COLD IN JULY is a masterful exercise in suspense – a classic pulp narrative unfolding with violence and intrigue
Vice interviewed Joe R. Lansdale about his classic Texas noir Cold in July, both in print and on screen.
It’s a masterful exercise in suspense – a classic pulp narrative unfolding with violence and intrigue. We were curious to know what Lansdale thought of the film and the way in which the original incarnation of the story played out on screen, so we called him up for a chat.
VICE: How did Cold In July come about when you first wrote it?
Lansdale: When I wrote the novel I had just become a father for the first time. My son was the same age as the character Richard Dane’s son in the novel. It started with a visit to look at a new house where there happened to be a bullet hole in the ceiling. That night I went home and dreamt this sequence – every hour or so I’d wake up and have to wash my face down. It was a strange gift handed to me. All these factors must have been boiling in my subconscious. I never tell anyone stories while I’m working on them, but this time I told my wife.
It’s strange that it literally came to you in a dream.
It was probably the most literal dream I’ve ever had. All of the strange, oddball characters were already there – all I had to do was give them dialogue and add a few odds and ends.
Read the rest of the interview at Vice.
The movie tie-in edition of Cold in July is currently available from all finer outlets.
Cold in July the movie, starring Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down), and Don Johnson (Miami Vice), is currently playing in theaters and on VOD.
Book cover design by Elizabeth Story.