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‘Killer Joe’ trailer: Will NC-17 boost the McConaughey pic?

May 8, 2012 |  1:52 pm

The new trailer for William Friedkin’s ‘Killer Joe,” which centers on a Dallas cop who is hired as a contract killer, features plenty of deadly serious scenes. Matthew McConaughey, as said cop, ominously flicks his lighter. Juno Temple, as the daughter of the intended victim, manages her best innocent look -- or is it her best manipulator look? Emile Hirsch gets beaten up early and often as the desperate man who hired said killer.

What isn't present in the trailer for the revenge thriller are signs of the infamous fried-chicken scene that landed  jaw-dropping reactions to the movie at the Toronto and South by Southwest film festivals  and an NC-17  from the Motion Picture Assn. (You can check out the trailer below.)

There is, however, an impossible-to-miss -- indeed, an eye-catching -- NC-17 at the top of the trailer. The rating is basically official now that the company’s upstart distributor, LD Entertainment, has decided not to cut the film ahead of its July 27 release.  (The decision contrasts with  the approach of the makers of another movie about a  killer, Jennifer Lynch’s “Chained,” which was also slapped with  an NC-17, but on which the filmmakers said they will cut an offending scene to land an R.)

Though the NC-17 may be the kiss of death for a broad commercial movie, it could be the best thing to happen to “Killer Joe.”  The movie has already generated pre-release press that would have been entirely nonexistent sans the ratings controversy. The rating could well be used as part of a banned-in-30-states type of marketing campaign (e.g., “the movie the MPAA doesn’t want you to see”).

Indeed, for a smaller release, the attention an NC-17 draws might be more valuable than the chance for some teens to see the movie with their parents. Think of it as a “Bully” maneuver, minus the Weinsteins.


PG-13: Some material may be appropriate for box-office success

MPAA upholds rating on NC-17 'Chained'

'Chained' director Lynch says she will cut the movie, but asks why she needs to

R rating for Prometheus: Will it hurt the film commercially?

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch in "Killer Joe." Credit: LD Entertainment

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