Marvin Vernon was so excited about the new Tachyon edition that he dusted off his 5 year old Goodreads review and rewrote and expanded the original. Additionally, he published it on two separate blogs: Marvin’s Bookish Blog and The Novel Pursuit.
Cold in July is certainly within the tradition of pulp mysteries and, more precisely, crime fiction. It is also firmly in Lansdale’s typical East Texas setting full of blue collar families and characters from the more dubious sides of life. Yet Lansdale has hit a literary note in this novel as he uses the plot and themes to explore father-son relationships. In that way, this novel may be one of his most subtle and maybe even more personal.
So I have to say I enjoyed this book more on the second read and, maybe because of my own older age, felt closer for the relationship and the emotions of these men. I originally gave this book four stars but now I would increase it to five. It’s a crime fiction classic.
Crow n’ Bones loves the novel, the trailer, and has high hopes for the movie.
One of my favourite Lansdale novels is Cold In July. It’s a steely, badass noir story and an honest and often brutal examination of violence. And it features one of my favorite protagonists in all of literature in Jim Bob Luke, the deadly, smart- ass pig farmer / private eye. And now they made it into a movie! Cold In July is directed by Jim Mickle (Stake Land, We Are What We Are) and stars Michael C. Hall (Dexter himself!), the great Sam Sheppard and an awesomely grizzled Don Johnson as Jim Bob. The film has gathered a lot of praise and will be on theatrical release from May 23. The trailer below is everything I could hope for. This needs to be a ruthless shark of a thriller and the Walter Hill- meets- John Carpenter vibe of the trailer makes me smile. And check out that vintage 80s synth score! I have a lot of hope for this one.
MovieMaker explains “Why We Like” the Cold in July trailer.
Set in Texas in 1989, Cold in July begins with a home invasion that ends badly for the burglar. Family man Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall of Dexter) kills a man named Freddy Russell while defending his home, but soon finds out that Freddy’s ex-con father, Ben, is hell-bent on revenge. Corruption, betrayal, and doubt set the perfect stage for this Southern gothic noir. The trailer, embedded below,is intriguingly dark and devoid of comedy.
L.A. Daily News includes Cold in July in its feature about the current great noir renaissance.
We’re now in the midst of another great noir renaissance, although you may not have noticed it. Low-budget, American indie films such as “Blue Ruin” (opening in select theaters Friday), “Cheap Thrills,” “Perfect Sisters,” “Cold Comes the Night,” “Better Living Through Chemistry,” “Cold in July” and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” have been wowing audiences on the festival circuit and Video on Demand, as well as the lucky few astute enough to catch some of their limited, commercial theatrical releases.
And in “Cold in July,” another mild-mannered Texan, played by “Dexter’s” Michael C. Hall, becomes increasingly disoriented after killing an intruder in his home, and then discovers that the police charged with protecting his family may not be as trustworthy as the dead man’s revenge-seeking father (Sam Shepard).
That’s just one of the twists in “July,” which was adapted from Joe R. Lansdale’s 1989 novel and hits theaters and VOD May 23.
“This has elements of Westerns and Korean revenge thrillers to it,” the film’s director, Jim Mickle, confesses. “I love stories of guys who are put under immense pressure and put in really violent situations they’re not accustomed to, and see how they respond.”
Dread Central praises the movie and Joe R. Lansdale.
Joe R. Landsdale is one of those rare fiction writers whose work translates beautifully to the screen. Incident on and off a Mountain Road is one of my favorite episodes of “Masters of Horror,” and of course Bubba Ho-Tep is a cult classic. Now his novel Cold in July comes to the screen in an adaptation by Nick Damici (who also acts), as directed by indie darling Jim Mickle.
I’ve seen a couple of Mickle’s movies – Stake Land and We Are What We Are – and while I appreciated his unique style, I never fully liked his work. Until now. Perhaps it’s the Lansdale connection, or maybe it’s the truly committed performances by three excellent lead actors (Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, and Don Johnson), but whatever the reason – the gritty, 80s-set Cold in July sent shivers down my spine from start to finish.
The movie tie-in edition of Cold in July will be available from all finer outlets on May 20.
Cold in July the movie, starring Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down), and Don Johnson (Miami Vice), hits theaters and VOD on May 23.
Book cover design by Elizabeth Story