- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2011

VENICE, ITALY (AP) - Fans of “The Exorcist” director William Friedkin’s films are in for a new kind of creep show with his latest project “Killer Joe” _ whose likable low-life characters make viewers laugh and squirm at the same time.

Friedkin presented his movie _ a world premiere _ Thursday at the Venice Film Festival alongside Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts, on whose play the film is based.

The story revolves around a cash-strapped drug dealer, played by Emile Hirsch of “Into the Wild” fame. Hirsch’s character discovers his mother has stolen some of his cocaine so he decides to have her killed to get a $50,000 life insurance policy. When he realizes he can’t pay the $25,000 killer’s fee up front, he offers his younger sister as sexual collateral.