Blow Out (1981)


Blow Out

I love Brian De Palma and have been meaning to watch this film for a long time. Body Double is probably my favorite De Palma of all time but really all of his films are just so special. Here we get a young John Travolta, Nancy Allen, and a murderous John Lithgow. The billing is already great, you just need De Palma to do a De Palma and really make this film special. The film was very good. It’s not my favorite from De Palma but is definitely top five from what I’ve seen.

The film is about a sound effects technician (very good at what he does) who is looking to get authentic sounds for sleazy horror movies that he works on. One night while outdoors he witnesses a car accident. In turn he meets a beautiful woman, who he soon falls for. It turns out that the car accident was actually staged and the conspiracy involved runs deep. The pair get mixed up in a political coverup that becomes murderous. What we get is a wonderfully crafted noir thriller that is really purely entertaining.

The film is reminiscent of other things De Palma. We get a voyeuristic tendency (one that can be seen in both Dressed to Kill and Body Double). There’s a giant conspiracy where all is not what it seems with twists and turns, much like the aforementioned Body Double and the Fury. The film features De Palma’s love for tracking shots and his complexly set up scenes for kills. And to top it all off; a heart wrenching beautiful score to go along with it. The film is smartly acted and is thrilling, despite being influenced by other films. I thought of The Conversation throughout large portions of the film. Also, like many other films there is a strong Hitchcock influence.

Wonderful story telling, strongly acted characters, menacing villains, and gorgeous shots and sound design. It’s De Palma at his peak. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ranks a top of many people’s De Palma list. I still like Body Double the best but if you are a De Palma fan then this is really a must see. Now time to check out the once lost Murder a la Mod to continue the madness.



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