Blue Velvet

Year: 1986
Production Co: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern, Issabella Rosselini, Dennis Hopper
One of Lynch's classics, and the one that bought his fractured mind to the world's attention.

Ironically it's one of the more understandable of his films, telling a story from beginning to end. With only a few inexplicable asides (such as the character of Dean Stockwell's Ben), you get most of what's going on.

So while the rest of the world was watching Top Gun, you might have been one of the lucky ones to witness the wide-scale birth of one of cinema's most perplexing geniuses.

Fining a severed ear among the forest near his idyllic small hometown, Jeffrey (MacLachlan, slightly miscast if you ask me) deposits it with the police. t the same time, he becomes infatuated with the police detective's pretty and wholesome daughter Sandy (Dern), and convinces her to look into the mystery with him.

It involves invading the home of dark and sultry but jittery and apparently unhinged nightclub singer Dorothy (Rosselini), and it's there that we enter Lynch land. It turns out Dorothy's held hostage by the menacingly psychotic drug dealer Frank (Hopper, in his most distinctive role since Easy Rider), who's holding her husband and son hostage so she complies with his terrifying sexual fetishes.

While falling in love with Sandy, Jeffrey finds himself under the sexual spell of the enigmatic and sexy Dorothy - this being a David Lynch movie, everybody fucks everybody else and it's all for sinister and emotionally unhealthy reasons.

Determined to somehow save Dorothy, Jeffrey falls deeper into the abyss of police corruption and murder that surrounds Frank and his buddies.

The whole thing could have been a trashy erotic thriller from the typewriter of Joe Esterhas, but Lynch makes it his own. Much has been written about how scary Frank is, but Hopper's constant angry trash talk ('where's my fuckin' bourbon?', 'Let's fuck! I'll fuck anything that moves!') actually made him one of cinema's funniest characters.

I also didn't see as much to read into as many comments I've read about the film, but if you want to enter the world of Lynch, this is a much better place to do so than the dense, perverse and absolutely impenetrable Inland Empire.

It also further cements my belief in Dino De Laurentiis' warped genius, in bringing this and the superior 1976 version of King Kong (yes, you read that right) to the screen.

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