The movie adaptation of the black-comedy novel Kill Your Friends is/was – depending on when you’re reading this – released in cinemas on November 6. No wonder it’s rated an 18. John Niven’s book, about the 1990s music scene, was published in 2008. That may only be seven years ago but re-reading it the other day (even) I was shocked by its lack of any political correctness. The badly-off, non-whites and people with humdrum jobs are described with vicious disdain. And women? Well, best not to go there, albeit a lot of going there does go on, mostly accompanied by substantial drugs intake. (I told you it was an 18.) Let’s just say that “boiler” comes close to being a compliment. The ‘hero’, Steven Stelfox, is just about as nasty a piece of work as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.

And yet, and yet: ‘black comedy’ describes the book pretty perfectly. But I can’t believe it will have been anything other than heavily amended to make it to the silver screen, not unlike with AlfieIn the 1960s original of that film, Michael Caine routinely referred to women as “it”. Can you imagine that getting passed the producer, let alone the censor, today? The 2004 remake made Caine’s counterpart, Jude Law, seem almost uxorious in comparison. Likewise, I’m guessing the Rape Tape doesn’t make the cut in Kill Your Friends