89 min., 1977
Written by David Lynch
Directed by David Lynch
My rating: ★★★★
I don’t know if it’s horror, but it’s really a mind fuck!
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The movie begins with some guy (apparently The Man In The Planet) (Jack Fisk) pulling some levers. We switch to Henry (Jack Nance) who is lying sideways as something comes out of his mouth and floats away. Then we see Henry walking around in what appears to be a wasteland somewhere in an unnamed town or city. He walks into his apartment complex and checks his mail, then goes up the elevator to his room. As he is about to enter his room, the girl from the room across from him (named Beautiful Girl Across The Hall) (Judith Anna Roberts) tells him that his girlfriend Mary (Charlotte Stewart) wants him to go to a dinner. While at the dinner he meets her parents (Allen Joseph and Jeanne Bates) and we find out that Mary is, or actually was, pregnant and her mom wants to know if he’ll marry Mary. We then shift to the “baby” and how they try to handle raising it.
Jack Nance is awesome as Henry, with him consistently looking confused and weirded out. Even the little twitches and nuances that he does feels perfect for the character. Most of the other characters aren’t really on screen for very long to really make much of an impact. Allen Joseph and Jeanne Bates are great as Mary’s parents with them both being extremely strange. You can just feel how uncomfortable Henry is around them and you start to feel uncomfortable yourself.
The effects are, especially by today’s standards, pretty bad. Most of them are pretty lame or very obvious, but then you have the baby. I think that the baby is done extremely well and it still works today. Creepy and almost cute (and I stress almost) at the same time, but then–SPOILER–when it starts crying every time Henry tries to leave you almost feel bad for it. Then when Henry kills it, you see it suffer and even spit up blood and you really start to question if looks should really matter when it comes to children. SPOILER END.
Now I don’t know exactly what the hell David Lynch smokes, injects, drinks or snorts, but man I really wish I could just look inside his brain for a day and see how it runs. Strange imagery accompanied by strange music makes for a strange movie, but it’s a movie that keeps you watching because you just want to see what the hell is going to happen next. By the time the credits roll you are still questioning what you just watched and scratching your head with wonder.
I wouldn’t suggest this movie to most people, as it’s really hard to get what’s going on, in all reality I still don’t fully understand what happened through most of the movie but it was still really fun and interesting to watch. If you have an open mind and about an hour and a half on your hands you should check this one out and prepare yourself for some really interesting frames to cross your eyes.Have You Read...?