This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

DID YOU READ

“The Killer Inside Me”: Life is hot in noirtown.

“The Killer Inside Me”: Life is hot in noirtown. (photo)

Posted by on

Reviewed at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Michael Winterbottom’s “The Killer Inside Me” is a pedal-to-the-floor, broken-bottle-to-the-throat adaptation of a novel of the same name by Jim Thompson, the darkest and pulpiest dark pulp writer of them all. The opening sequence (after gloriously retro opening credits): West Texas hometown boy turned deputy sheriff Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) gets sent to a house in the outskirts of town to run off a prostitute. She turns out to be Jessica Alba in a kimono, and she doesn’t take making his acquaintance well. She slaps him a good one one, and something behind that baby face snaps, and he holds her down and beats her with his belt until she’s weeping. He apologizes, she turns over and kisses him. Now they’re in love.

You can see why “The Killer Inside Me” so enraged a sizable chunk of its Sundance audience, and that’s before even touching on the two instances in which Lou, whose downhill spiral is more like a jump off a cliff, devotes himself to methodically beating a woman to death. Flesh bruises and bleeds and swells beyond recognition, skin tears, urine puddles on the floor. It’s pretty vile, but, as a colleague put it, is that really something we’d want prettied up? Lou’s not by any means a nice guy — he can’t be contained by even the broadest definition of an antihero, he’s just a newly loosed psychopath we’re bound up with on a heedless gallop toward hell.

And I can’t say there’s not a tremendous amount of glee to be found in that. “The Killer Inside Me” is set in a world in which everyone’s a voluptuously pulp archetype — Ned Beatty is the manipulative construction king, Jay R. Ferguson his dissolute scion, Elias Koteas the corrupt union boss, Tom Bower the alcoholic sheriff, Liam Aiken the budding juvenile delinquent; Kate Hudson the town sweetheart far too willing to stand by her man… by the time Bill Pullman strides in, hair flapping, as a belligerent lawyer whose theatrical shouts echo down the corridor, you’re either grinning like an idiot or you’ve walked out. Why not stick with the killer, in this context? The town’s brightly blown-out enclosures and lean shadowed nights make it seem like some sort of Edward Hopper snowglobe filled with gasoline, all set to blow.

02042010_killerinsideme4.jpgWinterbottom doesn’t truck much with Lou’s motivations and backstory, presented as a jangle of quick flashbacks — mother who lays the unhealthy groundwork for his future relationships with women early, molestation of a local girl, stepbrother who tries to protect him. You’d have to read the book to fully understand what sparks his initial crime (revenge…ish) or to grasp that Alba, playing an utterly unconvincing S&M siren, is meant to be the dark force that first pulls him down his wayward path. They’re just excuses, anyway — sometimes a psychopath is just a psychopath, no matter how long he’s managed a mask of normalcy. Mostly, the film’s about the pleasures of watching whey-faced, forever compelling Affleck be, as the lady once put it, “rotten to the heart.”

“The Killer Inside Me” has been acquired for release by IFC Films.

Watch More
IFC_Portlandia-S8_pick-a-lane_subaru-blog

Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Watch More
Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

Watch More
IFC_Portlandia-AORewind-blog

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

Watch More