Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, May 22nd, 2014

FILM: Cold in July

FILM: Cold In JulyIt’s going to be chilly in May when Cold in July opens in Los Angeles this coming week. Viewed at the Sundance film festival in January, this pulpy tale directed by Jim Mickle and set in Texas was one of my favorites.

Of course I love noir, write it myself, and have a great admiration for films and books in the genre. This is pitch perfect, often violent, funny, and filled with enough red herrings to make a smorgasbord.

No spoiler alerts here, just the broad strokes. This is a taut thriller set in motion when small business owner Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) shoots an intruder who has broken into the home he shares with his wife and young son. The dead man’s dad, Ben Russell, played by Sam Shepard, has revenge on his mind, which sets in motion a long string of events including the counsel of Don Johnson as private eye Jim Bob Luke. This film doesn’t stay a revenge thriller, it takes as many fast paced twists and breath grabbing turns as any fine noir should. I came into this film “cold,” knowing the cast, genre, and nothing else about it – and you should, too. It’s an adrenaline rush, and a smart one. Enough said.

Not minor in the film’s many pleasures is Johnson’s exuberant performance; at Sundance he got cheers and kept the audience laughing during the film’s Q & A. Composer Jeff Grace’s throbbing score is another delight, as is the tightly wound script based on author Joe R. Landsdale’s book of the same name. The overall chemistry between leads Shepard, Hall, and Johnson makes this flick a high voltage ride. In short: pull on a sweater and get ready to be Cold in July.

About the Author

- Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and produced screen and television writer. New books include the romantic suspense of Executive Impulse (Crimson); more romance and mystery with Between the Sheets (Entangled), co-written with Linda Marr; and the mystery thriller Marathon (Five Star/Cenage). Her previous titles include the award winning romantic suspense of The Model Man and Five O’Clock Shadow (Kensington); the literary fiction of Dreamtown (FictionWorks), and the erotic novella Rodeo Man (as Nikki Alton) in The Cowboy anthology (Aphrodisia). In film, her work spans a variety of genres from supernatural thriller to romantic drama, family, teen, and comedy with an emphasis on independent film. A member of the Writer’s Guild of America, she’s written on staff for ABC-TV’s Port Charles; written, produced, and directed reality programming and documentaries for TLC, Lifetime, PBS, and HGTV, as well as numerous television commercials and corporate videos. She’s also written hundreds of articles on travel, love, the arts, writing, tech, food, parenting, and more.

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FILM: Cold in July