In an interview Gina Gershon revealed that she wore a merkin. After ordering a wide variety, she settled on one she named Bertha.
The film was released theatrically with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA for "graphic aberrant content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality" but was edited down to an R rating for the home video release so that the DVD and Blu-ray could be sold in certain stores. The reason for the R rating given by the MPAA was for "strong and disturbing violence, sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language".
William Friedkin initially considered either Kurt Russell or Billy Bob Thornton for the lead role.
Killer Joe was the first play Tracy Letts wrote, in 1991.
In one scene Dottie asks if Joe is a detective like Magnum PI. Matthew McConaughey was in the running for playing Magnum PI in a big budget movie remake of the series in 2007, as of 2012 the project is dead in the water.
Near the end of the movie, Joe tells Chris, "caveat emptor". This is Latin for "let the buyer beware".
The Pinball in the background is (High Speed 2 The Getaway) when they are discussing the terms for the murder.
The dog on the chain is the same dog used in Alpha Dog. Another movie Hirsch was in in 2006.
Gina Gershon had been originally offered the role of Sharla almost 20 years previously when the script was for a play, but she turned it down because she could not imagine performing the infamous chicken-leg scene "eight times a week" on stage.
Director William Friedkin was shocked when he found out that the film was given the NC-17 rating and refused to alter the film for fear that any cut or edit would take away from the filthiness of the film. It was released theatrically with the NC-17 rating only to have an edited R rated version released for certain retailers to carry when it was released on DVD and Blu-Ray.
In his memoir, William Friedkin wrote that Jennifer Lawrence desperately wanted the role of Dottie, but she couldn't do it due to a scheduling conflict.
This film marks the second adaptation of a Tracy Letts play by William Friedkin (the first being the film Bug (2006).
According to Matthew McConaughey, director William Friedkin rarely exceeded three takes per scene when filming.
The CD soundtrack was released on August 23rd, 2012 by Milan Records in North America.
In Spain the movie after being released on DVD and have some premieres, was a technical release only in Barcelona (Phenomena) for 2 days. The film was screened only in original version.
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