This stylish Brian DePalma thriller plays off the theme of the unsuspecting witness who discovers a crime and is thereby put in grave danger, but with a novel twist. Jack is a sound recordist who works on grade-B horror movies. Late one evening, he is recording sounds for use in his movies when he hears something unexpected through his sound equipment and records it. Curiosity gets the better of him when the media become involved, and he begins to unravel the pieces of a nefarious conspiracy. As he struggles to survive against his shadowy enemies and expose the truth, he doesn't know whom he can trust. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Film crew visible during overhead shot after Jack crashes through police barricade. See more »
Jesus, that's terrible.
That's a terrible scream. Jack, what cat did you have to strangle to get that?
The one you hired. That's her scream.
You mean you didn't dub that?
See more »
Another DePalma thriller that owes a lot to Hitchcock...
BLOW OUT deserves more attention than a lot of other thrillers from the '80s, partly because it's taut with suspense most of the time and owes a lot of its chill to JOHN LITHGOW's performance as a cold-blooded psychotic killer.
It's also one of JOHN TRAVOLTA's best early roles as a soundman looking for "the perfect scream" for one of his horror movies who accidentally shoots some film of a car careening off a bridge. He dives into the water to try saving the victims but is only able to rescue the woman (NANCY ALLEN). It turns out that the driver was a senator who was a presidential candidate (shades of Chappaquiddick).
From then on, the mystery deepens as he comes to suspect there's some kind of conspiracy involved. DENNIS FRANZ is Allen's boss, a sleazy photographer, who offers to help Travolta. The whole story is filmed with all the DePalma camera tricks and touches that keep the suspense boiling until the climactic shoot-out at the climax.
But it's JOHN LITHGOW who steals the film as the merciless killer with undisclosed political reasons for his murderous mission.
A forgotten gem among the stylish DePalma films that deserves more recognition today. I'm not much of a Travolta fan, but this is one of his better roles.
21 of 34 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?