Before the Coen brothers had ever made a feature, they made a trailer for what would become their first movie, Blood Simple. Renting a camera over a holiday weekend so they’d get an extra day for free, they shot on film, on the advice of a friend of theirs: director Sam Raimi. They also wound up using an actor who would become forever associated with their pal in the years thereafter. See if you can spot him:
While Dan Hedaya would memorably make the role his own, we can’t help wondering how cinema history would have worked out if Bruce Campbell could have starred in the final product as well. Given the Coens’ propensity for working with the many of the same actors repeatedly, could he have become one of their main guys? Even though Nicolas Cage killed it, Campbell could have handled Raising Arizona. And while the Chin did have a small role in The Hudsucker Proxy, the Tim Robbins part would have been great for him too. Can’t you just hear him saying, “Y’know, for kids”?
The trailer above, which we first caught thanks to Vanity Fair, is set to be included on the upcoming Criterion Collection release of Blood Simple. The set will also include a conversation between author Dave Eggers and the Coens, as well as cinematographer (eventually to be a solid director in his own right) Barry Sonnenfeld and the Coens. The fan-fiction world in which Bruce Campbell went on to star in every subsequent movie of Joel and Ethan’s…well, that exists purely in my head. FOR NOW.
Have you seen Blood Simple? Are you ready to see it again, fully restored? Does this early trailer inspire you to go out and make one? Let us hear about it below.
Featured image: The Criterion Collection