Director William Friedkin's Killer Joe boot scoots its way through the demise of the Smiths, your everyday Texas white trash family who infect their lives when they hire rogue lawman 'Killer" Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) to dispose of their Momma for the insurance money. What unfolds is a unrelenting bucket of deep fried violence, raw, naked and steamy trailer park noir. A cruel study of the lengths some will go to for self-preservation and a "loved one" that is morally sacrificed as "payment" to the black hearted bringer of death. Friedkin serves us a strong cast, cooked to perfection with a side order of claustrophobic tension and lashings of brutality served cold, stone cold….
MPEG-4 AVC, 1080P, Aspect Ratio 1:85:1 (Uncut Version reviewed)
For a film set in majority inside a dingy lit trailer we've be treated to a very strong transfer, with detailed close-ups of which there are many. You can almost see 10 of the 11 secret herbs & spices exuding from that infamous piece of "chicken", which only makes you cringe even more. Some of the wider shots can be a tad softer than you would like compared with the occasional outdoor shots, which are clear and vibrant, the whole thing drops you inside the stuffy confines of the family "home". This is not quite perfection but I enjoyed it very much, for me it’s a [rating=4] and a half.
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH, English & Spanish.
This lossless soundtrack is a stunner, with an engulfing, spacious surround mix. Occasional viscous bouts delivered from the LFE shake you; this film is driven strongly by the dialogue, which is clear and crisp. I think some consumers will find fault in the underused wide sound stage that’s a little reserved and too infrequent, but it’s not what this beast is all about. Again a very pleasing presentation [rating=4] and a half.
Not overly blessed but what there is, is solid. Audio Commentary with Director Friedkin, which is a joy to listen to, he's engaging & very revealing, also included is a Stage to Screen featurette (which includes some great interviews), a Q & A with the cast, an introduction from Friedkin and the Red Band Trailer. Here its quality over quantity, happy to give it a [rating=3]. This product is unfortunately Region A locked.
This is a hard one, Killer Joe is a confronting, violent and twisted film, it’s not for everyone. Friedkin challenges the audience and it hit with me, but as loathsome and cringe-worthy as these characters are it’s the reality that this happens, more than you'd care to believe that kept me watching to the bitter end…. that said when looking at it as a product its a must have, a solid [rating=4] and highly recommended. Now I've got a hankering for something deep fried, or maybe some pumpkin soup….
Dave Grenfell - follow Dave on Twitter here: @nowshowinghigh
Got a home entertainment release question for Dave? Leave it in the comments or flick us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it on.