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ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Lost Highway (1997)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: David Lynch

Starring:
Bill Pullman/ Fred
Patricia Arquette/Renee/Alice
Frank Loggia/Mr. Eddy
Balthazar Getty/Pete
10 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
This is my interpretation of the plot. Yours may differ.

Fred’s (Pullman) cheating hottie of a wife (Arquette) gets hacked into little pieces and he gets blamed for it by the law. He consequently body-hops to another flesh vessel named Pete (Getty) to escape his fate and tackle his demons through his new persona. Time travel, doppelgangers, crazy mobsters, lots of smut, a mysterious cell phone-whoring creep…God, I love getting lost on this twisted highway.
THE LOWDOWN
"I like to remember things my own way. How I remembered them. Not necessarily the way they happened."-- Fred

"Lost Highway" is one of my favorite and more personal films; it was the first movie that I saw with this dame whom I dated and loved for two years who I like to refer to today as “the girl that got away”. Not only that, but the girl in question looked somewhat like Patricia Arquette, her name sounded similar to the one Arquette’s character sported in the film and funnily enough, the themes present in this David Lynch mindbender were pretty much what ruined our relationship: jealousy, secrets, repressed emotions, lies and betrayal. Needless to say, looking back, seeing the movie with her was definitely an eerie foreshadowing in regards to what was to come in our courtship and every time I check it out today, it makes me think of her and her SWEET ASS!

Now for the film itself. David Lynch said this about Lost Highway: "When it comes down to explaining things, I stop. With most films, there is no problem understanding them, there's no room to dream or to find your own interpretation, and I don't want my thing to get in the way of anybody else's idea”.

It took me a multitude of viewings to sort out and glue my own “thing” to "Lost Highway". To me, this brain-draining maze is about the somber emotions that feed jealousy, repressed negative feelings bubbling to the surface, not being able to cope with one’s ugly actions, second chances and the set patterns we all fall into. More often than not, tragic history repeats itself at least twice. Of course, Lynch also slaps some good old fashioned time-travel in there, body hopping and a chilling entity in the guise of SCARY Robert Blake. The way I understand it, Lynch is taking one man’s various emotional levels and materializing them physically via characters and symbolism galore while wrapping it all in blankets of “film noir”, horror and mystery. How’s that for an evening at the nuthouse! YOU GO, LYNCH!

From a visual standpoint, as per usual, we get a beyond captivating show through hypnotizing surreal production designs, expert plays with lighting (loved the way darkness was used), creative shots and an intoxicating aura of dread floating about. I really dug the unsettling vibe of the film and the way sound and images were powerfully used to communicate so much. Actually, the rhythms of the narrative were very akin to a drug-induced trip while cruising on a bumpy road with loud imposing states suddenly going quiet/soft the next…and vice versa. Lynch upped that with his token red curtains (symbol for the layers of our subconscious…I think), reverse motion, blurry cam; you name it, and it's here in delicious doses. In my opinion, Lynch is a master when it comes to capturing the essence of a moment and delivering it with full impact. Just take the “outside” sex scene in the desert for example…WOW! Like really...WOW! Now that’s fucking directing!

More good news; the goodies are in this burning house too yo! In typical Lynch fashion, the more exploitive elements are put out excessively with some kool gore hitting the screen, Patricia Arquette disrobing for our viewing pleasure and sexual "fun times" all around. The dose of quirky/dark humor hit the spot too with funny dialogue, situations and hilarious exchanges surfacing throughout. In all those respects, Mr. Eddie (played by badass Robert Loggia) did it for me gangbusters. His “You sure you're doing okay?” phone conversation with Pete (Getty) had me on the floor and his tailgating mishap was freakin' hilarious! I could relate Eddie; if there’s one thing I can’t stand either are damn tailgaters. We should all get that manual and learn a few things.

