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An appreciation of the movie The Killer Inside Me

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The DVD of this movie warns that it's rated "R" for "disturbing brutal violence, aberrant sexual content and some graphic nudity." But that's not why I checked it out of the library almost as soon as I saw it. Nor was it the sultry noir pictures of three of the movie's stars on the DVD case -- Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson - that knocked my socks off.  No, what got me was that it's a movie derived from a novel by Jim Thompson, the great trash writer who died in the 1970's leaving Hollywood The Grifters -- which became the movie by the same name starring John Cusack, Angelica Huston, and Annette Bening in 1990 -- as well as leaving the highly literate a shelf-load of extremely imaginative but credible stories about evil human beings mainly living in Southern California. 


The Killer Inside Me Theatrical Release Poster (2010)

Actually, Jim Thompson's characters and the noir movies into which they've been transported are more like science fiction characters than those portrayed on celluloid in black-and-white by Richard Widmark, Robert Mitchum, Humphrey Bogart, and a host of lesser movie stars. Thompson's characters are believable in a very strange science fiction way, not because of the way they look but because there's something about them that's totally evil and uncanny while they're indescribably believable.   

Three additional stars in The Killer Inside Me who absolutely must be mentioned are Elias Koteas, Ned Beatty and Bill Pullman, who play character roles immaculately. 

(The picture above and the three below are all courtesy of Wikipedia.)  

But enuf said before the pictures of The Killer's stars on the DVD cover. The movie's three stars on the DVD's cover ARE:


Casey Affleck, by Wikipedia

Casey Affleck, Actor (1988 -- Present)

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Jessica Alba, by Wikipedia

Jessica Alba, presenting the film in Paris (2010)

And: 


Kate Hudson, by Wikipedia

Kate Hudson, After an Appearance on the David Letterman Show (2006) 

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And, my appreciation: Ta dahhhhh: 

The first things that got me about the DVD were the hillbilly portions of the soundtrack and the automobiles. The former are early Lefty Frizell and/or Hank Williams; and whereas the cops in Central City, Texas, drive 1949 Fords, the short scenes in Fort Worth feature much later models of Fords and Chevrolets.

The second thing was the fact that almost all the action occurs in "Central City," a fictional oil boom-town in West Texas.  Both of these very heartfelt appreciations follow from the fact I was born in 1941 and raised in south and central Texas, my first car was a 1957 Ford Sedan, and my paternal grandfather was a Texas wildcatter. 

The third thing that got me was the story. It's made up of one surprise after another, at least until the viewer realizes that the main character is, simply, evil; and even after that, the dimensions of Casey Affleck's evilness continue to surprise. Among the surprises there's a lot of 2011-modestly pictured rear-entry sex (ie, w/o genitals) and sado-masochism; an earnest and evidently incorruptible law enforcement system, but dungeons in the jail's basement; and an insane asylum with totally unconscious administrators and staff. 

But, there I go, spoiling a great movie by telling you way too much.   Shame, Shame, on Me.

 

I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)
 

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But if you're wavering, and you're a fan of o... by GLloyd Rowsey on Saturday, Oct 1, 2011 at 4:29:54 PM
Loved it in this article, GL. As you said, wi... by Merlin Flower on Saturday, Oct 1, 2011 at 9:39:26 PM