Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Psycho Pulps

The Killer Inside Me is surely as dark as noir can get, author Jim Thompson throws us headlong into the mind of a psychotic sex killer in this chilling thriller set in small town Texas. Deputy Lou Ford struggles to keep his 'sickness' at bay as he pootles about town spouting cliches and lending a friendly hand to the locals, succumbing finally to his instincts for murder and violence after meeting a beuatiful whore. This is a brutally effective novel and Thompson's cold, disturbing protagonist is carefully, cleverly drawn and his journey from plain mad to full blown psychosis is quite terrifying - think Highsmith's Ripley on PCP and you might get the idea. Thompson's writing and pacing are excellent and it's a deeply disturbing but brilliant work that burns towards it's incendiary finale. I must start digging around for more of his Thompson's work, especially after finding out he'd written on of my favourite Kubrick films The Killing as well as Frears' The Grifters.

Ira Levin's novel The Boys From Brazil is a fine thriller about Nazis and mad genetic experiments. It doesn't quite match A Kiss Before Dying in drama and plot twists but then it's not terribly long ago that I rewatched the film. Anyways an aging Nazi hunter is tipped off about an enclave of Nazi's hiding out in South America and their plans to assassinate 80 or so fathers and despite his ailing health he's soon hot on their heels and heading towards a confrontation with medical monster Josef Mengele. Dunno it's an easy read, well written but not quite as taut as it shouldn't have been and it's simplicity means the original novel didn't have much more to offer than the film but that's hardly Levin's fault.

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