->''"Down here, you're on your own."''
''Blood Simple.'' is a 1984 Neo-Noir thriller about a Texas bar-owner who is certain that his wife is cheating on him and hires a private detective to spy on her. But that's only the beginning.
Written and directed by Creator/TheCoenBrothers, this was their debut film and features many of their odd trademarks. The cast includes Creator/FrancesMcDormand, John Getz, Dan Hedaya, and M. Emmett Walsh.
!!This film provides examples of:
* AloneWithThePsycho: Abby with Visser in the movie's final minutes.
* AssassinOutclassin: [[spoiler:Abby manages to fight off and kill Visser.]]
* BlackAndGrayMorality: The "heroes" are a selfish adulterous couple, one of whom buries a man alive. The villains? Wooh boy...
* BuriedAlive: Marty, by Ray.
* ChekhovsGun: Subverted. It's a vital part of the plot that the characters keep losing or forgetting about the various items presented to us, the viewers, as obvious PlotCoupons.
** There's also an actual gun, namely the pearl-handled .38 owned by the heroine. The number of bullets it contains is also a ChekhovsGun.
* CigaretteOfAnxiety: Meurice, in confronting Ray over what he thinks is his ransacking of Marty's safe, takes a cigarette out of Ray's mouth because "these things are nothing but coffin nails." But right afterwards, as he is walking away, Meurice lights up himself.
* DVDCommentary: Parodied. An imaginary film historian Kenneth Loring spouts obvious nonsense about the process by which the movie is made.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Seemingly played straight with Visser's refusal to murder the couple. Averted later when he has no problem killing them to protect himself.
* EvilDetectingDog: Inverted. Abby's dog's happy reaction is what makes her realize Marty's in the house.
* GallowsHumour: This is a Coen Brothers film, after all.
* GambitPileup: It quickly becomes quite a chore to keep track of what each of the four main characters thinks is happening, along with what's really happening.
* GoodIsDumb: While Ray may not be conventionally "good," he's about as close as a [[BlackAndGrayMorality film noir character]] gets. And he has got to be about the dumbest character every to wander into a crime movie.
* TheHyena: Detective Visser.
* HyperAwareness: Totally averted, causing the loss of Chekhov's Guns.
* InTheStyleOf: In the background of an early bar scene, you can hear a country-and-western version of the theme from ''Film/ChariotsOfFire''.
* InstantDeathBullet: Subverted. Played straight when [[spoiler: The private eye shoots Marty.]] but later shown to be a rather horrific aversion when[[spoiler: he regains consciousness just in time to be buried alive]]
* IronicDeath: Subverted. When Ray thinks of a way how to dispose of Marty's body, he throws a glance at the incinerator, the very place he himself was meant to end up in. To our surprise he doesn't go through with the idea.
* LastNameBasis: No one ever calls Marty by his first name, Julian.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: To a line from Creator/DashiellHammett's ''Literature/RedHarvest'' where the main character reflects that his mind has become temporarily addled by pervasive violence.
* LuckyCharmsTitle: The period in the title.
* MistakenIdentity: With fatal results.
* NewOldWest: Like several of the Coens' films.
* NoNameGiven: M. Emmet Walsh's scene stealing PrivateDetective is actually named Loren Visser.
** Subverted in that it is someone else she is confronting.
* PoorCommunicationKills: Abby and Ray could have avoided a lot of trouble if they had just talked to each other.
* PreMortemOneLiner: Delivered by the victim. After Abby shoots him and says "I'm not afraid of you, Marty" (she hasn't seen that it's Visser and believes it to be Marty back from the dead), Visser bursts into laughter and proclaims: "Well Ma'am if I see him, I'll give him the message."
* PsychoForHire: Visser initially comes across as little more than a buffoonish, washed-out private investigator, but he turns out to be a murderous double crosser who's happy to play hitman if the price is right, and then some.
* ReCut: The Coens have quipped that this is the first film in Hollywood history for which the Director's Cut actually REMOVES material.
* TheRemake / ForeignRemake: ZhangYimou remade this film in 2010 as ''A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop''. It was widely criticized for its replacement of the BlackComedy from the original with broad slapstick violence. The Coens liked it, though, and joked that they should remake ''Film/RaiseTheRedLantern'' in return.
* ShootTheMessenger: Discussed, and inverted. Oh Lord, how it's inverted.
* SkeletonKeyCard: Used by Visser to get into Ray's house.
* TooDumbToLive: Ray, and he doesn't either.
* TheVoice: An uncredited Holly Hunter as Helene, who leaves a message on Meurice's answering machine.
* VomitDiscretionShot: Once.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: Twice.
* YourCheatingHeart: The heroine, of all people.