I’ve been reading Bret Easton Ellis lately. It all started in a local HMV, where they were selling copies of his books (and many other authors’ classic works) for dirt cheap. I had some time to kill before FrightFest in Leicester Square, so I read a little Revolutionary Road, read a little George Orwell, and read a few paragraphs of Bret Easton Ellis’ The Informers. I was intrigued.
Heading out to the local library (rather than putting out the 3 pounds it would’ve cost for the book at HMV), I did not end up finding another copy of The Informers – but I did find American Psycho. More on that later.
Back in 2009, while visiting London, I found and purchased a copy of All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, a somewhat minor horror-thriller I’d caught wind of over the internet, which stars beauty Amber Heard as Mandy Lane. She was certainly engaging. Over the next couple of years, I saw Amber Heard pop up again in a small role in Zombieland, a co-starring role in the post-Grindhouse 3-D Nic Cage vehicle Drive Angry, and in another starring role in the British remake of the British film And Soon the Darkness.
It wasn’t until I got into American Psycho (the book) that I discovered that Amber Heard had also co-starred in the ensemble cast making up the poorly-handled film version of Bret Easton Ellis’ The Informers. Well, bad reviews be damned, I figured I’d check this thing out from myslef. Now, while having not yet read it, but by now having just finished reading the brilliant social-class satire American Psycho, I felt like I was ready for a little cinematic take on Ellis’ writing. (It has been years since I’ve watched the film American Psycho). And I’m glad I did. In The Informers, we get all the plasticized satire of American Psycho, only not quite as biting or as violent – and set in L.A., not New York. But it’s still a damned good satire, and even though throughout the film one can tell that it might (likely) have been “toned down”, shall we say, there are still plenty of gut-tweaking moments as the L.A. world of the young and ambitious and rich and almost-famous calmly devour each other. For all intents and purposes, it certainly feels like Ellis was involved.
Amber Heard is part of the leading cast of young rich kids in L.A. who take their status and sex for granted, and while she’d naked for the first half of the film, I was more surprised (and pleased) to see that it was really a daring role for her, as opposed to a purely exploitative one. Brad Renfro also co-stars, the last film, I believe, prior to his untimely death.
Unfortunately, The Informers sat unreleased for a year or two, and when it finally was released, it was without any great fanfare. Perhaps rightfully so, I’ll be in a better position to comment on that once I have read the actual novel. Because I do believe anyone seeing this film out would do so for two reasons: either Amber Heard (growing a cult fanbase of her own now) or Bret Easton Ellis.