Michael Muller

With The Killer Inside Me, we can clearly see why the prolific director Michael Winterbottom continuously fails to make films that are anywhere above average. He is missing something vital to the success of almost any cinematic work: a knack for the erotic. When a woman is unable to provide a man with an even mildly enjoyable handjob or blowjob, when she handles the penis in the cold way a gardener handles a hosepipe, when she generates more discomfort than pleasure, it is said she has "no sense of cock." (Of course, this sort of deficiency can also be found in the gay world.) Winterbottom suffers from something like this lack of a sense of cock—meaning, if his new film were translated into sex, it would be a very bad handjob.

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The Killer Inside Me is terrible primarily because its sexual content has no life in it, and so there is no contrast between the sex and the violence—both are plain ugly. One could say that this was the filmmaker's intention: to make the fucking and beating equally horrible. But if that were the case, why employ an actress who is universally celebrated for her sexiness? Doesn't it make more sense to have horrible sex scenes with an unsexy actress like Hilary Swank or Janeane Garofalo? The fact that Winterbottom hired Jessica Alba means he wanted the sex to be as hot as the actress.

Alba, a mixed-race beauty, plays a prostitute who falls in love with a sheriff, Casey Affleck, who turns out to be a funny-talking serial killer—the movie is based on a novel by Jim Thompson. The prostitute is certainly desirable, but her sex scenes with the sheriff lack any fire. And so when she is beaten to within an inch of her life, we are not at all surprised or shocked. Nothing in the fucking (the breathing, the moaning, the kissing) convinced us that the two were actually in love or caught in a storm of passion. The prostitute is flat, the sheriff is flatter, and the photography has no sense of cock. In short, Winterbottom failed to film a great sex scene with one of the sexiest women in Hollywood. recommended

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