For fans of Joel and Ethan Coen’s Blood Simple, it’s a familiar scene: a bloodied man struggles out of a car and crawls his way down a desolate highway. But look again at that clip above: that’s not Dan Hedaya, who played the role of doomed Julian Marty in the 1984 film. It’s Bruce Campbell. Wait, what’s Bruce Campbell doing here?
What we have above is the teaser trailer for Blood Simple—never before seen online—that the Coen Brothers made to sell investors on what would become their first feature film. Coen fans may be able to make the Bruce Campbell connection from there: the Coens were friends with Evil Dead director Sam Raimi at the time, and it was Raimi who convinced them to make this proof-of-concept trailer in the first place. Campbell had starred in The Evil Dead for Raimi (and assistant editor Joel Coen) three years earlier, and with Evil Dead II in 1987 would begin his reign as a genuine cult celebrity.
“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 Coen explains in an interview that will be featured on the upcoming Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-ray release of Blood Simple, which will be available in September. “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.”
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