My biggest regret from this year's South by Southwest Film Festival was missing the US premiere of Killer Joe. Not only am I a fan of director William Friedkin's (The French Connection, The Exorcist) nack for sinking his teeth into seedy and unsettling stories, but it's got a magnetic cast consisting of Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple, and Gina Gershon, plus a gripping story based on a Tracy Letts play:
When 22-year-old Chris (Emile Hirsch) finds himself in debt to a drug lord, he hires a hit man to dispatch his mother, whose $50,000 life insurance policy benefits his sister Dottie (Juno Temple). Chris finds Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a creepy, crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer. When Chris can't pay Joe upfront, Joe sets his sight on Dottie as collateral for the job. The contract killer and his hostage develop an unusual bond. Like from a modern-day, twisted fairy tale, "Killer Joe" Cooper becomes the prince to Dottie's Cinderella.
Sounds good, no? Well, the trailer just makes the regret of missing it all the stronger:
Distributor LD Entertainment is releasing the film in theaters July 27th and thankfully they've seen fit to put it out with an NC-17 rating instead of making cuts. Why'd it earn the controversial rating in the first place? Apparently the MPAA objects to its "graphic aberrant content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality." Call us crazy, but reading that and knowing who is involved just makes us want to see Killer Joe all the more. What about you?