A neo-noir adaptation of a hard-boiled pulp classic, Michael Winterbottom’s new film is based on a novel by Oklahoma-born crime writer Jim Thompson (1906 –1977) who worked as a screenwriter for Stanley Kubrick and furnished screenplays for films such as THE GETAWAY (Sam Peckinpah, 1972), COUP DE TORCHON/CLEAN SLATE (Bertrand Tavernier, 1981) and THE GRIFTERS (Stephen Frears, 1990). ‘The Killer Inside Me’, which appeared in 1952 and was brought to the screen in 1976 by Burt Kennedy with Stacy Keach in the lead, is one the most personal works by this often underestimated writer, whose father was a sheriff in Oklahoma until he was accused of embezzlement and escaped to Mexico. A corrupt sheriff is also at the heart of this story. Lou Ford is an apparently friendly deputy who is liked by almost everybody. He even gets on well with the crooks in his small town – which leads them to think he’s a bit soft in the head. But behind the veneer of the well-meaning, ordinary guy, lurks an unpredictable officer. Lou has plenty of problems – with women and with law enforcement – ever since the alarming increase in the number of murder victims in his small district. But, somewhere along the line, it’s inevitable that the finger of suspicion is pointed at Lou himself. And, somewhere along the line, it’s inevitable that the man reveals who he really is. A sadist. A psychopath. And a brutal murderer.
by Michael Winterbottom
with Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson
USA / United Kingdom 2009