“The Killer Inside Me”: “Kinatay,” the American Version

Self has heard so much buzz about this movie.  Apparently, it is so horrifying, so brutal, so repulsive, that before screenings, someone has to go to the front of the theater and warn the audience that this movie is “not for the faint of heart.”

Which immediately puts self in mind of the Brillante Mendoza movie she saw at the Yerba Buena Center two weeks ago, “Kinatay.”

Self will be eternally grateful to Joel Tan and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for:  a) showing this movie (Apparently, it was considered so “strong” that copies were confiscated from UP just before a screening); and b) for inviting self to be one of the discussants for a Q & A with the members of the audience afterwards.  Yes, it was strong stuff.  But there was a message to the violence.  Yes, you can take it.  Yes, you are allowed to lower your eyes for a minute or two during the goriest sections.  No, it was not as gory as “Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Part 2.”  One Filipino male in the audience even complained that “it was not gory enough.”  Which self found even more shocking a statement than the movie itself.

Back to “The Killer Inside Me.”  According to Michael Winterbottom at “notcomingtoatheatrenearyou” (One of self’s favorite movie blogs!), it is “nauseatingly brutal.”  It’s apparently based on a 1952 Jim Thompson novel.  OK, self knows only that Jim Thompson is “noir.”  And that his novels are short.  Casey Affleck (Casey Affleck!) plays a “murderous” small-town sheriff in Texas.  There is a quote from the novel included in Winterbottom’s review.  Readers can judge for themselves whether this example of “pulp” writing at its most pulp is truly brutal (Self thinks not.  It is just —  graphic.  For true brutality, one would have to read E. L. Doctorow’s first novel, the one about the murderous cowboy.  Or how about a book self just finished reading, Virgil’s The Aeneid)

OK, OK, self will not go on and on about “The Killer Inside Me.”  Especially not when what she really wants dear blog readers to focus on is “Kinatay.”  Dear blog readers, despite the nauseating rape, this is not a snuff movie.  And it has a score of really brave actors and actresses.  And a very brave director.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.   Stay tuned.

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