedkin and Letts have reunited for another adaptation of a stage play by Letts doesn't get my hopes up.

    Also pretty miffed at no 'Mahogany' reference,

    Oh and cries-and-whispers: I totally agree with your verdict in regards to The Exorcist, and also on 'Rosemary's Baby'. But I strongly suggest you check out Sorcerer, by far Friedkin's best film to date, Cruising, a compelling film that holds no punches and To Live and Die in L.A., Friedkin's swansong, before he descended into mediocrity.

  • Comment number 17.

    I don't mean to be rude but I can't understand how anyone can leave a film and not know if they liked it or not.
    Fair enough they need time to put their points together to why they liked or disliked the film but I have never come out of film and felt/thought like that.

    Anyway, like the user cries-and-whispers I have only liked The French Connection out of Friedkin's films (hated the second Connection film though) but have never come across Cruising and I might give that whirl, cheers for that Mark.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm I the only one who thinks Friedkin is one of the most overrated directors ever, I know I wasn't old enough to see The French Connection and The Exorcist when they came out but a really good film should always stand the test of time and neither of those have, especially The Exorcist, it works fine as a thriller but it did not scare me in the slightest. Apart from those two films the rest of his filmography can be considered average to rubbish, the sorcerer, to live and die in la & cruising are average at best and Jade and rules of engagement are just terrible. Sorry Dr. K, Friedkin is not the greatest director, not even close.

  • Comment number 19.

    @rbevanx I think Mark is possibly trying to avoid another Blue Velvet incident; he made his mind up way too soon about that one and it's one of the few times (if not the only) he's admitted to being wrong with his initial reaction.

    I'm totally psyched to see this film, I'm a huge fan of Bug, Cruising and Sorcerer; I also like it when an actor successfully goes against type and it isn't for comedy value, so I'm interested to see just how dark McConaughey can go given his general output of light and fluffy material.

  • Comment number 20.

    For shame Dr Kermode, no mention of his brilliant remake Sorcerer. I have Sorcerer as his 2nd best film behins The Exorcist, found it rather spellbinding.

  • Comment number 21.

    Sorry to be so pedantic, but you can't "rectify" either of those points. The film is still "full on" and you still haven't seen it "first".

    I'll get me coat......

  • Comment number 22.

    It's sounding as if 'Killer Joe' may be another 'Killer Inside Me' (complete with misogynic violence against women) rather than a 'Fargo' or 'Blood Simple'.

    McConaughey looks and sounds good in the clips and trailer though, he brings to mind Woody Harrelson, which is no bad thing.

  • Comment number 23.

    On an unrelated note, I'm sure you will be pleased to hear that Wally Pfister, whom I gather you are an admirer of, has just landed his first directing job! Check it out:

  • Comment number 24.

    “what's in your bag? Mr Kermode tell us what's in your bag!”

    You always seem to take a biggish bag into screenings with you, is at some kind of secret critic kit?(or just clean undies and popcorn)

    Is it just me or does Matthew 'Mahogany' actually look quite menacing in an almost Frank Booth kinda way.

  • Comment number 25.

    I must admit, I was not aware of this film until now but already I'm most intrigued. Looks like a potentially great cast and I'm particularly pleased to see Mahogany showing that he's not simply the go-to-guy for shirt removals and nonchalant leanings. Indeed, judging by the clips, it looks like he's in similar territory to his performance in Frailty; a film for which I've always had a soft spot, despite its several flaws. Thanks for bringing this film to my attention.

  • Comment number 26.

    I really liked The Guardian. I'll have to get it on DVD now it's been released. Still not seen BUG and feel bad that I haven't!

  • Comment number 27.

    Just a quick question people… does anybody know if Sorcerer is available on DVD or Blu ray? I haven't seen it years and would love to own a copy. What has become of this great film?

    Killer Joe looks interesting but if Mark is too critical I may just wait for a blu ray rental.

    My Friedkin favorites in order… The Exorcist, The French Connection, Sorcerer and Bug.

  • Comment number 28.

    I do that all the time it is one of the joys of watching a film and then taking stock of what you see. I've been struggling for months with the film Raging Bull, There are many things to like but I struggle with Robert De Niro at times, I enjoyed taxidriver but his trademark complicated with dark overtones, does grate on me with this film the character is almost dull. I still do this moment can't decide if I like the film or dislike it…

  • Comment number 29.

    I’m a fan, you are my preferred movie reviewer, a standard by which I judge others.
    To respond to your question, I do know when I walk out of a theatre how I feel about a movie. I believe I have four categories: 1. enjoyed and would like to see again. 2. enjoyed, but would not sit through a second time. 3. so-so; like an evening with in-laws, nice people, but uninspiring. 4. a hateful waste of my time that provokes thoughts of revenge.
    I think it is more difficult for a movie reviewer however. For me, it is a simple emotional response, the explanation for the emotion comes later. I believe, exiting a theatre and not knowing your response is an affliction a movie reviewer would have; mainly because their opinion is public and others use it as a guidepost. And also, this is my assumption, when someone has the habit of intellectualizing their emotions; they are watching themselves, watching the movie.
    I, like you, hated Blue Velvet the first time I saw it and understood and appreciated what the filmmaker was doing the second time. I remember watching Siskel and Ebert discuss the film (my favorite reviewers at that time). Siskel thought it was powerful and Ebert thought it was pathological. It was a hot, emotion-filled debate. Why the strong difference of opinion, they saw the same movie?
    The answer, I believe, lies in right-brain/left-brain perceptions. I believe both are valid. This may not be an answer for everybody, but it has made me more tolerant of those who don’t see things the way I do.

    Gerald, Los Angeles

  • Comment number 30.

    Viewing a new film for the first time is like every experience, it can either have an immediate effect on you, or take time to slow burn an option into your synapses. In some ways, its like a jigsaw puzzle, one half is the film, the other is the audience; if both aren't in synch with each other, then they miss the value of the experience.

    If a movie has something to give however, no matter how long it has to wait for the audience to come around, they will. “The Wicker Man”, “Blade Runner”, Carpenter's 1982 version of, “The Thing” , the world is littered with all too obvious examples.

    Option these days seems to be exclusively considered an intimidate thing, a, “yes”, or, “no”, button that we push and then forget. But to be unsure, is to be sure of one thing, you're thinking, and in the final analysis, that, is what's important, because sooner or later the answer will arrive.

  • Comment number 31.

    Avoid 'Mahogany's' movies like the plague'he's just a poser.

  • Comment number 32. I have seen this, and whilst I found a few scenes problematic (obviously), on the whole it was enjoyable. Matthew Mc knocks on the doors of his performance in A Time To Kill and not only that, Juno T yet again reaffirms why she is going to be the next big star. More to the point - films that you can't decide on instantly, honestly, Donnie Darko.

  • Comment number 33.

    This film opens 29th June, three weeks before The Dark Knight Rises so this may well be a blink and you'll miss it release. If you find a screening near you just see it, because it won't be around for long.


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