Cold in July

Director: Jim Mickle
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.5

Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall), who owns a framing store, kills an intruder in his home only to find out the intruder is the son of notorious criminal Ben Russell (Sam Shepard) who just so happens to be out on parole - this leads to Russell stalking Dane, his wife (Vinessa Shaw) and their young son. Kind of a pulpy throwback to revenge movies they made in the seventies and part of the eighties (Rolling Thunder came to mind half-way through ... then Hardcore), it's definitely shaky in the plotting department (Dixie Mafia? Police cover-up? Snuff films?) but somehow the odd-ball team of Hall, Shepard and Don Johnson (still in a Nash Bridges state of mind) help carry it to its cruel conclusion. It's strident in its defense of machismo and self-preservation, but it also carries along with it a Code of Ethics that cannot be broken (leading a father to track down his own degenerate offspring).