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Reviews & Ratings for
Blackout (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Solid suspense

Author: Cujo108 from Cleburne, TX
9 May 2010

Superior TV film opens with a murdered mother and her kids set up as if they were celebrating the youngest's birthday, which was when the murders took place. The father/husband, Ed Vincent, is missing and assumed the culprit. Detective Steiner (Richard Widmark) becomes obsessed with finding Vincent. Meanwhile, a guy picks up a hitcher only to wreck shortly thereafter. One man dies, the other (Keith Carradine) has no memory and needs facial reconstruction surgery. The survivor eventually recovers and marries his nurse (Kathleen Quinlan). Years later, a still obsessed Steiner receives an anonymous tip in the form of a newspaper clipping. He's thus led to believe that the survivor is in fact Ed Vincent, and sets out to be sure.

Great film, I really enjoyed it. Supported by a strong cast, the characters are all fleshed out and feel real. The film also plays with your expectations, turning them around time and time again. This in turn ratchets up the tension. There are some creepy moments as well, like sinister phone calls and the scenes with the zipper-faced maniac on the prowl. Speaking of that, I loved the mask, and wished it had been used more. It comes off too soon during the finale. Two other minor quibbles: I didn't find Quinlan's character sympathetic, and there's one bothersome contrivance involving a radio towards the end.

Highly recommended film with a strong central theme.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

I highly recommend BLACKOUT

Author: oluaa from United States
6 August 2006

I saw this film when it first aired on t.v. many years ago. I have always remembered it as being thrilling, psychologically interesting and well acted by the entire cast. It holds the dubious honor as being one of the first of its kind in the genre of reality based films. Keith Carradine did a fine job. He was able to move from monster to nice guy real estate agent back to monster in a seamless, believable, frightening portrayal. One of my favorite actors bears mentioning here, Richard Widmark was the consummate professional yet again. While Blackout has some flaws and is not In Cold Blood or Compulsion, I believe its aim was accomplished. It entertained, was interesting and is worth viewing. I've seen it several times.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:


Author: from United States
19 January 2007

I saw Blackout for the first time when I was a kid and it SCARED THE HELL OUT OF ME FOR A LONG TIME! I had trouble sleeping because of Blackout for a long time. I could not walk down a hall by myself at night because of Blackout. Blackout is the only movie that REALLY SCARED ME. Blackout is LOADED with suspense and has some frightening scenes. The killer wears a zipper-face black mask and that, to me, is scary looking. Watching Blackout now, of course, I don't get afraid like I did when I was a kid. This film, in my opinion, is wonderful! Blackout has GOT TO BE one of Richard Widmark's greatest performances as Detective Joe Steiner. Keith Carradine is excellent as always. Kathleen Quinlen is great as Keith's wife. Michael Beck from The Warriors gives a very good supporting role. The script is top-notch stuff. The music score could not fit the film any better. KUDOS to ALL of the cast and crew of Blackout. I'm not going to give the outstanding plot because you can find that out for yourself. I just wanted to get my thoughts out on this wonderful murder mystery. I believe Blackout is now out of print so it may be hard to find for some. I found a copy on E-bay. If you want to look for Blackout, you may come across a copy/copies on E-bay/Amazon. I really don't see how anyone could not enjoy, in my mind, A TRUE GEM!---Blackout from director Douglas Hickox. Thank you for reading my thoughts and have a nice day/night.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Creepy psychological thriller will keep you guessing

Author: Bob Forapples ( from alabama
22 April 2002

This movie starts off scary and never stops. Is he the killer? Or is he the killer ? Are they both maniacs? You don't know till the finale . Great acting by cast especially Quinlan .This should have been theatrically released .An absolute knockout.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good thriller.

Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
23 January 2004

A woman and her three children are brutally murdered-and her husband mysteriously disappeared.The police chief who handled the case remains obsessed with tracking down the killer.An anonymous tip points him in the direction of a totally disfigured amnesiac."Blackout" is a pretty good thriller.The action is slow-paced,but there is plenty of suspense.The acting is pretty good and there are some horrifying moments.Check it out.7 out of 10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Another "Who am I ?" only this one is worth seeking out ........

