Soldiers of cinema that they are, the fine folks at Janus Films are releasing a 4K restoration of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple” this week. As an added bonus, the art-house stalwarts have also unveiled the two-minute trailer a certain Joel and Ethan put together as a means of securing financing for their debut feature. They got the idea from their friend Sam Raimi, whom they knew from “The Evil Dead” — which is also why the trailer features Bruce Campbell in the role that eventually went to Dan Hedaya.
“Sam taught us that if you call on the phone and ask people to invest in a movie they’ll tell you to go hell,“ Joel explains in an interview from this fall’s Criterion Collection release of the noir thriller. (Janus and Criterion are longtime partners.) “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.” It worked: the Coens raised $550,000 this way.
After it makes the theatrical rounds throughout the next few months, Criterion’s restoration of “Blood Simple” will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on September 20.