Killer Joe: Blu-ray and DVD Featured

Sunday, 11 November 2012 12:17
Posted in Blu-Ray
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Killer Joe on DVD and Blu-rayWilliam Friedkin, director of “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection” proves he still has the knack in this searing Texan thriller. Matthew McConaughey (“The Lincoln Lawyer”, “Contact”) stars as Joe Cooper, a police detective who moonlights as a hit-man for hire. A poor and highly dysfunctional family hatches a plot to knock off the estranged mother so that they can cash in her $50,000 life assurance policy. Joe is just the man for the job.

Chris (Emile Hersh – “Into the Wild”, “Speed Racer”) is perilously in debt to a local drug dealer; he persuades the other family members to support his murderous scheme in spite of Joe’s bizarre request that Dottie, the teenage daughter (Juno Temple – “Atonement”) is offered up as a retainer. The execution job is carried out with clinical precision but complications arise when Joe comes knocking for his payment.

“Killer Joe” could easily be mistaken for a movie by the Coen brothers, in that it features a twisting plot about quirky low-lives who get into hot water with a cold-blooded killer. It features gut-wrenching violence, copious nudity and disturbing perversion, along with some very black humour to help break up the tension. You know the family is getting into something that is going to backfire horribly, and although the plot developments lack originality, the central character of Joe holds everything together like a vice.

McConaughey is terrific, full of icy charm and able to switch between polite and aloof to menacing and commanding in the blink of an eye. Joe is a real enigma, both consummately professional and strangely extroverted about his sexual desires. The latter are responsible for some of the film’s stand-out moments, both teasing and frightful depending on the circumstances.

The other cast members are excellent in support. Hersh is wild and strong-willed as the son in too deep, Temple is by turns innocent, naïve and alluringly driven by sexual awakenings. Thomas Haden Church (“Sideways”, “Spider-Man 3”) is hilariously laid-back as the father, and Gina Gershon (“Face/Off”, “Bound”) plays the wonderfully slutty and bossy step-mother.

The movie is packed with tension, typically whenever Joe interacts with the other characters, and Chris’ run-in with the drug dealers instigates a thrilling chase sequence. If you like your films full-on, you will love this. It is fowl-mouthed, brutally violent and oversexed. It gripped me from start to enigmatic finish!

Special features include:

  • Interviews with cast and crew
  • “Killer Joe: On the Set”
  • English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround (DVD only), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (Blu-ray only) and 2.0 Stereo audio options
  • Optional English subtitles

My review copy only included the main feature so I am unable to comment on the content or quality of this bonus content.

“Killer Joe” (2011) is out now, courtesy of Entertainment One. The main feature has a running time of 99 minutes approx, carries an ‘18’ certificate and retails for £19.99 on DVD, £24.99 on Blu-ray, or less from

Last modified on Sunday, 11 November 2012 12:31

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