"Cold in July" unfolds like a Texas-fried take on the small town revenge of "Blue Ruin," with a nostalgia-fueled Eighties synth score a la "It Follows." Director Jim Mickle, who previously delivered the fun but ultimately forgettable "Stake Land," announces himself as a filmmaker to watch with this stylishly-shot and damn well-acted slice of neo-noir, one that remains unpredictable to the last violent shotgun blast.
Sam Shepard adds somber elegance to what is essentially a throwback to John Carpenter and pulpy 80s horror thrillers (note: the film's events takes place in 1989). Jim Mickle and d.p. Ryan Samul really crank up the atmosphere and mood with noir furnishings. But there's an exaggerated restraint to the whole thing; a faux Clint Eastwood-ism. Being "a man" in America means killing bad guys while remaining monosyllabic.
The Texas pulp crime film is alive and well in Jim Mickle's latest genre mash up. The film starts in 'Cape Fear' mode before its elements of the 'cover-up' pic and finally vigilante justice. Performances from old dogs Johnson and Shepard are quite good but Hall falls a little flat here. Its fairly enjoyable and fairly disposable overall. Interesting synth score at times though.
The components of this polished B-film may be cliche, but together they prove to be a fun mash-up. The beginning half feels more like a typical thriller and starts moving into some good twists, yet the comedy feels out-of-place in the 2nd half and it's not very dramatic or emotional, aside from the thrills at the end. With that said, the climatic shootout is well realized and exciting, if over too quick.
Pulpy, twisty, often hilarious tale of the revenge of an emasculated American male. You can't go wrong with Joe R. Landsale (and the homage to the Drive In novel is momorable). I'm waiting for Hot in December.
Easily the director's best effort to date, with a talented cast walking tall through a perplexing genre mash-up. This film is confident. A gritty neo-noir story that takes a turn towards vigilante justice, under the campy glow of primary colours and a pulsing synth score. The ironic, anti-climactic climax was a perfect end to the twists and turns. A particularly great moment boasts a blood-spray tinted light.