Author: merklekranz from United States
3 January 2014

"Blackout" is similar to at least a bunch of other films, in that someone has no recollection of who they are or their past history. Obsessed detective, Richard Widmark, believes he finally has found his prime suspect in a seven year old murder investigation. Problem is their identity cannot be confirmed because of reconstructive surgery following a horrific car accident, and they remember nothing. The film tries to cast doubt on Widmark's suspicions, even so far as suggesting he planted evidence to help his cause. This TV movie is way above average, with an intriguing script, creative photography, and convincing acting, especially from suspect Keith Carradine. Although the audience has several theories to choose from, the conclusion is both frightening and logical. - MERK

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Beat movie I ever saw in the 80's

Author: fierypoeticgirl from United States
24 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As far as psychological thrillers go, (not to mention this movie was before classics like "The Silence of the Lambs) I was thoroughly entertained by the plot and acting. Keith Carradine and Kathleen Quinlan were magnificent. Well, everyone ways good. If you don't have the right people together in a movie, it could be disastrous. It remains as one of the top ten thrillers in my book! You won't be disappointed if you spend a little over an hour watching this masterpiece. It covers a range of things...not just a psychopathic killer. There is a struggle between good and evil within one man. The one side of his personality is a loving, hard-working man. Then he completely reverts to an unrecognizable killer of women and children. I had to watch this movie several times as not to miss any of the hidden clues, etc. I give it an 8 on the rating scale because of its plot, characters, execution of acting and ability to entertain.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It's a good thing, I do remember.

Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
5 July 2008

A TV presentation that was better than expected and managed to throw up a good amount of jarring suspense and genuine twists in a customary murder mystery thriller set-up. Director Douglas Hickox (father of director Anthony Hickox) gets the goods out of his first-rate cast consisting of Richard Widmark, Keith Carradine, Kathleen Quinlan and Michael Beck. Widmark's hardened ex-cop and Quinlan's concerned wife are pure class. Carradine is terrifically convincing in the lead role.

After the discovery of a brutally murdered mother and her children, the search begins for the father, but he seems to have disappeared. Six years later the cop who was in charge of the case is retired by the force, but still looking into the case. In the mail he receives an anonymous letter with an article that features a man who recovered from a devastating car accident, but had lost his memory about his past. Now his starting a new life with a family, but could he be the killer?

In the air are a disturbing and glum vibe, and the opening sequence cements it. What begins is quite slow-going in a melodrama format, but the gradually tight build-up psychologically toys around with the viewer of what to possibility to believe. It's resourcefully written and relies on Hickox's competently accomplished directorial timing to get the most out of mysterious avenues and intense flourishes. Never does it fall into anything cheap or uninspired, and the red herrings are pulled off effectively and the intensity grows to lead onto the final revelation. The enliven score is well-placed and sorrowfully orchestrated for maximum impact.

The TV feature 'Blackout' is one to look out for.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

great suspense

Author: DAVID MOORE from Iowa
21 October 2006

I'm surprised anyone would fail to enjoy this movie. This movie keeps you in a constant state of bewilderment, is this guy a good family man or a brutal serial killer. The beginning has a man kill his entire family and then head out in the the family car, along the way he picks up a hitchhiker and soon thereafter are involved in a horrendous accident. Only one of the two survive and because of the fire involved in the crash they cannot be sure which of the 2 men survived. This surviving man seems to be a good person and seems to have little memory of his life. He goes on to marry and begin a family, but is he the killer or not? In the end the answer comes to light.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The many dead ends, twists and surprises make this an unusual suspense film.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
16 March 2017

This is an early HBO production and has a rather impressive cast-- Richard Widmark and Keith Carradine in the leads.

When the story begins, a maniac named Ed Vincent has butchered his family and compulsively arranged the bodies about the home---and even left a birthday hat on his murdered 5 year-old! Considered he not only killed his wife but his three kids, this is a case that really weighs heavily on Detective Joe Steiner (Widmark). However, despite looking for seven years, the case remains unsolved and Steiner retires from the police force.

In the meantime, some man is involved in a horrible auto accident where they are completely disfigured. After being in the hospital many months, he's rebuilt by doctors and is ready for discharge. However, during this time, no one has been able to determine who he is...and the guy appears to have no idea who he is as well. He names himself Allen Devlin and eventually he gets married and has some kids...and appears to be leading a rather normal life.

Steiner has refused to let the old case die and follows a lead taking him to the guy in the accident. Perhaps this was Ed Vincent...though after all the plastic surgery, it doesn't look like Vincent. So Steiner digs a bit deeper and even approaches Devlin to tell him his suspicions. At this point, Devlin is willing to listen...and wonders if perhaps he IS Ed Vincent. So, Devlin begins to investigate on his see if anything can link him to the monster, Ed Vincent. What's next in this suspense film? Well, a weird masked man begins assaulting women...and it looks a lot like a case that coincided with the disappearance of Ed Vincent.

As far as suspense films go, this one provides a lot of suspense. It also keeps you guessing and has a lot of misdirection to keep confusing the audience (in a good way). Excellent acting and a film worth seeing.

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