The Killer Inside Me (2010) Cigars in Cinema by Justin Bower
Firstly, I just want to say that this article will contain some spoilers. Don’t worry, they won’t come until later and I’ll be sure to give some warning beforehand. This is just one of those movies that is too hard to talk about without giving some spoilers but too good not to talk about. The Killer Inside Me. The exact movie I will be talking about is the 2010 remake of the 1976 film of the same name starring Stacy Keach. And that movie is based on a book written by Jim Thompson in 1952. The book version has been referred to as “one of the most blistering and uncompromising crime novels ever written.” It’s actually kind of crazy to think of the content of this story having been written in the 50’s. Murder by a law enforcement officer, corruption and rough sex are just the tip of the iceberg. What I wouldn’t give to see people’s reactions while reading this book back then. I actually haven’t seen the 1976 version with Keach although I do like him as an actor, I will be seeking this one out.
Fast forward to 2010 and the latest version of “The Killer Inside Me”, Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson star in this movie directed by Michael Winterbottom. This probably is one of his more well-known flicks. Also starring Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, and Simon Baker, this film has a great cast and feel to it. Terrific cinematography and stellar performances by the cast made this movie very likable in my opinion.
This movie follows Casey Affleck as Sheriffs deputy Lou Ford and he’s up to his neck in murders.. his own. Los Angeles Times says this movie is “Electrifying…..thoughtful, stylish, at times dryly funny and disconcertingly sexy.” Entertainment Weekly says this “Maybe the darkest film noir ever made. It’s exciting to see a noir in which that erotic steam-heat madness is now made explicit.” Those are some pretty strong reviews. I don’t think I agree it’s the DARKEST film noir ever made but I do say, Casey Affleck, plays the part pretty damn well!
Cigars. They have a way of just feeling like they fit in certain types of movies or roles. Most people associate cigars with a lot of dusty westerns or the evil henchman or the boss baddie or the gritty hero. Honestly, this movie checks a couple of those boxes for me. While it’s not actually a western per se, it almost has that western feel to it mixed with the detective type noir from yesteryear.
Fair warning: THIS IS WHERE I GET INTO SOME SPOILERS. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE YOU SEE THE FILM THEN STOP READING HERE.
Throughout the movie, you see tons of smoking. Hell, I feel like everyone smoked back then. There are quite a few instances when you see Lou smoking cigars in the film. In fact, the first time you see him light a cigar, a bum asks him for some change and Lou grabs the bum’s hand and puts the cigar out in his hand. Not really for any other reason than to be an asshole. Now here is the thing I found interesting with this movie and the cigars Lou smokes, early on in the beginning, the somewhat mild-mannered Lou smokes smaller skinny cigars. The more he kills and he thinks that he’s gotten away with everything he smokes a much larger cigar and when he knows his time is up, he is back down to the much smaller cigar almost like he is defeated. Was this on purpose? Is that why he had the different size cigars or was it just a continuity flaw on someone’s part? Maybe I am looking too much into it. Either way, if you are looking for a slick and stylish noir-type movie, I recommend this one!
In an interview with The Telegraph, Kate Hudson admits that she was genuinely spanked during the filming. “Ha! There were a couple in there when I thought: God, Casey! He got a bit of power behind it. It was definitely real. I think it depends on your sense of humor where you draw your boundaries. After about the 20th spank, we all started to laugh because you become quite comfortable with the idea and it becomes about the technical side of things. I’ve known Casey for so long that you can’t help but laugh every now and then.”
Jessica Alba left halfway through the movie’s world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Why Alba left is unknown but, according to critics in attendance, there were quite a few walkouts from folks who found the film’s violence towards women disturbing, namely scenes featuring Alba repeatedly punched in the face and taking a ruthless belt-lashing across her nude butt by Casey Affleck.