I’m both surprised and delighted to learn that William Friedkin’s latest film Killer Joe is actually getting a theatrical release this summer. The movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year to mixed reviews, but it was the talk of the festival thanks to a handful of disturbing and unforgettable scenes including one that involves fried chicken. The movie received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA, but it appears that LD Entertainment is moving forward with a limited release anyway. Between this and Steve McQueen’s Shame, it seems that perhaps NC-17 isn’t the death sentence for a film that it once was.
Killer Joe finds Friedkin once again reteaming with screenwriter and playwright Tracy Letts (Bug) for a noir-ish tale of desperation and lunacy. 22-year-old Chris (Emile Hirsch) owes a debt to a drug lord, so he hires a contract killer to put a hit on his own mother in order to collect the insurance money. That killer happens to be a dirty cop named Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) who wants to take Chris’ naive sister Dottie as collateral. Although the trailer doesn’t begin to hint at what is ultimately in store, it does manage to get across the dark and grimy nature of the flick. Killer Joe hits select theatres on July 27th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.