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"BLOOD SIMPLE"
(1984/2000) (John Getz, Frances McDormand) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Heavy None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: Things spiral out of control when a bitter husband hires a seedy private detective to kill his wife and one of his employees with whom she's having an affair.
PLOT:
Abby (FRANCES McDORMAND) is a young and unhappy wife to Julian Marty (DAN HEDAYA), a bitter and middle-aged Texas roadhouse owner. As such, she confides in one of Julian's barkeeps, Ray (JOHN GETZ) about her unhappiness, and despite him proclaiming that he's no marriage counselor, the two end up in bed together.

This eventually gets back to Julian through photos taken by Visser (M. EMMET WALSH), a seedy private detective the barkeep hired. Glad that her wife's lover isn't his other barkeep, Maurice (SAMM-ART WILLIAMS), Julian is nonetheless irritated over the confirmation of the affair. As such, he offers to pay Visser ten thousand dollars to kill the two. The slimy private eye eventually agrees, telling Julian to hit the road for several days, keep his mouth shut, and that everything will be taken care of.

Julian does just that, and upon returning to town, meets Visser who states he did the job and wants his cash. Keeping his end of the bargain, Julian pays up. A sudden and unexpected action, as well as a later revelation, however, suddenly puts a new spin on what's occurred. From that point on, the various parties involved suddenly get suspicious of the others who take it upon themselves to tie up any loose ends.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Since this is a re-release of a film from 1984, it's not that likely unless they're fans of someone in the cast or the works of Joel and Ethan Coen ("Fargo").
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
The reason was not available from the MPAA, but we'd assume it's from bloody violence, profanity and brief sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Considering what ultimately and cumulatively occurs in the film (an affair, hiring a hit-man and murder, etc.), it's doubtful that many parents would consider any of the major characters as positive role models.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated suspense/thriller. Violence is rated as extreme due to several lethal and rather bloody acts that include people being shot and stabbed. The perpetrators of such acts obviously have bad attitudes (as does a couple having an affair and a husband who pays someone to kill his wife) and some of those scenes may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary to some viewers (as some play out in a credible, horror film fashion).

Profanity consists of at least 8 uses of the "f" word, while a number of other expletives and colorful phrases also occur. A couple is briefly seen under the sheets having sex (with movement but no sounds or nudity), while other related encounters are suggested. Meanwhile, several characters smoke and some brief drinking is observed.

Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who wishes to see it, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People drink beer in Julian's bar and later we see someone apparently passed out on the bar.
  • Some young people drink beer and Visser tells Julian that a young woman approached him because she saw him rolling a cigarette and thought it was pot.
  • Maurice has a drink in the bar, as do others.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Julian vomit on the ground (after he's been kicked in the crotch).
  • We see some black and white photos of two people who are apparently dead from bullet wounds (which are bloody as are the sheets around them).
  • We hear Julian vomiting off camera.
  • A person shoots another person (and blood trickles and then runs from the wound and down the victim's shirt). Later, we see blood running down the victim's arm and dripping on the floor into a pool of blood. A person then tries to sop up the blood with a jacket (that then drips across the floor as it's carried to a sink to be rinsed out - where we see bloody water during that process). We then see a trickle of blood run from the victim's nose.
  • A person spits up some blood onto the back of another person's shirt.
  • Blood spills out of a person's mouth in what turns out to be a nightmare.
  • Blood spurts out from a person who's been shot and we then see blood on both sides of their shirt.
  • A person's hand is very bloody after a knife is stabbed through it, and that person's face is also bloody from cuts caused by some broken glass.
  • We see blood on a person's shirt from where they were shot.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Abby and Ray have an affair.
  • Julian aggressively comes on to Maurice's female friend (he doesn't touch her, but he's aggressive in his approach).
  • Julian offers to pay Visser money to kill Abby and Ray, and the private eye agrees.
  • Instead of reporting what looks like a homicide, another person tries to cover it up (figuratively and literally).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling, suspenseful or even scary to some viewers.
  • Julian suddenly grabs Abby and struggles with her for a few moments as she tries to reach her gun. She eventually bites (and/or breaks) his finger and then kicks him in the crotch and he then leaves.
  • As some suspenseful music plays at night, we see that someone's working on a locked door at Ray's place. Visser then enters and slowly makes his way through the place, finding Abby's gun (as more music plays).
  • At night, a person walks up with a shovel toward a wounded person who's slowly trying to crawl away (as if he's going to hit that other person with it). As a vehicle approaches, that man scrambles to get the wounded person out of sight.
  • A scene where a person begins to bury another person - who's still alive but wounded - out in a field may be rather unsettling to viewers. That victim then holds a gun on the man with the shovel and slowly pulls the trigger several times, but the gun's empty.
  • A person shows up at an office where the killer is hiding nearby.
  • A character in a bathroom at night hears someone in the next room and then slowly and anxiously goes out to see who it is (just like in a horror movie). Blood then spills out of a person's mouth in what turns out to be a nightmare.
  • We see the scope point of view of someone aiming a gun at other people in an adjacent building. One person is then shot and the other scrambles for cover, trying to break the light bulb that's illuminating the room at night. In the dark, that person then hears the sounds of someone approaching and working at the lock on the door.
  • A person slams a window down onto another person's hand and then stabs a knife through it, impaling the hand to the windowsill. From that point on, as that first person tries to elude the second, some tense and suspenseful moments follow.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Rifle/Knife: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Get the f*ck out of here," "Sh*t-kickers," "I don't give a sh*t," "Piece of ass," "Screwing up," "Idiot," "I'll be damned" and "Nuts" (crazy).
  • A person slams a window down onto another person's hand and then stabs a knife through it, impaling the hand to the windowsill.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Julian suddenly grabs Abby.
  • A gun suddenly goes off when it's kicked.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 8 "f" words, 6 "s" words, what sounded like 1 slang term for female genitals ("p*ssy"), 8 asses (5 used with "hole"), 5 hells, 4 damns, 2 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use of "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see Abby and Ray having sex under the sheets at night (with her on top of him with movement but no sounds or nudity). The next morning, we see them in bed together.
  • Visser shows Julian photos of the above and comments that the couple would rest and then get started again (having sex).
  • Frances goes into Ray's bedroom at night, sits on his bed and we then see his arm pull her down (apparently to him, but out of the camera shot). The next morning we see that the two spent the night together (but we don't know if they did anything).
  • Visser has a small knickknack hanging from his rearview mirror in his car of a topless woman whose nipples flash.
  • We see Ray and Abby in bed again under the sheets, but all they're doing is talking (no nudity, no activity).
  • SMOKING
  • Ray and Visser each smoke around five times, while various miscellaneous or background characters also smoke.
  • The man who introduces the film, Mortimer Young, holds an unlit pipe while addressing the camera.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Julian and Abby's marriage has crumbled, as she's dissatisfied and has an affair, while he hires someone to kill her because of that.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Julian hiring Visser to kill his wife (instead of getting counseling, separating or divorcing) and the private eye's decision to take the job.
  • Abby and Ray having an affair.
  • Instead of reporting what looks like a homicide, another person tries to cover it up (figuratively and literally).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Julian threatens to kill Ray if he steps foot on his property again.
  • Julian suddenly grabs Abby and struggles with her as she tries to reach her gun. She then bites (and/or breaks) his finger and then kicks him in the crotch.
  • We see some black and white photos of two people who are apparently dead from bullet wounds.
  • A person shoots another person (and blood trickles and then runs from the wound).
  • A person tries to shoot another person, but their gun is empty.
  • We see that a person has been trying to open a safe with a hammer (the combination lock is all banged up and partially broken).
  • A person shoots another person with a rifle and fires at yet another person.
  • A person slams a window down onto another person's hand and then stabs a knife through it, impaling the hand to the windowsill.
  • A person shoots through a wall several times and then eventually smashes his hand through that wall.
  • A person shoots and kills another person.



  • Reviewed June 28, 2000 / Posted July 14, 2000

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