Roasted by critics upon its initial release, David Lynch’s infamous, psychedelic sci-fi tale of space, spice and sand worms is actually a dazzling visualization of an un-filmable book – albeit a sometimes-inscrutable one.
“A subversive sci-fi epic … completely ahead of its time … grand, baroque and poetically brilliant, Dune makes for a truly remarkable viewing experience.” – Film 4
Based on Frank Herbert’s cult novel, and produced by the legendary Dino De Laurentis, Dune unspools the sprawling saga of young intergalactic warrior Paul Atreides (Twin Peak’s Kyle MacLachlan) and his messianic rise to leadership in a galactic feudal society that runs on “spice.” Though supposedly overwhelmed by the demands of the enormous production, Lynch (fresh off his Oscar-nomination for The Elephant Man) brought much of his trademarked Lynchian panache to Dune, and the resulting film is a sumptuous, visually spectacular experience packed with ornate details – from steaming, clanking space machinery to shadowy and baroque interiors – as well as a healthy dose of perversity (cue the monstrous phallic sand worms and fetishized leather space garb) and a bizarre cast of supporting characters, including the grotesque Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, a frightening flying freak with a serious complexion problem. And if that’s not enough, there’s also Sting as a nasty villain sporting metallic winged underwear, a soundtrack composed by ‘80s rock band Toto, and a mind-boggling supporting cast including Max Von Sydow, Patrick Stewart, Sean Young, Brad Dourif, Virginia Madsen and Eraserhead himself, Jack Nance! (Dir. by David Lynch, 1984, USA, 137 mins., Rated PG-13)