Cold in July

We’ve been wondering where all the elements that made violent action movies amazing in the ’80s went. With Cold in July, now we know. They were just hibernating until director Jim Mickle came along and revived them.

Cold in July is based on Joe R. Lansdale’s novel of the same name. Mickle, who’s coming off a series of horror cult hits like his remake of We Are What We Are, has crafted a film that follows an unlikely pair of men into a violent conspiracy in East Texas. On one hand there’s Richard Dane, a family man who fatally shoots an intruder in his home. Dane is played by Michael C. Hall, gloriously mustachioed in his first role since the end of his hit television series Dexter. Unfortunately for Dane, the intruder’s ex-convict father, played by Sam Shepard, is out for revenge for the murder of his son. It quickly comes to light that both men are being manipulated in a far larger, more complicated scheme involving everything from the Dixie Mafia to a snuff-porn ring. Hall and Shepard have a fiery intensity working off of each other as the plot gets progressively more gruesome around them. However, both are upstaged by the one and only Don Johnson, who plays a Houston private investigator/pig farmer. His casting as bad-ass Jim Bob Luke, frequently seen in Lansdale’s novels, was a masterful move; every second he’s on the screen is a celebration of pure Texas gravitas.

7:15 p.m. Sundance Cinema, Houston, 510 Texas. For information, call 713-223-3456 or visit $15.
Thu., Jan. 30, 7:15 p.m., 2014

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