Out of the Blue (1980)

“If you don’t shut up and get out of here, I’m going to take you out of the blue and into the black.”

The punk-loving daughter (Linda Manz) of a convicted trucker (Dennis Hopper) tries to survive life with her drug-addicted mother (Sharon Farrell), and lives in anticipation of the day her dad is released.


Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “low-budget film” about the “lonely, miserable life” of a scrappy teen whose alcoholic dad is in jail after he “rams his truck into a schoolbus, killing all the children” got made only because “Hopper assumed directorial chores in mid-film”. However, the “acting is good; [and] the terrible family life is authentic, as is the brutal world outside the home”. He adds it’s “too bad the film’s as messy as Manz’s life because it delivers a strong, important message about how adults can destroy the lives of their children.” I’m in agreement with Peary’s assessment. While the film doesn’t quite cohere as a compelling narrative, there are numerous well-shot scenes which convincingly convey how lost and angry Manz is, and what a truly hopeless situation she’s in. The “final scene between Manz and Hopper”, which “will make your skin crawl” — and which is followed immediately by another unexpected doozy — seem like an appropriate denouement to this relentlessly tragic tale.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Linda Manz as Cebe
  • Sharon Farrell as Kathy
  • Many powerful and/or disturbing scenes

Must See?
No, but it’s certainly worth a one-time look.


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