Film Review: The Killer Inside Me

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The Film Critic Inside Me

Note: This review reveals the fate of several characters.

“Well there ain’t no harm in lookin’” I said. Jerry Lowe had owned the old picturehouse on the dust belt since I was a boy but this was the first time he’d ever asked me to look at a picture for the purposes of writing my thoughts on it.

I’d tipped my Stetson to Jerry earlier that day at the Greek’s place. The old fool hardly ever said two words to me but that afternoon he came over, just as I was soaking up the last of my eggs with a nice thick wedge of toast. I hid my annoyance behind a Cheshire Cat grin. It never pays for folks to know what you’re thinking. “Hey Lou,“ he said, “they’ve made a film about you, hadn’t you heard?” I hadn’t heard, but Jerry went on to tell me that the confession I’d given to Jim Thompson, a writer from the west coast, had now been turned into a motion picture. Jerry wanted to know if I’d look at it – give my thoughts to the Chronicle. I said I would.

In Central City, people didn’t know me as a movie critic. They didn’t even know I liked to watch movies. Sweet, kind, schizophrenic old Lou, that’s what they reckoned. To Jerry and many others I was just a meat and potatas, fine young man from a good family. Later, when word got out that my Daddy, once the only Doctor for fifty miles, had been a sexual sadist and had beaten some girl till her backside looked like a blueberry, well, there were some funny looks but they didn’t get it. When it came out that the girl, who like all women liked a beating, wanted me to do the same to her, and I did, and these games warped my sexuality causing me to touch a five year old, there were more looks, but still they didn’t get it. Later still, when it came out that I’d never lost the sickness, and I’d beaten my girl to death, pulping her insides with my fists, and tried to set up some bum for the crime, and half beaten another by mincing her face with everything I could muster, finally, they got it.

The thing was, I hated women. Didn’t mean to, but something in me was broken and I couldn’t love ‘em. When I looked at Amy or Joyce, the two women I killed, I saw cloudy minded, materialistic, emotionally needy victims. Their soft skin and breasts that I could knead like fresh dough attracted me, fascinated me, but their weakness and lack of common sense was revolting – something that had to be destroyed.

Pages: 1 2 3

Directed by: Michael Winterbottom

Country: US

Year: 2010

Running Time: 109 mins

Certificate: 18

2 Responses

  1. Dustbowl Harry says:

    This review is totally over my head, all I know is this film gave me the confidence to put my girlfriend in her place. Great Success!!!

  2. jpcampbell says:

    I spent so much time arguing over this film (and getting rather lost in navel-gazing on the ontology of screen violence) that your review cut mine to the chase. Still more egregiously, I failed to register that the formal shift from novel to film deprived the work, prima facie, of its unreliable narrator. Failure to counterbalance this loss was the sine qua non of all polemical, political, passionate criticisms that followed. What an essential critical observation, conspicuously absent from other reviews – theoretically obvious, yet somehow intangible to common sense! And indeed, so much easier to shoot down the mud slung if Winterbottom had just made it more clear (if less cinematically effective) by better manipulating narration, symbols (like the hefty Freudian tome on Ford’s shelf) etc.
    A highly entertaining read too, in this affected voice. Bravo