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Blackout (1985 film)

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Genre  CrimeDramaThrillerHorrorMystery
Distributor  HBO
Country  United States
6.2/10 IMDb

Director  Douglas Hickox
Language  English
Blackout (1985 film) movie poster

Release date  July 28, 1985
Writer  David Ambrose (screenplay), David Ambrose (story), Richard Smith (story), Richard Parks (story), Les Alexander (story)
Genres  Thriller, Horror, Drama, Mystery, Crime Fiction
Cast  Keith Carradine (Allen Devlin), Kathleen Quinlan (Chris Graham), Richard Widmark (Joe Steiner), Michael Beck (Mike Patterson), Jerry Wasserman (Motel Clerk), Gabrielle Rose (Victim's Friend)
Similar movies  Play Misty for Me, The Gift, The Fan, The Boy Next Door, The Dead Pool, Joy Ride
Tagline  His obsession would become her nightmare.

Blackout is a 1985 television thriller film directed by Douglas Hickox, and written by Richard Smith, Richard Parks, Les Alexander, and David Ambrose.


Blackout (1985 film) movie scenes


A police officer suspects that a local husband and father who has recently undergone facial surgery because of injuries received in a car accident is in reality the same man who committed a quadruple murder several years before.


  • Keith Carradine as Allen Devlin
  • Kathleen Quinlan as Chris Graham
  • Richard Widmark as Joe Steiner
  • Michael Beck as Mike Patterson
  • Dameon Clarke as Battered Child Mauro
  • Martina Deignan as Pauline
  • Kenneth Kimmins as Dr. Kay (as Ken Kimmins)
  • Jason Michas as Mark
  • Gabrielle Rose as Victim's Friend
  • Jerry Wasserman as Motel Clerk
  • Reception

    While John J. O'Connor of The New York Times opined that Blackout was "never entirely convincing" and not even remotely memorable, he still admitted that it did manage "to build up a steady stream of scary suspense" and attain "maximum mileage" out of its "top-flight cast." A score of 2/5 was awarded by Joanna Berry of the Radio Times, who wrote that the film was an "average thriller" with "no real surprises in store for the detective or for the audience." In a review written for Ozus' World Movie Reviews, Dennis Schwartz gave Blackout a grade of B+ and labelled it a "fun watch" in spite of its predictable and "murky" plot that culminated in a "bland" ending. Horror News's Todd Martin was also frustrated and disappointed by Blackout's "bland and vanilla" conclusion, expressing the view that it and the director's apparent aversion to taking risks turned what could have been "a brilliant film" into "an overall fumble."

    Real-life murder

    Blackout gained notoriety following Ed Sherman's murder of his pregnant wife Ellen on 3 August 1985 in Connecticut due to it possibly being inspired by the film, which was submitted as evidence at Sherman's trial. Like a character in the film, Sherman killed his wife and used an air conditioner to try and slow decomposition of her remains in an attempt to establish an alibi. Sherman was sentenced to fifty years in prison in 1992, but died of a heart attack after serving almost four years. The case was featured in the Forensic Files episode "Dinner and a Movie."


    Blackout (1985 film) Wikipedia
    Blackout (1985 film) IMDb Blackout (1985 film)