I tackled the last 2 necessary Coen Bros films I hadn’t seen, starting with Blood Simple. (Can we all agree that I don’t need to see The Ladykillers or Intolerable Cruelty? At least for this project? I’m open to hear arguments in their favor.)
I don’t know many people who don’t enjoy films by the Coen Brothers, especially those of the 80s and 90s. My step-father Bill is a huge fan, and he told me to watch Fargo when I was home on break from college. I had managed to never see a Coen Brothers film, and I went into it thinking it was a serious drama. I wasn’t looking for the dark comedy that unfolded. I was legitimately disturbed, which I enjoyed, until I started laughing. I think it was during the scene where Marge meets her old friend from high school and he starts crying. First I thought, “I am an asshole for laughing at this,” then I thought, “Wait. This movie is brilliant.” Or something like that. After that, I was sold.
Blood Simple. is the Coens’ first film. Geez I hope my first film is this crazy good. It’s classified as a “neo-noir”, which I enjoy. It’s a great example of what filmmakers can do with a few good characters played well. The plot relies heavily on Bad Communication, which isn’t a bad thing, but as soon as the Bad Communication ball starts to roll, it picks up speed and takes many lives along with it. It makes for excellent dramatic storytelling, but tragedy in real life, so beware! As in Salvation Boulevard, the trouble starts when a dead body is found. I made up this little song to sing whenever this occurs, to the tune of “When You’re Happy and You Know It”: If you find a dead body call the cops (clap clap), if you find a dead body call the cops (clap clap), don’t try to hide the body cause you’ll probably get caught, if you find a dead body call the cops (clap clap).
Easier sang than done, I know.
Also: Dan Hedaya is SO under-rated.