Melon Farmers Original Version

Killer Inside Me

Michael Winterbottom film gets noticed

2nd June

Update: Hype Inside...

Michael Winterbottom grabs the press spotlight

Jessica Alba gets violently beaten in her new film The Killer Inside Me - but does that really make it one of the most controversial films ever made?

The film has seemingly split the critics between those who think it's a bold and dark piece of adult film making, and those who think it's a gruesome portrayal of misogyny.

British director Michael Winterbottom has defended his work to Sky News, insisting if he was going to adapt one of the most famous graphic pulp novels of the fifties, he would have to stay true to the original vision: Obviously this is a story that involves some violence towards women and I can understand that is shocking. It should be shocking. If you made a film where there's a guy beating up a woman and it was enjoyable that would be wrong. The original novel was written by Jim Thompson.

Most critics have picked up on two particular scenes in this remake, one of which features Jessica Alba's character getting battered by the murderous Lou Ford, played to chilling effect by Casey Affleck.

The BBFC passed it uncut as an 18 Certificate, saying the scenes in question do not eroticise or endorse sexual assault or pose a credible harm risk to viewers of 18 and over .

The director, though, hopes open-minded cinema fans will at least give it a chance. Every interview has been about the violence of the film which I understand because violence is shocking, he sighs: But at the same time it's a shame we don't get to talk about the actors and the dialogue and the story. There are two violent scenes in the whole film and the rest of it is a portrayal of Lou Ford as a sort of interesting, complex and violent character. Unfortunately we never get onto that part as we end up talking about the violence.


11th March

Update: Nutter Bait...

BBFC pass Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me as 18 uncut

The BBFC have passed the eagerly awaited Michael Winterbottom film as 18 uncut.

No doubt the likes of the Daily Mail will be contributing further to the films publicity.

Anyway the BBFC kindly explained their decision as follows:

The Killer Inside Me is an adaptation of Jim Thompson's noir crime novel of the same name about a psychopathic small town Sheriff. It was passed 18 for very strong violence, sadomasochistic sex scenes and child abuse.

The film features several scenes of very strong violence. These include sadistic killings and beatings, with some focus on female victims' fear and terror (for example sight of a woman urinating after being beaten). There is some focus on the infliction of pain and injury , including a long sequence featuring a strong beating to a female character's face. This is shown from the perpetrator's point of view. There are also some strong bloody shootings.

There are scenes of sexual violence and threat, including a discreet child rape scene, and several shots of strong sadomasochistic sexual activity and violence. There is some focus on the aftermath of such activity, with focus on female characters with bruises and welts and cigarette burns, including black and white photographs of a bruised woman in a sexual pose. There are scenes suggesting child abuse including sight, from a child's point of view, of a female character with bruised and welted buttocks as she invites him to punch and hurt her.

In line with the consistent findings of the BBFC's public consultations and the Human Rights Act 1998, at 18 the BBFC's Guideline concerns will not normally override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment within the law. Although several scenes are undoubtedly very strong and impactful, with the potential to cause offence to some viewers, the clear generic context (a film noir) and presentation of complicated and disturbing ideas was permissible at 18 . No material was found to be in breach of the criminal law, or created through the commission of a criminal offence. Although there are portrayals of strong sexual and sadistic violence and sadomasochist sexual behaviour, the scenes in question do not eroticise or endorse sexual assault or pose a credible harm risk to viewers of 18 and over.

The Killer Inside Me also includes some strong sex scenes, some strong bloody detail after beatings and shootings and scenes of threat as characters are in danger. There are also brief references to suicide, although these lack any detail or novel information.


23rd February

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20th February

Brutal in Berlin...

Supporting the hype for The Killer Inside Me

The British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom today defended scenes that portray extreme violence against women in his latest film, saying that he felt the need to stay true to the pulp fiction novel on which it is based.

The Killer Inside Me , an adaptation of the 1952 novel by Jim Thompson depicts brutal scenes of rough sex and murder.

One scene sees the main character, deputy sheriff Lou Ford played by Casey Affleck bludgeon his prostitute girlfriend (Jessica Alba) almost to death until her face is unrecognisable, while later another woman (Kate Hudson) is punched repeatedly. She chokes to death as her killer and lover slips on her urine.

The attacks, accompanied by the music of Gustav Mahler and the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini as well as jaunty swing tunes, are captured in close-up camera shots. Those and the sound of gurgling blood and cracking bones leave little to the imagination.

Speaking today a press screening of the film at the Berlin film festival, which saw people walking out and booing, Winterbottom said he had deliberately intended for the film to shock: It was intentionally shocking. The whole point of the story is, here is someone who is supposed to be in love with two women who he beats to death, and of course the violence should be shocking. If you make a film where the violence is entertaining, I think that's very questionable .

Winterbottom appeared to be mildly irritated by the criticism, which observers in Berlin say may lead to scenes being cut before it can be made available to a wider audience: Loads of films promote violence as entertainment, but I don't think this one does and neither would I want to do something that's going to encourage violence.


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