Out Of The Blue: Dennis Hopper Cult Classic Gets US Theatrical Run
Out Of The Blue, the third movie Dennis Hopper directed, which only got a limited US theatrical release in 1982, is finally getting a release of the 4K restored print on its 40th Anniversary in New York City at the Metrograph in November 2021. The movie featured the late Linda Manz as a teenager trapped in a nihilistic spiral, and was considered too bleak for US release back in 1980 but enjoyed a cult reputation in the UK and Europe. The murky VHS was a mainstay at video rental shops and the increasingly dirty film print was a staple at the Scala Cinema in London's Kings Cross in the 1980s alongside other cult movies like Sam Raimi's Evil Dead, Dario Argento's Suspiria and Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat Kill, Kill!
Discovery Productions, headed by John Alan Simon and Elizabeth Karr, who previously adapted the Philip K. Dick novel Radio Free Albemuth, restored Out Of The Blue from the original 35mm negative to create a 4K digital scan of the movie, making the first crisp, clean version of the movie since its faded reels and old VHS versions circulated in the 1980s. The 4K restoration will be the version shown at the Metrograph.
"Don Barnes (Dennis Hopper) is a truck driver in prison for drunkenly smashing his rig into a school bus. Linda Manz (Days of Heaven) plays Cebe, his daughter, a teen rebel obsessed with Elvis and The Sex Pistols. Her mother (Sharon Farrell) waitresses, shoots up drugs and takes refuge in the arms of other men. Cebe runs away to Vancouver's punk scene and ends up on probation under the care of psychiatrist Raymond Burr. After Don's release, the family struggles to re-connect before the revelation of dark secrets leads to a harrowing conclusion."
Out Of The Blue is considered a kind of spiritual sequel (and cautionary counterpoint) to Hopper's own Easy Rider as it chronicled the idealism of the sixties decline into the hazy nihilism of the 1980's. In the UK, it's considered one of the seminal Punk movies, though that probably wasn't Hopper's original intention.
"It's incredibly important to us that Out Of The Blue be preserved for future generations to experience its emotional impact and as the artistic achievement that helped re-establish Dennis Hopper as an important American director," Elizabeth Karr said.
"For me, this restoration project was pay-back for all I learned from Dennis Hopper when we originally took Out Of The Blue on the road in 1982 after I rescued it from the shelf. He was an amazing artist and friend and Out Of The Blue remains as unforgettable as he was and serves as an indelible tribute to the talents of Linda Manz," John Alan Simon from Discovery Productions said.