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Cold in July

Directed by Jim Mickle

USA, 2014

Cornerhouse, 29 June 2014

Cold in July

Sam Shepard is always watchable, of course.

Here he plays an elfin father figure, the kind of role he’s undertaken a fair few times before, a father who learns that his once rosy-cheeked son is rotten.  That apart, it is a fairly mediocre crime/horror film, with the storyline, register and nature of the central character veering this way and the other.  The only consistent trait of Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall’s character) seems to be the beer he drinks, a beer that’s prominently on display.  Most people would say the film is all over the shop…

But for all that, Sam Shepard is a class apart, playing a James Crumley-class character in what is an adaptation of a Joe R. Lansdale novel.

Before seeing the film, I took a walk down King Street; it’s startling to see how many empty shops there are.

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