Showing is better than telling, and that appears to have been the Coen Brothers’ thinking when it came to raising funds to create their first feature film, 1984’s classic Texas film noir “Blood Simple.” A tale of a bar owner who hires a private detective to kill his wife and the man she is sleeping with, but since this is the Coens we are talking about, everything goes awry.
So, they made an investor trailer — showing prospective investors into the project what they can expect to see — with certain scenes (that are now iconic in regard to the film) such as Private Detective Loren Visser shooting through the walls at Abby, as well as the shot up and bloodied Julian Marty crawling out of a car to meet his maker via being pummeled with a shovel, though the latter is played by Bruce Campbell here and not Dan Hedaya, who plays the role in the film.
Now, I have read Bruce Campbell’s autobiography (because I am a nerd like that), so I was aware that he and “Evil Dead” director Sam Raimi were acquaintances with the Coens (Joel Coen edited “Evil Dead 2”). According to an interview with Vanity Fair, Joel Coen said Raimi inspired them to make this trailer to raise funds for the film because “if you call on the phone and ask people to invest in a movie they’ll tell you to go hell. But if you tell them ‘I have a piece of film to show you,’ then some of the would let you come into their living room and set up your little projector and show it to them.”
And when you watch this trailer, the style certainly resembles, at times, the look and feel of the first two “Evil Dead” films. The final product certainly doesn’t have this Raimi-vibe, but this trailer sure does.
This trailer is supposedly part of the Criterion release for “Blood Simple” due out in September.