It was the American Psycho of its day.
There should be no surprise to anyone familiar with the book that Michael Winterbottom's "The Killer Inside Me" is rough stuff, because Jim Thompson's novel certainly was. It dared you to identify with the dangerous and unhinged Lou Ford as he tumbled down a self-made rabbit hole of murder and sexual compulsion. It was a breathless exercise in voice from one of the most blistering of the pulp writers, and no less a filmmaker than Stanley Kubrick was determined to make it at one point before finally giving up in the face of what a studio would realistically release at the time.
Michael Winterbottom has proven himself to be one of the most versatile filmmakers working today, his style from film to film mandated by the material instead of the other way around. He has tried his hand at science-fiction ("Code 46") and arthouse porn ("9 Songs") and wicked dry comedy ("Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story") and music biopic ("24 Hour Party People"), and yet none of those films can be summed up that easily. "In This World," "A Mighty Heart," "The Claim," "Jude," "Butterfly Kiss"... that's a deep filmography, rich and varied and adult. That's the thing about Winterbottom... when you watch his films, you're being treated like an adult, no punches pulled, nothing coy or pandering about them. And his no-nonsense attitude as a filmmaker seems to have paid off in him finally making a film that has been attempted dozens of times over the years, always with disastrous results.