American Desert Noir

Neo-noir distinctly set in the American southwest, mostly produced in the early 90s. A late-century analog to films noir like DETOUR, THE SCARF and The HITCH-HIKER, the locations consist chiefly of cars, motels, truck stops, bars, and roadsides. The villain often wears cowboy garb. The cacti:palm-tree ratio must be at least an even split.
  1. Blood Simple (1984)
    The probable starting point; a proto- American desert noir.
  2. Kill Me Again (1989)
  3. Wild at Heart (1990)
  4. After Dark, My Sweet (1990)
  5. Cool Blue (1990)
  6. Genuine Risk (1990)
  7. The Grifters (1990)
    (A questionable entry here, as it seems to be channeling classical noir, and maybe 70s neo-noir, rather thickly, upstaging the dusty open-road atmosphere that largely characterizes the desert noir.)
  8. Blue Desert (1991)
  9. Kiss Me a Killer (1991)
  10. Delusion (1991)
    Archetypal American desert noir. Not very good (which is often a given with this sub-subgenre), but the Barry Adamson soundtrack is worth owning.
  11. Rush (1991)
  12. Sunset Heat (1991)
  13. One False Move (1992)
  14. White Sands (1992)
  15. Guncrazy (1992)
  16. Deadfall (1993)
    Played on a single screen in Los Angeles County, at the Highland Park triplex -- which is yet another argument for time travel. I'd be there.
  17. Sunset Grill (1993)
  18. Kalifornia (1993)
  19. Suture (1993)
    A classic noir scenario: facial reconstruction, but with a daring twist. Here, Teshigahara's THE FACE OF ANOTHER mates with Frankenheimer's SECONDS, and incubates in an Arizona test tube. A cerebral oddity in widescreen black-and-white.
  20. Red Rock West (1994)
  21. Black Day, Blue Night (1995)
  22. Destiny Turns on the Radio (1995)
    A dying sub-subgenre's last gasp, hence the magical realism. See also: ROUGH MAGIC, made around the same time.
  23. Rough Magic (1995)
  24. Mirage (1995)
  25. American Perfekt (1997)
  26. Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997)
  27. U Turn (1997)
    Suggested by   @DavidSeger