A stylish, imaginative and hard-boiled neo noir, Blood Simple announced Joel and Ethan Coen as vital and distinctive new cinematic voices on its release three decades ago. A thrilling debut feature, the film possessed all the characteristics that propelled the Coens to later success – razor sharp dialogue; a predilection for lethal and futile violence; ironic, fatalistic humour; and an inventive focus on the tragicomic lives of idiosyncratic misfits. M. Emmett Walsh is sleazy Texas private eye Visser, hired by bar owner Marty (Dan Hedaya) to kill his unfaithful wife (Frances McDormand) and her lover (John Getz). Given a plan to work from, he decides to modify it without warning; and matters quickly spiral out of control. Beautifully shot and performed and with a haunting score by the Coens’ longtime collaborator Carter Burwell, it’s a landmark film, a trailblazing, near virtuosic debut which reinvented the noir for a new generation and marked the arrival of two filmmakers who would go on to revolutionise the American indie cinema scene.
Blood Simple is out in cinemas from today.