by: Madison Barnes
Jim Thompson’s pulp-fiction novel POP. 1280, about a psychotic sheriff in a remote southern town, is getting the big screen treatment. Gerard Butler is attached to produce, but no word yet on whether he’ll take an acting role.
“Pop. 1280” refers to the population of the small town that lead character, Sheriff Nick Corey, presides over. Corey appears to be a lazy, unintelligent leech but soon shows his murdering genius after he decides to strike back against the world he thinks took advantage of him. Jim Thompson’s writing is always about the dark side of human nature, and this is one of his finest attempts, with most fans ranking this book as one of Thompson’s best.
Thompson has had seven of his novels made into movies since the late ’70s, with an adaptation of “Pop. 1280” called “Clean Slate” made in 1981. Key events and locations were altered in this French movie version, so “Pop. 1280” has never really had a clean adaptation.
Thompson died in 1977 after a life long struggle with alcoholism. He remains one of the lesser-appreciated writers of his time, never gaining huge notoriety until after his death. Within the writing world, he is known for his dark, criminally laced pulp-fiction.