The Killer Inside Me (1976)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  October 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 275 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

Everyone figures Lou Ford, a small-town, Montana, deputy sheriff, to be a normal, good-old-boy kind of regular Joe. But no one knows about "the sickness" that drives him to kill.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tisha Sterling ...
Johnny Lopez
Dr. Jason Smith
William Mahiger ...
Charlie Adams
Jack Moore ...
Jim Kennedy ...
Dewey Burns ...


Everyone figures Lou Ford, a small-town, Montana, deputy sheriff, to be a normal, good-old-boy kind of regular Joe. But no one knows about "the sickness" that drives him to kill. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Good friend, brave sheriff. . .savage killer. (dvd)


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mörder in mir  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Stacy Keach, the producers wanted to change the film's title to "The Nicest Guy in Town" but he convinced them that it was not a good idea. See more »


Version of The Killer Inside Me (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Keach excellent in interesting psychological drama
6 January 2004 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

Based on one of Jim Thompson's best novels, this sleeper went largely unnoticed in the mid-70's despite an excellent lead performance by Stacy Keach as Lou Ford, mild-mannered Montana deputy-sheriff whom everybody in the small town of Central City likes. An upcoming election, angry miners, and a hooker on the edge of town stir up trouble within the town and Keach.

The relationship between Keach and Susan Tyrrell as the hooker is one of the more intriguing cinematic couplings, made even more so in light of their recent work as a pair of drunks in Huston's "Fat City". Their actions are anything but predictable. Western-vet Burt Kennedy handles the direction chores ably, though the film is obviously constricted by a low-budget. Location work helps, and cinematographer William Fraker captures some nice "big sky" shots. However, several other scenes are poorly lit, with one straining to find the principals in the darkness and shadows. Considering the pro background of Kennedy and Fraker, I wonder if this was a comment on the characters' dark, shadowy personalities ... Another minor complaint is the music score, which seems wrong and intrusive at times.

The film has several veteran character actors, among them Royal Dano, John Carradine (in a nice scene with Keach toward the end), John Dehner, and Keenan Wynn. Best of all though is Don Stroud as Elmer, perhaps his quintessential beer-swilling, hot-headed, good ol' boy role. He balances his character's violent tendencies with a fair degree of bawdy humor (some would seem to be improvised), and would simply walk away with the picture if it were not for Keach being so strong and interesting in the lead. Certainly worth a look for the performances and subject matter.

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