As I’m currently plowing through the original Twin Peaks in mental preparation for the new one, this article reminded me of something important: I…fucking…love…David Lynch’s Dune. Now, admittedly this comes from an experience I had as a teenager. Hmmm, what’s the easiest way to explain this. Okay, so I watched Dune tripping on acid one day when I was like 18 or something and then became completely obsessed with it. Errr, I guess that wasn’t hard to explain at all really when I think about it. David Lynch’s Dune blew my goddamn mind when I was peaking on acid as a kid.
Here’s where the story gets a bit subjective in regards to most other people though I’m sure. Because I watched Dune the movie high out of my living skull, I then read the book and was like: “meh”. No really, I dug Lynch’s movie far more than I dug the book, which made me sort of realize I probably just like Lynch more than I like Frank Herbert. I have in fact seen pretty much everything David Lynch has ever done and I never did read another Herbert book. My wife tells me the whole series goes south after book 2 and I know I just pissed a lot of people off by saying that, so again I’ll point out that taste is subjective. All consciousness is relative. Most people think Dune the movie is fucking terrible but at least one other dude gets it. He refers to it as “Star Wars for goths”, which is funny, because I called it Star Wars on acid for years in my early 20’s. Read on at Decider.
“American filmmaker David Lynch’s greatest cinematic masterpiece is not Twin Peaks. Nor is it Mulholland Dr (widely cited as the best film of this millenium), or even his Palme d’Or winning Wild At Heart. All notable works, no doubt, but nothing can touch his 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic science-fiction novel Dune. The movie is an extravagant and cerebral epic that tells the sweeping story of a galactic empire at war thousands of years in the future. The big-budget blockbusters of that era were designed to entertain ten-year olds. But not Dune. I loved it dearly because I was a very sophisticated ten year-old who didn’t have many friends.
No one at school liked Dune. They were fans of other movies. But Dune was mine and mine alone. It was my Goth Star Wars.
Prior to Dune, David Lynch had been celebrated for directing two movies: the experimental waking nightmare Eraserhead and the heartbreaking period flick The Elephant Man. It is a minor miracle that Hollywood decided to give him a massive budget to create a movie that could compete with Spielberg and Lucas’ best. Yes, it was a critically reviled box-office flop. Sure, 1984 was a year where movies like Ghostbusters, The Terminator, and The Karate Kid were released. But those movies told me exactly what to expect from them in the titles. What else could The Karate Kid be but a movie about a kid who is good at karate? When I saw Dune in a theater I was mesmerized by Lynch’s bizarre, and often erotic, spectacle that included evil nuns, poison teeth, and a mostly naked Sting glistening with sweat. I had no idea what Dune was about and, in some ways, I still don’t.
The studio that produced Dune dreamed of making millions off of merchandisng. Those dreams would be dashed, however. Still, the toy stores were full of action figures inspired by Lynch’s baroque sci-fi fever dream. You could purchase the heroic and handsome hero Paul Atredes or the horribly disfugured Baron Harkonnen, the movie villain who floated around and bathed in the blood of young men. But I wanted the sandworm, the all important monster that lives on the planet Arrakis. The sandworm toy was an 18-inch bendable, ribbed tube that split open at one end to reveal a pink mouth full of teeth.”
In reading that, I actually realized, yeah, Dune probably is in fact my favorite David Lynch film. Not my favorite David Lynch thing, that’d be Twin Peaks, but as far as his films go. I love them all (except for Inland Empire), but I just inherently dig sci fi and super hero stuff more than art horror. It’s all coherent, the plot doesn’t stall like it does in a lot of his other movies, plus, the worm is the spice and vice versa. Don’t try your powers on me bitch.