July 29, 1985 12:00 PM

HBO (Sunday, July 28, 8 p.m. ET)

Now here’s a mystery: A mother and her three kids are found dead, their bodies propped up and posed in a sick sort of wax museum; one of the corpses is wearing a birthday hat. Richard Widmark, the police chief, searches for the missing father, no doubt the murderer. Cut to a hospital where a car crash victim, Keith (Choose Me) Carradine, is getting his mangled face rebuilt; he has amnesia. Carradine falls in love with lovely Kathleen (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden) Quinlan; she dumps her policeman-boyfriend Michael Beck; she and Carradine marry and start a new life together. Seven years later Widmark gets a tip that Carradine may be his man and tracks him down. But Carradine still can’t remember who he is. Blackout does what a good mystery should: It toys with you, leading you to believe that Carradine is the missing murderer, then convincing you that he’s not—back and forth. There are a few weaknesses in the movie. For one, Carradine and Beck look too much alike; that’s confusing. And one crucial clue to the mystery is introduced too late. But never mind. Here’s suspense and scary stuff. Here’s a cable movie that’s ready for prime time.

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