Director: David Lynch
You know from the first scene that things are going to turn south. We are shown these perfect idyllic images of living in a small town, to a man having a heart attack, that slowly reveals the dark underworkings of insects just beneath the surface of the lawn where the man lies. That is exactly what this film shows us. The twisted goings-on of society that lies just under its bright, happy exterior.
The story follows Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan), home from college to visit his ill father. While walking home from the hospital, he finds a severed human ear lying in a field. His curiosity eventually leads him to witness some darkly bizarre events first hand, and is drawn in to even participate in some ways. His growing infatuation for his sheriff neighbor's daughter (Laura Dern) holds the attraction of innocence, while his own investigation into the personal life of a lounge singer has a more inexplicably darker appeal.
What really makes this movie work in a somewhat believable fashion is the character played superbly by Dennis Hopper (screw that Waterworld or Super Mario Bros. shit). The role of Frank is one of a truly tormented gas-sniffin pill-poppin lunatic. Though Dern does play the perfect innocent high-school girl, I just can't stand her (not to the point of Nicole Kidman-can't-stand, but close, particularly when she cries). I dunno, just gives me the creeps or somethin, which normally would be good, especially in a film like this, right? Uh, no. Overall this film is a pretty intriguing glimpse into the twisted realities that most people try to ignore while going about their everyday lives.
Great Scene: Involves a heavily sedated Dean Stockwell lip-synching to the song "In Dreams" (aka the Candy Colored Clown song) by Roy Orbison.
DVD Notes: None since I saw it on vhs (MGM).