At age 77, William Friedkin has ceased giving any semblance of a fuck. Killer Joe is maybe the most skin-crawlingly nasty picture to come from a major American director since David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Set against the burnt-out landscape of the American Southwest, in an unnamed town on the outskirts of Dallas, it indulges in the ugliest of white-trash stereotypes. If it were the product of a younger filmmaker, the cruelty and condescension would translate as desperately attention-seeking. But Friedkin has been pushing, prodding and provoking audiences for decades. Killer Joe has no underlying message to leaven and redeem the violence and perversion; it has only the visceral charge of a master shit-disturber going all-in appealing to his basest instincts. It's disgusting, but just try looking away. You can't.
- Showing at: Laurelhurst Theater, Academy Theater.
- Best paired with: PBR.
- Also screening: The Crow (Laurelhurst).