One of the things that I love the most about David Lynch, aside from his movies as I am a huge fan, is the inability of his detractors to argue against the fact that he has been one of the most seminal film-makers ever to arise from the United States (or pretty much anywhere for that matter). His film’s use of fragmented ‘dream logic’, his musings on the utter corruption and depravity that may or may not lurk just beneath the surface of a wholesome All-American small town, and even his at best goofy, at worst ‘what the absolute fuck?’ sense of humour are the reason you have movies such as Requiem For A Dream, Black Swan, Donnie Darko, most stuff by Todd Solondz, and even Hot Fuzz.
I’ve always kind of categorised Lynch’s work into 3 categories: there’s the straightforward-with-slight-eccentricities (Dune, The Straight Story, The Elephant Man), the pretty fucking weird (Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks) and then the insanely balls-out batshit crazy (Inland Empire, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway). But only in what I, and I think many others, consider his absolute masterpiece do you progressively get all three in a beautifully unfolding mystery package.
Blue Velvet introduces us to Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) a chiselled, naive, 1950’s-good-manners throwback in his early 20’s who lives in the quaint little town of Lumberton, USA, a place that looks like this:
Hearing of his dear old dad’s health scare, old Jeffers makes his way back from college for a hospital visit, and walking through a field makes a catalytic discovery that I can’t spoil but is extremely grim indeed. This find, and his simultaneously annoying yet endearing nosiness, lead him on a convoluted path into the company of fragile torch singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rosellini), and her association with one of cinema’s most iconic villains ever, Frank Booth, played by the one and only Dennis Hopper.
I don’t think I’m alone in asserting that describing Frank is incredibly difficult, not just in terms of spoiler avoidance, just in terms. He is something of a small-time crime lord, and, aside from blatant sociopathy, could also possibly be the proud owner of conditions ranging from schizophrenia to some kind of bipolar infliction. Aside from being constantly horny, he is also outrageously violent, and flies into fits of rage over nothing. I don’t mean the most trivial provocation either, such as someone accidentally spilling your drink (come to think of it, that should probably warrant a harmless stab in the eye). I mean absolutely NOTHING. He gets by the day-to-day via huffing amyl nitrate through a surgical mask, wielding a huge pair of scissors, and listening to Roy Orbison. Cinema psychopaths do not come any better than this.
With a brilliant supporting cast featuring the likes of Laura Dern, Dean Stockwell and Brad Dourif, the rogues gallery in this flick are the objectively weirdest bunch of motherfuckers that anyone will ever see in anything ever. It will not be to everybody’s taste, but if you do have any taste (I’m a snobby twat), it will be the best psychological horror/thriller-erotica-surrealist-mystery film you will ever lay your eyes on. 10/10.