Jim Bob Luke

Created by Joe R. Lansdale

 More private eye action… as you like it.

Shit-kicker gumshoe JIM BOB LUKE first appeared in the 1992 one-off Cold in July, a nasty little slice of vengeance and Texas justice run amock, full of crooked cops, murderous ex-cons and straight-arrow dads just trying to do the right thing, which served as the basis for the 2014 film of the same name, featuring Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard, with Don Johnson playing our man Jim Bob.

But however you meet him, Mr. Luke is something else, let me tell you. A wise-cracking, foul-mouthed Korean war vet and hog farmer who drives an old red Cadillac he calls the Red Bitch, complete with baby shoes and fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror. He knows Hapkido, a martial art he apparently picked up when he was “over there,” and he cheerfully refers to Hispanics in such endearing terms as “Frito” and “Chili Lips.”

Even better? Johnson’s shit-kicking portrayal of him in the film is only slightly turned down.

I guess Lansdale figured Jim Bob was just too rich a character to let go to waste–he later pops up in Bad Chili (1997) and Captain’s Outrageous (2001), alongside Lansdale’s series characters Hap Collins and Leonard Pine.


  • “… a journey of horrifying discovery, one which tests all bounds and bonds of family and forgiveness, transforming an already riveting slice of country-friend noir into a truly mythic tale.”
    — Zach Vasquez (June 2021, CrimeReads)



  • COLD IN JULY | Buy on DVD Buy the Blu-Ray Watch it now!
    (2014, Backup Media)
    Based on the novel by Joe R. Lansdale
    Screenplay by Jim Mickle and Nick Damici
    Directed by Jim Mickle
    Starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard
    and Don Johnson as JIM BOB LUKE
    Also starring Wyatt Russel, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Joe Lanza


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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