January 21, 1985 [Blood Simple]

There's something Darwinian about Blood Simple--even the title itself: the more blood you slog through--and the more it's someone else's--the crazier you get. Judicious decisions don't matter any more--it's all instincts--but they're all bad. In fact, everyone in the movie is bad--and while most of them grin and bear it, use it to get what they think they want, like the clueless Ray says, once you shoot at someone, you have to shoot to kill. And in this movie--which feels like something made in the early '50s, one of those pictures set where the sidewalk ends (because that's where the gutter begins)--shooting is just the start of it. The rest is having to dig the grave and get sprayed with blood and listen to the wet wheezing sounds coming out of the other guy. Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom couldn't put it any plainer.

As the double crossers themselves get crossed, and each character fumbles the chance to evolve the hell away from disaster--with Dan Hedaya's Marty and M. Emmet Walsh's private eye leading the pack of fools, each of them in a hell the other one helps to make--Blood Simple dashes all hopes of nature's careful economy. Evolution becomes rushed piecework, the seams of your ape-suit holding just long enough for you to show up at your own funeral--where your sleeves slowly tear off the shoulders as you settle into the cheap lining of the half-hearted coffin thrown together at the last minute.


  1. I bought this on the same day as I bought "One False Move." I remember thinking of dust for the longest time.

  2. Reese--

    Say: I had my finger on the trigger, so to speak, over the weekend to watch One False Move on Instant Play, got distracted. Saw it a while ago; should check it out again in light of Blood Simple. Good double feature.


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