Blood Simple

Abby and Ray are driving through a heavy downpour at night, discussing Abby’s bad marriage. Ray, a bartender at Marty’s bar, drives to a motel, where they have sex. Abby’s husband, Julian Marty, has hired a private detective, Lorren Visser, to follow Abby. Visser takes photos of the tryst and delivers them to Marty.

Abby collects some things from home and warns Ray to stay away from the bar. Ray finds Marty on the bar’s back steps, and asks Marty for two weeks pay. Marty refuses and angrily tells Ray it will be funny when Abby at some point looks at Ray and says “I haven’t done anything funny.”

Marty attempts to kidnap Abby from Ray’s home. He fails, and humiliated, rehires Visser to kill the couple. Visser breaks into Ray’s home, steals Abby’s gun (a gift from Marty), and once again photographs the sleeping couple through a window. He presents a doctored photo of the couple’s “corpses” to Marty as evidence. Marty goes to the bathroom to vomit, then opens the safe to give Visser his fee. Visser shoots Marty with Abby’s gun, leaving it at the scene as evidence that she killed Marty.

Ray returns to the bar and finds a motionless Marty, with a bullet wound in his chest. Assuming it is Abby who murdered Marty, he puts her gun in Marty’s coat pocket and loads the still-bleeding body into the back seat of his car. As he is driving the body away from the crime scene, he perceives movement in his rearview mirror and pulls over in a panic. Returning to the car, Ray finds a barely-alive Marty crawling away from the car. Ray puts him back in the car and drives into a field to dig a grave. Marty is still breathing as Ray drags him to a shallow hole and starts burying him. Marty makes an attempt to use the gun on Ray, but Ray takes it and continues to bury Marty.

A distraught and panicked Ray goes to Abby’s new apartment and tells Abby he cleaned up her mess. They are unable to communicate about Marty. Abby, baffled, says “I haven’t done anything funny.” By the time Ray leaves, each is convinced that the other has done something to harm Marty. Ray leaves the same pearl-handled gun with Abby.

Visser observes first Abby and later Ray visiting the bar office. When leaving the bar, Ray notices that he is being followed, and leaves for Abby’s apartment, realizing that she might be in danger. He sits in the dark waiting for Abby. After Abby arrives, Visser, firing from a nearby rooftop with a rifle, shoots Ray through the window, killing him. When Abby hears footsteps approaching, she quickly takes Ray’s knife and hides in the bathroom. Visser enters the bathroom to kill her, but finds the bathroom empty and the window open. Reaching out the window, he opens another window to the next room where Abby is hiding. She slams the sash down and drives the knife through his hand into the sill, pinning Visser. He shoots vainly through the wall, finally punches through it and removes the knife while Abby retreats and waits outside the bathroom, holding her gun, now containing one round. As Visser is about to emerge, she fires through the door, hitting him. Abby says, “I’m not afraid of you, Marty”. Visser, lying mortally wounded on the bathroom floor, bursts into laughter and responds, “If I see him, I’ll sure give him the message.” Abby is horrified at the realization that he is not Marty.