The play and the movie have both been hawked as “a totally twisted deep-fried Texas redneck trailer park murder story,” and the film lives every inch up to its billing. Letts obviously knows his characters, and under Letts' screenplay adaptation and Friedkin's tutelage, so do the actors, especially McConaughey as the black-hatted, black-leathered, black-sunglasses-wearing Joe, Church as the beer-swilling daddy, and Gina Gershon as the treacherous and scheming Sharla, Chris' promiscuous stepmother and Ansel's wife.
One of Tracy Letts' influences, it has been written, is fellow Oklahoma writer Jim Thompson (“The Getaway,” “The Killer Inside Me,” “The Grifters”), and based on this wickedly wonderful piece of work, that comparison is very on-target.
Special features include “Southern Fried Hospitality: From Stage to Screen,” “SXSW Q&A with Cast,” “SXSW Intro by William Friedkin,” and “White Trash Red Band Trailer.”
— Gene Triplett