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Joe Cooper

If you insult me again, I will cut your face off and wear it over my own. Do you understand?
~ Joe Cooper threatening Chris Smith

Joe Cooper, otherwise known as Killer Joe is the main antagonist of the 2011 American Southern Gothic crime film Killer Joe directed by William Friedkin (inspired by Tracy Letts' play). He is a Texan cop who, to supplement his income, works as a freelance assassin.

In the film, he was portrayed by Matthew McConaughey, who also portrayed Vilmer Slaughter in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A New Generation, Adam Meiks in Frailty, and Randall Flagg in The Dark Tower.  


In the movie, Joe Cooper is an extremely dangerous individual. Unlike other characters who, while performing his own job, have a kind of moral code (as Leon, the protagonist of the homonymous film), Joe apparently does not seem to put on any kind of moral dilemma or limit, accepts the job regardless of who is the target of his hunting or any other particular, as long as the rules he imposes on those who contact him to commit the murder are met (to be paid in advance and not be appointed if people with whom he has entered into an agreement to be arrested for the crime).

And 'certainly has mental illness (possibly bipolar disorder or schizophrenia) because, on one occasion may appear calm and controlled (even instilling some fear), and the next, is subject to explode in ferocious outbursts (especially when it is insulted by someone), and also a strong dose of sadism, a vein of black humor and a significant component of sexual perversion. In addition to this is certainly endowed with a remarkable cunning, being called more than once in the film, a true professional.


Joe Cooper was contacted by Chris Smith, a young drug dealer in debt to a local drug lord, whose hateful mother, Adele, stole the consignment of drugs that he had been instructed to sell. The goal is to kill the boy's mother to collect the substantial life insurance policy, headed to the beautiful and somewhat faded Chris's younger sister, Dottie. It 'just that with Dottie Joe has his first contact with the family of Chris. The girl was immediately kidnapped by Joe, with whom he has a long conversation, during which asks whether, in his job as a policeman has ever shot someone, while Joe tells of an occasion when he met a man who, after a fight with his girlfriend, killed himself by setting fire to their own genitals. 

Later Joe met Chris and his father Ansel, which imposes its own rules to be paid in advance and not be charged if the two were arrested for the murder, penalty killing both. When Chris says that you can not pay in advance, Joe initially refuses the assignment but enchanted by the beauty and innocence of Dottie, two aims to offer it as a "deposit" in anticipation of the collection of insurance money. Chris, very attached to his sister, but terrified of being killed, reluctantly accepts the offer of Joe. Joe then, only after a dinner with Dottie, he takes advantage of her, forcing her to undress in front of him. The girl was initially confused, soon gives way to the advances of killers, interweaving a relationship with him, with deep regret and dismay of Chris. 

Probably because of this, Joe decides to wait a few days to kill before Adele. However, for a murder committed, it turns out that the woman had not quite made payable to Dottie the policy, but to Rex, her current husband, who had duped Chris talking to Joe and facendoglielo contact in order to get their hands on the money. Joe, furious, initially contact Rex to get paid, but he is tricked by a man with a check not covered, and probably kills him. 

Joe also discovers that Sharla, the stepmother of Chris and Dottie, had an affair with Rex and, like him, was to get my hands on that large sum. Joe then forces her to confess everything, beating her and humiliating her making simulate fellatio on a fried chicken thigh, all under the eyes of her husband Ansel who, enraged at having been betrayed and deceived by her, he refuses to help her. Then Joe announces to the two since it can not be paid, he will take away Dottie with him, and that if Chris will try to stop them, kill them all. 

Later Chris goes home, and Joe, after accommodating the whole family at the table for dinner, announces that he plans to marry Dottie and leave with her. It, therefore, has a run-in with Chris at the end of which tells him that he will kill him if you are not convinced to leave her sister. Chris then tries to defend himself with a gun but is easily disarmed by Joe and brutally beaten with a jar of canned food, all with the complicity of Ansel and Sharla that, a bit of fear of the vengeance of Joe, a little to the 'I hate that they had always had for his son, decided to help the killer. 

At the sight of this sudden explosion of ferocity, Dottie, desperate, grab the gun and shoot his brother Chris and his father, killing the first and the second wounding in the abdomen. Then the girl moves the gun to Joe and tells him she is pregnant. Joe is overjoyed, but Dottie keeps the gun pointed at him. His fate is left ambiguous. 

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