Cold in July

Indie wunderkind Jim Mickle (zombie slasher Stake Land; cannibal thriller We Are What We Are), returns to Lund for the third time in four years with his stylistically and thematically most mature film to date.

Cold in July is an ironic, blood-drenched Texas noir which conjures up Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, via the Coen-brothers’ Blood Simple, to Ford’s The Searchers. Based on a novel by cult author Joe R Landsdale (perhaps best known for Bubba Ho-Tep), the film is rooted deep in gritty late 80’s settings, enveloped in an outstanding Carpenter-vibe synthesizer score.

Mickle’s approach to the kind of B-movie from the 70’s and 80’s that he grew up with, is to understand that aesthetic gimmicks are not enough to pull of magnificent, classic action-thrillers. Films of that school are all about tone and attitude and connect best when carried by characters who are slightly “off”, who are allowed to be more than cookie-cutters based on the latest trends. What more can be asked for then, than a mulleted and mustachioed Michael C. Hall, backed by Sam Shepard and a surly Don Johnson?

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