William Friedkin’s controversial Texan trailertrash thriller Killer Joe will open this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (20 June to 1 July 2012), before opening nationwide on 29 June.
Described as a "shockingly cool and blackly comic noir thriller" the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church.
The film will be a controversial choice given the level of violence (Variety in its review said "Post-screening showers will be mandatory.")
Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “For my first year as Artistic Director, I intend to deliver a diverse programme that will spotlight filmmaking of real artistic distinction. William Friedkin’s exhilarating, intense, and brilliantly crafted film is absolutely in keeping with this ambition.”
William Friedkin, the septuagenarian director of The Exorcist and French Connection fame, will be at the premiere on Wednesday, 20 June along with cast members.
The story follows 22 year-old Chris Smith a drug dealer down on his luck. Things go from bad to worse when he hires the unexpectedly charming hit man Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) to murder his own mother for her $50,000 life insurance policy.
With barely a dollar to his name Chris agrees to offer up his younger sister, Dottie (Juno Temple), as sexual collateral in exchange for Joe’s services until he receives the insurance money. That is, if it ever does come in.
William Friedkin described Killer Joe as a film "about the Good and Evil in everyone, the struggle for our better angels to triumph over our demons."
He added: "I would also like to thank the Edinburgh International Film Festival for honouring our film with this screening, uncut. Of a film the Motion Picture Association of America has expressed a desire to censor."