When: Fri., March 23, 7 p.m. 2012
Two great paranoid thrillers screen at Retrofantasma this week at the Carolina Theatre. The first, 1986's Blue Velvet, has deep ties to North Carolina, having been filmed in Wilmington. David Lynch's nightmarish story is one of his most linear and accessible films; it's a collection of memorable, profanity-spewing Dennis Hopper lines, great cinematography and the truly weird yet moving sequence in which Dean Stockwell lip-synchs Roy Orbison's "In Dreams."
A similarly great but deeply underrated film, Brian DePalma's 1981 effort, Blow Out, follows. In one of his best performances, John Travolta plays a Hollywood sound man who inadvertently records an auto accident and realizes it's part of an elaborate conspiracy that has killed many people. Travolta's obsessive character, combined with one of the most utterly bleak endings in any Hollywood film, kept audiences away, though critics rightly acclaimed it, and its reputation has grown in the ensuing years. A mere eight bucks gets you into this deeply —Zack Smith