The Killer Inside Me, a film noir flick starring Casey Affleck as a psychotic deputy sheriff, Kate Hudson as his girlfriend and Jessica Alba as a prostitute he's involved with was sold yesterday at the Sundance Film Festival. The film sounds like a southern-fried noir version of Dexter, Casey Affleck's character has a "sickness" (much like Dex's "dark passenger") and his ailment is that he's a serial killer doubling as law enforcement. When the film screened at Sundance, the brutal violence in the movie - much of it directed toward women with Hudson and Alba on the receiving end - enraged audiences. Alba, who was on hand to introduce the film was among the many who walked out during the screening. (Deadline Hollywood has now refuted the report that Alba "walked out" as "bullshit" claiming she had another engagement. I think that reeks of PR-spin. I find it difficult to believe that Alba would fly to Park City, Utah to attend the premiere of her film and then somehow manage to double book the two hour period required to screen it.) During the post screening Q&A, director Michael Winterbottom fielded questions from angry audience members about the films misogynistic nature, extreme, unrelenting violence and one woman simply berated the festival itself for accepting a movie of this nature into Sundance. I've always found film noir flicks very sexy - and adding Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba to the mix certainly works in that regard - but I suspect it will be decidedly unsexy when Affleck starts brutalizing them. That being said, I find it odd when people complain about serial killer flicks or horror movies being 'misogynistic." The simple fact is, the vast majority of victims of serial killers are female. That's a fact, not a creative choice.
The movie is slated for a late summer release, and when it finally arrives in theatres, it will be a long time coming for this project. Based on 1952 pulp novel of the same name by Jim Thompson, the movie was first set to go before cameras in the mid-1950's with Marilyn Monroe in the Jessica Alba role, Marlon Brando in Casey Affleck's and Elizabeth Taylor circling the part that Kate Hudson ultimately played. Over the years many big names were attached to the project including a version that was to star Tom Cruise with Demi Moore and Brooke Shields in the female roles (that would have been awful;) a Quentin Tarantino directed version with (who else?) Uma Thurman, Juliette Lewis and Brad Pitt; it was also shopped as a Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle with Charlize Theron and Drew Barrymore. Ultimately, the version that made it in front of the camera was put together by the late Marc Rocco, a massive hack of a director who placed Casey Affleck in the starring role. He ultimately dropped out (then, sadly, dropped dead at age 46) and Michael Winterbottom stepped in and cast Hudson and Alba as his female leads. No word yet if the version that elicited such an extreme response from the audience in Sundance will be the version we see in theatres.