Friday, April 8, 2011

Film Pairing — A Seedy Triple Feature

If you like this sort of thing — and I do — three small films combine for a seedy evening of dark and twisted cinema.

Blood Simple was made in 1984 and was the first feature film by Ethan and Joel Cohen. Cheating wives and bartenders and murder in Texas — what more could you want? Frances McDormand is at her usual high level of perfection; but one of the most interesting characters is the sleazy private investigator played by character actor M. Emmett Walsh. He flawlessly reflects the corruption that is at the core of this intense and violent story.

If it hadn’t been for the dueling performances of Jack Nicholson and Michael Caine, Blood and Wine (1996), might not have made my cut for this triple feature recommendation. But they dominate the screen and the fireworks they create are riveting. If only there were awards given for “best scene in a movie.” Sex, violence and plenty of alcohol in Blood and Wine’s tawdry South Florida setting match the sex, violence and plenty of alcohol in Blood Simple and its cheap Texas setting.

The third dark, twisted and seedy film is Red Rock West. Made in 1992, Nicholas Cage drifts into a bar in a small Wyoming town and believes he can profit from being mistaken for someone else. He’s wrong, of course, and things go to hell in a hurry. Dennis Hopper also stars in this tight, fast-moving film.

For those watching these three in one sitting, the drink of the night has to be Southern Comfort. Some might feel a long, hot shower is mandatory as well.


Paul D. Brazill said...

Every one a gem!

Ronald Tierney said...

Thanks, Paul. I'm especially drawn to these kinds of small films. So the series of articles will no doubt be weighted in that direction.

gp said...

I like this pairing series you're doing Ron, especially if it includes on of my favorite nasty/noir directors, John Dahl. RRW is a forgotten treat, but The Last Seduction is a full meal deal. Linda Florentino is the bitch goddess of the 90s. And Dahl's You Kill Me is very strong.

Keep typing, and great to reconnect on FB.