Director: Sam Raimi
Year Released: 1985
On his way to be executed for crimes he didn't commit, technician Victor Ajax (Reed Birney) tries to plead his case and explain how killers-for-hire Faron Crush (Paul L. Smith) and Arthur Coddish (Brion James) are actually responsible; the love-of-his-life Nancy (Sheree J. Wilson) - who witnessed all of it - is nowhere to be found. I find it hard to believe both Joel and Ethan Coen could write something this horribly unbalanced, but apparently they did - it's a cornball ode to noirs from the 1940's but with Looney Tunes-esque "physical comedy" and lots of cartoon-y sound effects and silly voices. Most involved agree it was a disaster - Raimi in particular doesn't speak fondly of it - but it's found something of a cult audience as time has gone on; the Coens would "refine" their particular brand of off-beat humor in later productions where sometimes it's worked (The Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading) ... and other times it hasn't (Hail, Caesar!, The Hudsucker Proxy).