Out of the Blue is a little-seen film from 1980. Starring Linda Manz and directed by Dennis Hopper, Out of the Blue gained cult status over the years. Still, it was a difficult film to find outside of a VHS copy kicking around. Thanks to Chloe Sevigny and Natasha Lyonne, the film received a 4K restoration a couple of years ago, and Jim and Teal watched the movie for the first time.
It’s definitely dark subject matter, but Out of the Blue offers outstanding performances by Manz and Hopper, who also co-stars. Why should you consider checking it out? Jim and Teal will tell you.
What else? Hopping Vampires from Hong Kong, anyone? Jim finds himself quite taken with Criterion Channel’s latest offering, a 5-film series focused on those lovable hopping vampires that swept Hong Kong cinema in the 1980s. Also, Jim makes another movie trek, this time to Cambridge’s Brattle Theater to see a 4K restoration of The Mother and the Whore. Jim and Teal spoke about this film earlier this year. Was the trip worth it? Jim will tell you.
So, break out your chicken blood and anti-hopping-vampire spells, and prepare for this thrilling, enlightening episode.
Jim on Out of the Blue
“My early memories of Out of the Blue came Linda Manz’s intense stare from out of the pages of the film section of the Boston Globe. And no wonder, according to WBUR, the movie played at The Coolidge Corner Theater for 17 straight weeks. In the 80s, Cambridge and Boston were hotbeds for independent film. Between the Exeter Street Theater, The Coolidge, Orson Welles Cinema, Nickelodeon, and Harvard Square Theater, I would eventually visit them all. But when the film premiered on March 19, 1982 (and The Coolidge held the American premiere of the movie), I was too young to see it.
Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I held onto the movie, but I don’t recall ever seeing it show up on cable TV or at any revival house screenings. When Teal and I started our podcast five years ago, Out of the Blue re-entered my mind. The problem? We couldn’t find a copy anywhere. Flash-forward a couple of years, and I learn that Sevigny and Lyonne were big fans of the movie and were crowd-funding a restoration. Last year, the 4K restoration played at The Brattle Theater, where I made my recent trek to catch the restored version of The Mother and the Whore. I couldn’t attend that screening, but perhaps seeing The Mother and the Whore at The Brattle jogged my memory. I searched out the restoration and watched it this past week. I told Teal to watch it immediately.
It tickles me when I stumble upon a film that’s been around for decades, and like some discovery, it grabs me the way too few movies today do. If you are up for an intense challenge, I hope you seek it out.”