So, in an effort to save time on a reading assignment, I watched the movie adaptation(2010) of Jim Thompson’s novel The Killer Inside Me. Ordinarily this isn’t something I would do but, every moment of the book that I had read so far pretty much followed verbatim in the movie. So, I guessed that all the most important things at least I could count on being the same.
The story follows Lou Ford, a police officer in West Texas in a town that’s growth exploded after oil was found. The thing about Lou is, he has what he refers to as the sickness. When he was younger, his brother took the blame for a sexual assault on a 5 year old girl. Though, it doesn’t end here, because we get the feeling that not only has he killed before, but within the first few chapters, he quickly, and without hardly batting an eyelash, decides that he needs to kill 2 people in town, one of which is Joyce, a woman he has been sleeping with and had admitted to the reader that he probably loved Joyce.
This novel and especially the movie adaptation is not for the faint of heart. I’m not sure about the 1975 adaptation but the 2010 version is brutal. Lou would clearly be a misogynist in the fact that he sexually assaulted that little girl, and throughout the novel makes an active effort to kill 2 women that he was supposed to love but, there is clearly a sickness here that runs deeper than hating women. In fact, when he is trying to kill Joyce, he is telling her he loves her the whole time. I think in Lou’s mind, he was killing them because he had no other choice at the time. He also kills by association and doesn’t really seem to feel much.
Like I said, this movie is brutal, you watch essentially every punch Joyce takes as Lou attempts to beat her to death. One would think that a woman he “loves” might get a more painless death. You also witness him shoot a man more than once, beat Amy, his fiance to near death and watching her convulse and urinate all over herself as she dies on his kitchen floor and he reads the newspaper and, you witness another man shot to death on the street when Lou blames him for killing Amy. I wont spoil the ending, in case you want to take this movie on, but I will warn that this is noir fiction and true to the genre, the ending has a bittersweet sense of justice.
Definitely be ready to cringe if you decide to watch this movie. It was a good move, and I intend to go back and read the book when I have some more time but, I was in a jam!
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