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Blood Simple

 

continued

Walsh. As Marty, Dan Hedaya plays a mean, intensely edgy scorned husband. Though he exudes an intimidating hostility, Marty is incapable of carrying out violence on his own — so he's hired Visser to murder the cheating couple. Visser brought the pictures to prove that he kept his part of the deal — but after he collects his money, he murders Marty. It turns out that not only is Visser working for someone else but Ray and Abby aren't even dead. But when they find out Marty is dead, fear exposes their underlying distrust of each other, and their love turns rancid.

The film's quirky suspense is well done, with nervous camera angles and lighting effects, but it seems indulgent at times. The camera may linger too long after a shot, or take too much time in setting up a shot. The plot gets hard to follow in spots. Abby and Ray lack the steamy, intense, blind sexual attraction of Lana Turner and John Garfield in The Postman Always Rings Twice or Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity. But it is an entertaining film, fun, with lots of twists and turns, plenty of blood, and even some laughter — not to mention great background music.

Blood Simple is shown as part of the Michigan Theater's Sundance Series Thursday and Sunday, August 3 and 6.

[Review published August 2006]    (end of article)

 

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