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Tuesday September 18th 2018

Blood Simple | 1984

Blood Simple film location: East Sixth Street, Austin
Blood Simple film location: the drugstore site of the bloody climax: Austin Visitor Center, East Sixth Street, Austin | Photograph: Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau

The locations for Blood Simple, the first feature from the Coen brothers, were found in the area of Texas state capital Austin and the nearby town of Round Rock.

The movie’s $1.5 million budget was raised by director Joel Coen hawking around a three-minute trailer while younger brother and producer Ethan worked as a statistical typist at Macy’s.

The ‘Neon Boots’ bar, run by Julian (Dan Hedaya) no longer exists. It was the Starliner, which stood on Little Cisco Road off Braker Lane at North Lamar Boulevard in the Walnut Forest area of northeast Austin (there’s now a mall on the site).

Blood Simple film location: Mount Bonnell Park, Austin
Blood Simple film location: Julian orders the killing of Ray: Mount Bonnell Park, Austin | Photograph: wikimedia / Baytownbert

The overlook, where Julian instructs private investigator Vissen (M Emmet Walsh) to kill Ray (John Getz), is Mount Bonnell Park (also known as Covert Park), above Lake Austin – not a lake at all but a stretch of the Colorado River. The park can be found on Mount Bonnell Road at the western end of 35th Street, Austin, behind Camp Mabry National Guard Installation.

Vissen traces the illicit lovers to the Heart Of Texas Motel, 5303 W Hwy 290, down in southwest Austin, near Oak Hill on Route 71/290, the Fredericksburg Road.

Hutto is a little town, population 659, about twenty miles northeast of Austin on Route 79, and it’s two miles south of Hutto on Farm Road 1660 you can find the ploughed field where the victim of the botched murder is buried.

The darkroom where Vissen burns the incriminating photos is the Old Grove Drug Building, 209 East Sixth Street, Austin, which is now home to nightclub Barcelona.

A block to the east, on the other side of the street, the apartment building into which Abby (Frances McDormand) moves, and which proves to be the scene of the bloody climax, is above the Old Pecan Street Cafe, 310 East Sixth Street.