This is a difficult film to watch, with some of the most intense
imagery imaginable. Dennis Hopper's Frank is one bad-ass dude, sucking
on a whole tank of poppers! Lynch's heavy handed symbolism aside, it is
a mystery of the /Hardy Boys/ sort, but plumbs far deeper waters than
Fenton's boys ever did.
It is the acting that makes the film, and Dennis is at the top of his form as Frank, the psychotic drug dealer, and Dean Stockwell is outstanding as Ben, his gay, ever so suave, pimp friend. Stockwell's scene lip-synching to Roy Orbison's /In Dreams/ (aka erroneously /Candy Colored Clown/) with a drop-light for a microphone is memorable.
Kyle MacLachlan (Jeffrey) and Laura Dern (Sandy) play two all-American kids with more curiosity than is healthy, caught up in a web of evil beyond their wildest imagination. It /is/ a strange world!
Then there is the beautiful Isabella Rossellini's tragic Dorothy, kept for Frank's twisted, sadistic pleasure, with her husband and little son held hostage. We are never told how long she has endured this horror, but Frank's depravity has rubbed off on her.
A budding romance develops between Jeffrey and Sandy, with Dorothy thrown in to complicate things.
Be prepared for the vilest language endlessly voiced by the foul-mouthed Frank. Every sentence he utters has one or two f--k words -- but this is wholly in character for him! Don't let that put you off viewing this film.
(Laura Dern is my distant cousin!)
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