LOST HIGHWAY – The Dungeon Review!

lost highwayThe weird and wonderfully warped world of David Lynch! He is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. My husband for instance finds his films irritating as hell. I, however, am mad freaking in love with the guy! I get completely lost is the bizarre mystery that is Lynch’s universe. ‘Lost Highway’ is one of the few Lynch titles that I have not seen multiple times. In fact, I don’t think I have seen this one since its original run in theatres. That is far too long! I figured it was about time I took another drive down the ‘Lost Highway’.

A mysterious videotape in an unmarked envelope is left on the doorstep of musician, Fred Madison and his wife Renee. The footage is the inside of their home, filmed while they were asleep. While attending a party with his wife he is cornered by a bizarre character that engages him in a peculiar and disturbing exchange of words. This seems to be the catalyst to a life that suddenly spins completely out of control.

still from lost highway 2

‘Lost Highway’ is not a straight-up horror film like the vast majority of flicks usually reviewed in the Dungeon. It is a mystifying psychological puzzle with elements of suspense that seethes with sexual intensity. There are unsettling images, violence and a parade of peculiar characters. There is no mistaking that you are watching a David Lynch film. My absolute favourite thing about any of Lynch’s films are his characters. Always fascinating, always quirky, and always perfectly cast. Bill Pullman gives a subdued yet manic performance as Fred Madison. Patricia Arquette says so very much, without uttering a word playing both the wife Renee and sultry muse Alice. Arquette oozes sexuality from every last pore. Men are smitten with her beauty, and are willing to kill for it. The other men in her life are an aging crime boss and Pete Dayton, a young man recently released from jail. This is where things get really wacky. Her young man and her musician are the same person in parallel universes. Well, probably not. That seems a little too supernatural for Lynch. More likely, there is no other man at all, only the bizarre images of a mind slowly submerging into the depths of hell. Insanity. It’s a beautiful thing. You can be as weird and obscure as you care to be. Anything goes! Who’s to say my interpretation is accurate? It does beg the question, is any of what we are seeing actually happening? You could spend days analyzing the shit out of most Lynch films but why would you do that? Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

still from lost highway

His imagery and film style is a beautiful thing to behold. The Badalamenti score hits the spot and intensifies the mood. It’s nothing short of magnificent! Even the musical selections beyond the score were brilliant and included several of my favourite musicians including David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Lou Reed and Rammstein. As I’ve already mentioned, it is the characters that really do it for me. Robert Blake is magnificently creepy as the “mystery man”. His conversation with Pullman’s character during the party scene is not to be missed! Also impressive is Balthazar Getty’s performance as Pete Dayton. He successfully channels the aura of Pullman’s character and melds it with his own unique flavour. I must admit, some of the more minor characters in this one are not quite as entertaining as other Lynch entries. Also missing are the cameo’s from his cast of regulars, although Jack Nance does turn up here. Lost Highway is a sublime chapter in the book of Lynch. De-licious! Highly recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: David Lynch

Starring: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Robert Loggia, John Roselius, Michael Massee, Robert Blake, Jack Nance

2 Responses to “LOST HIGHWAY – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. 24hourstomidnight Says:

    My fellow blogsters would disagree, but I never got David Lynch. If he is worthwhile, my distaste may have to do with how I was introduced to his work. First, “Lost Highway” when I was 14 or 15 (made no sense, got bored). Then, “Fire Walk With Me” (ditto). Then, half of “Eraserhead” (bored, then annoyed). Three false starts has made me give up.

    • When I was 14 and 15 all I watched were horror films and comedies. I was in my 20’s when I seen ‘Lost Highway’ at the theatre, and already had 4 Lynch films under my belt. It was ‘Elephant Man’ that turned me on to Lynch and was concreted with ‘Blue Velvet’ and ‘Wild At Heart’. Even though I am a big fan of Lynch, I have to say ‘Fire Walk With Me’ was not his finest hour. And I detest his version of ‘Dune’. Had those two been the first two films of his I had seen, I doubt I would have bothered with another. That being said, Lynch is an acquired taste. My husband can’t stand his films (Elephant Man and The Straight Story exempted).

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