Tag to all that, a bang-on cast and an INCREDIBLE soundtrack and you get one of my most cherished movies of all time. I LOVE THIS MOVIE! I LOVE IT TO DEATH! Granted, Lynch is not for everybody, some have called this flick pretentious and silly and that’s their prerogative, but I call it deep, daring, scary, disturbing, funny and yes...very artistic. To each his own souvlaki! Drive in guys and trip out or DRIVE THE FUCK OUT!
GORE
We get quick glimpses of a decapitated body, one hell of a howler gore scene involving a head and the corner of a coffee table, a slit throat and gunshot wounds.
ACTING
Bill Pullman’s (Fred) “regular Joe” looks served the part by making the “darkness” within the character hit harder. Effective. Although Patricia Arquette (Renee/Alice) sometimes looked like a drag queen with that square jaw and the bad wigs, I still found her hot enough to rise and she played her part well. Frank Loggia (Mr. Eddy) always rocks in all that he does and he’s a freaking blast here too! Balthazar Getty (Peter) underplays it and comes across as Charlie Sheen light. He worked. Robert Blake (Mystery Man) did his “evil” thang perfectly and was backed up by that eerie makeup and hairline…brrrr.
T & A
Arquette is all about fully undressing herself to reveal the T and the A and I applauded her by throwing confetti around in my living room. The ladies get some Pullman chest and some quick Getty buttocks.
DIRECTING
Lynch is at his Lynchiest here with heavy use of slow motion, reverse motion, effective plays with sounds, silence, darkness, brightness and colors. The man also excelled when it came to building up suspense, using the right tunes at the right time, capturing momentum and injecting a heavy sense of unease at crucial moments in the picture. Basically, the directing was perfect.
SOUNDTRACK
The noise in this nightmare kicked ass! Lynch regular Angelo Badalamenti dished out one hell of a gripping score while the likes of David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins, Lou Reed, Marilyn Manson and Rammstein doubled-down with some slick tunes. My fav song in the movie had to be “Song to the Siren” by This Mortal Coil. The song is NOT on the CD soundtrack for some reason, but it really affected me in the movie.
BOTTOM LINE
you’re a fan of Lynch’s more “aloof” movies like "Mulholland Drive" and “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me", then you should recklessly speed down this “Lost Highway” with a full tank of gas, a gun and a bottle of JD. In my opinion, it’s his bleakest and more compelling “mind rape” flicks to date and I for one always connect to it hardcore. As for the “girl that got away”, well at least she can say that because of me she discovered one of her favorite movies and experienced her first orgasm. I might not know you or see you anymore “butterfly girl”, but you can’t take that away from me! IT’S ALL I GOT LEFT! Funny how secrets travel...
BULL'S EYE
The flick has cameos by: Henry Rollins, Marilyn Manson, Richard Pryor, Gary Busey and the late Jack Nance.

After Siskel and Ebert gave the film “two thumbs down", David Lynch had a new poster created showcasing the “thumbs down” quote and adding: "two more reasons to see Lost Highway." HE WAS RIGHT!

Lost Highway was written by David Lynch and Barry Gifford. Gifford also wrote the “Wild at Heart” book on which Lynch’s movie was based.
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7:04PM on 09/01/2009

Awesome Review

I really enjoyed reading your review. I believe that there are several interpretations of what is "Real" vs. "Imagined" in this film. Your review was hilarious and spot on.

Would you be willing to take a look at my review and tell me what you think? I am reviewing my 50 favorite movies - Lost Highway is at #47. Thanks in advance!

[link]
I really enjoyed reading your review. I believe that there are several interpretations of what is "Real" vs. "Imagined" in this film. Your review was hilarious and spot on.

Would you be willing to take a look at my review and tell me what you think? I am reviewing my 50 favorite movies - Lost Highway is at #47. Thanks in advance!

[link]
Your Reply:



+0
11:39AM on 01/26/2009
Pullman never really "body hops." The whole movie, every single frame, takes place in his mind. He did murder his wife (and her lover, Robert Loggia) and is sitting on death row. He suppressed the memory of killing his wife, and he creates an alternate sort of "fantasy life" while he's in prison... but that fantasy unravels towards the end as he remembers who he really is and what he's done.
Pullman never really "body hops." The whole movie, every single frame, takes place in his mind. He did murder his wife (and her lover, Robert Loggia) and is sitting on death row. He suppressed the memory of killing his wife, and he creates an alternate sort of "fantasy life" while he's in prison... but that fantasy unravels towards the end as he remembers who he really is and what he's done.
Your Reply:



11:23AM on 11/26/2008

Cruise me baby... to beyond

LH can almost be compared to Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind in a way that they're both surreal, heady meditation on love lost - but then again Eternal was never this bleak and eerie. At first I felt lost thru this wierd nightmarish trip but gets better with repeated viewings.

Btw John, regarding your review - yeah in a way I could relate to your particular issue with LH (except for my case it was Eternal Sunshine) But I end up preferring this one.
LH can almost be compared to Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind in a way that they're both surreal, heady meditation on love lost - but then again Eternal was never this bleak and eerie. At first I felt lost thru this wierd nightmarish trip but gets better with repeated viewings.

Btw John, regarding your review - yeah in a way I could relate to your particular issue with LH (except for my case it was Eternal Sunshine) But I end up preferring this one.
Your Reply:



9:09PM on 03/16/2006

Awesome

Where do I start is a great question... that's when I realized more how awesome Lost Highway is to me. It's a strange and bizarre movie with no real ending that fascinated me, it didn't piss me off one bit like it would with thousands of viewers that just don't understanding the man behind this film. I love watching the movie for the imagery, and the mystery everywhere... and the soundtrack, directing, acting, bizarre violence, the scary as shit build-ups, the romance, and about every little
Where do I start is a great question... that's when I realized more how awesome Lost Highway is to me. It's a strange and bizarre movie with no real ending that fascinated me, it didn't piss me off one bit like it would with thousands of viewers that just don't understanding the man behind this film. I love watching the movie for the imagery, and the mystery everywhere... and the soundtrack, directing, acting, bizarre violence, the scary as shit build-ups, the romance, and about every little thing that's seen and heard in just about every scene.
Your Reply:



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