Essential Originals
1984 (99mins)
Dir: Joel Coen

Blood Simple

This first film from the Coen’s launched them into the stratosphere. Along with the likes of Jarmusch - whose own feature debut came in the same year - Blood Simple heralded a new and exciting kind of American independent low-budget cinema.

It’s all muscle in its stripped-back noir styling and has M. Emmet Walsh in a role he’s born to play as a grizzled loser second-rate private dick. He’s been hired by Marty whose wife is sleeping with a bartender - Ray. But what starts routinely enough as a martial surveillance case rapidly shifts into 4th gear - especially for Marty - and in this world everywhere is the wrong place at the wrong time - all the time.

One thing’s for sure - in any independent American film if your name’s Ray, you’re headed for trouble, in trouble or causing trouble... it’s a fact... and it’s lots of fun to be part of here where there’s so many beautiful Coen brothers touches.

As black, sinful and nasty as a weekful of Hitchcocks, this is as fresh and intoxicating now as it was back then. In a word: deadly. - EMPIRE MAGAZINE