Out of the Blue (1980)

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.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Alcoholism and Drug Addiction
  • Coming of Age
  • Dennis Hopper Films
  • Ex-Cons
  • Father and Child
  • Juvenile Delinquents
  • Raymond Burr Films

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.


One thought on “Out of the Blue (1980)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see.

    Oo, boy – this is one seriously messed-up flick; essentially a character study (with the dysfunctional family being the trio character), it’s rambling, somewhat disjointed logically (transitions are often erratic as well ) and ultimately very ugly.

    It’s also completely presentational. There’s really no attempt to get under the skin of these three deeply unfortunate souls. So the viewer climbs an upward hill trying to even begin to grapple with or understand what’s on display.

    ~ which may be the point; these three are sharpening themselves as damaged goods circling in arrested development – and all we can do is watch them ultimately stumble off their cliff. Not an enlightening viewing experience in any way.

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