On the cusp of its 40th anniversary of release is director Brian De Palma’s tantalizing ode to Hitchcock and giallo, Blow Out.
John Travolta takes the lead as Jack Terry, a professional sound technician getting by on sleazy low-budget slasher flicks. While attempting to record better screams and wind effects for a film around a park late at night, he just so happens to capture a car plunging into a river, which may or may not have been an accident. As Jack begins to involve himself more in the case–including getting involved with a passenger in the car played by Nancy Allen–he just as equally begins to plant himself directly in the path of a merciless assassin (John Lithgow), who will stop at nothing to silence those who threaten to unravel the political conspiracy threatening to destroy a presidential hopeful.
A textbook example of De Palma’s maestro-esque crafting of suspense, all while paying homage to those who came before him, Blow-Out has long cemented its status as a technical and anxiety-inducing masterwork. It all culminates in an explosive gut-punch of a climax that make the film a must-see on the big screen.
“ … classic De Palma, with its sinister elegance, meticulous cinematic choreography, voyeuristic obsessions, and fascination with guilt, as well as his most human and mortally vulnerable film.” — Sean Axmaker, Stream on Demand
“Blow Out is not known as one of Brian De Palma’s horror movies, but of all his films, it’s the one that feels most like a nightmare.” — Paul Schrodt, Slant Magazine
“The final moments of Blow Out are among the most shocking and powerful of De Palma’s oeuvre, tacking a final note of irony onto a story that is in every other way a straightforward denunciation of power run amok.” — James Kendrick,Q Network Film Desk