Bret Easton Ellis’ controversial book about a New York, yuppie serial killer has been successfully brought to the screen by director Mary Harron. One would think that a female director would bring a slightly softened approach to the gruesome subject matter but nothing could be further from the truth. The NC-17 version that unspooled in front of a captivated audience at Sundance was as beautiful as it was revolting. The NC-17 offense comes from a three-way sex scene the lead character Patrick Bateman has with a couple of prostitutes. There is some implied violence after the sex and this is apparently the reason the MPAA slapped them with the rating. (It is currently on appeal, however the film is likely going to open with the scenes cut out or trimmed but expect those extra scenes to appear on the DVD.)
Most of the cast was at the screening including buff Brit actor Christan Bale who flawlessly fit into the world of Wall Street yuppies. His performance is haunting and when asked if he was reluctant to take on this controversial role he replied, “Some told me it would be career suicide but that only became more motivation to do it.”
Co-writer of the script Guinevere Turner plays a small role in the film in which she is brutally murdered. When asked about the violence she admits that her and Mary Harron actually cut a lot of the more horrific scenes from the book including one in which a dead rat is shoved into an orifice. Yuk.
When asked about her next project, director Harron responded, “My baby due in about 6 months.” Big “aaawwww” and applause from the audience. American Psycho opens in April from Lions Gate films however, it looks as if audiences will be stuck with seeing the R-rated version in theaters. Those of us who braved the cold weather and the thin altitude get the extra gross-outs.