"Blood Simple" may be a low-budget affair, but the casting of great character actors like M Emmet Walsh and Dan Hedaya wring true tension out of this film. As has become commonplace on their projects, the brothers Joel and Ethan Coen write, produce, and direct this film.
Dan Hedaya plays a brooding and bitterly jealous bar owner who wreaks revenge on his wife and lover by arranging to have them killed. Hired for the job is the sleazy laughter-racked private eye Walsh, who seems forever to be attracting flies.
Deception appears to run deep in the heart of Texas and some corpses don't stay dead forever. A satisfying plot of twists and vicious black humour unravels to a tense conclusion with the assembled cast clearly revelling in their roles.
The pace can at times be a touch slow, but it's easy to see why the Coens allow certain scenes to simmer, especially when their actors are chewing up the screen as they do. They alone maintain the interest but Barry Sonnenfeld's cinematography defies the low budget, turning this into a stylish-looking thriller that boasts many clever shots.
Intriguing, clever, and often surprisingly funny there's plenty to please in this thriller, that remains fresh and original.
Read a review of the DVD.