So, my sister and I are house sitting. She’s already gone to bed, and I’m sitting on the couch, flipping around a bunch of movie channels that I don’t usually get to watch. David Lynch’s Blue Velvet starts to play. I’ve never seen it. The only David Lynch movie I’ve ever seen is Mulholland Drive, and I saw it so long ago that I can’t even remember if I understood it or not. Anyway, all I know about Blue Velvet is that a dude finds a severed ear, and that Dennis Hopper is somewhere in there. I figure, I’ll give it a whirl.
Man, I’m not bright sometimes.
Oh, Blue Velvet. You . . . you are fucked up.
1.) There are movies you don’t watch alone while you’re in somebody else’s house. Like porn, for example. Well, I don’t really watch porn anyway, but I can tell you right now that if I ever decide to start, it won’t be at someone’s house while they’re away on vacation because that’s just creepy and weird.
So here I am, around midnight, sitting on the couch watching Dennis Hopper do . . . stuff . . . and I can honestly say that I’ve never felt quite so incredulous, uncomfortable, and dirty, all at the same time.
In case you’re interested, here’s an approximation of my incredulous/dirty face. I tried to draw it, but, sadly, I can’t draw. Utilize your imaginations, people:
Carlie sits on the couch, knees drawn up and arms crossed tightly against her chest, as if subconsciously trying to protect herself from any skeevy sex evilness that may be emanating from her television screen. Her eyebrows are raised as high as they will go, and her mouth hangs just slightly open. There is practically a cartoon bubble over her head. It states, in the words of the Great Kings and Poets, “Uhhhhhhhhh . . . .”
That’s pretty much how I was sitting for two hours.
2.) Alfred Kinsey once famously said, “The only unnatural sex act is that which you cannot perform.”
After seeing Blue Velvet . . . sorry, Kinsey, but I beg to fucking differ.
3.) I read the slush pile submissions as a part of my internship at a small publishing company. Lately, I’ve been having a problem with characters refusing to react the way I believe that any sane person would. I have this problem with Jeffrey as well.
Jeffrey, while walking home, looks around in the dirt and, hey, there’s a human ear! Hmmm. Well, that’s not normal. To his credit, Jeffrey does look around, as if this a) could be an elaborate hoax or b) could mean that the killer is still lurking around, hoping for more ears for his pretty ear necklace. However, after briefly looking around, Jeffrey finds a helpful small baggie on the ground, scoops the human ear into the baggie, and calmly walks to the police station.
On the other hand, this is what I would do if I found a human ear on the ground:
Carlie kneels to the grass and stares at the object she’s discovered, knowing that there’s something wrong with it. There’s definitely something unusual. It’s an . . . ear . . . yes, an ear, which is odd, because ears are almost always attached to heads, at least in her experience, which is quite considerable as she’s been a human, in fact, all of her life, and there’s definitely some kind of logical explanation for all of this if she can only just—
Carlie sprints in the other direction, shrieking, “Ear! Ear! EAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!!!!”
Fuck the fucking baggie, man. I can call the cops from home. They get paid to deal with that bullshit. I get paid to answer telephones.
4.) David Lynch sure does like his incredibly short scenes; his fade to blacks; his foreshadows, and his close ups on inanimate objects. David Lynch is one seriously fucked up man. I’m not even joking. I just found out hat he got nominated for Best Director for this film, and I . . . I don’t know how I feel about that just yet. I guess the Academy were super into insect motifs that year.
5.) Jeffrey Beaumont’s Tip Numero Uno For Scoring Chicks: do an impromptu chicken walk in the middle of the sidewalk. Seriously, man. That shit’s hot. I love Sandy’s (Laura Dern) reaction to this, too: “That’s kind of interesting.”
Fellas, if you need a translation: “Gosh, you look like a jackass.”
Sandy, you can do better than Jeffrey. Swear to God.
6.) No, really, Sandy. Swear to GOD. Ladies, when you feel the need to say something like, “I can’t decide if you’re a cop or a pervert,” I think it’s time to exit the relationship, thanks.
7.) I can’t go into specifics, of course, but I can honestly say that I’ve never been so creeped out by Dennis Hopper in my whole damn life. There’s just . . . there’s this one scene, and I’d say you know it if you’ve seen the movie, but pretty much every scene with him is super fucking freaktastic, so you could be thinking of any number of scenes that skeeved you the fuck out. But honestly, the one that bugged me the most, the one that really, really got me . . . well, we’ll call it the “Mommy” scene and leave it at that. Oh . . . my . . . GOD.
Serious kudos, Mr. Hopper. You made my flesh creep off my bones so that it could go hide somewhere and tremble. Don’t know how I felt about this film overall, but you . . . you done your job good. RIP.
8.) If I hadn’t known that this movie was made in the 80’s, the sax that suddenly busts out in the middle immediately lets me know. Oh, you melodramatic 80’s sax. How I have missed you. In a somewhat related note, I love how the seriously-bad-things-are-about-to-happen music swells as Lynch does a close up on a fucking street sign . . . and then it just cuts away to another scene and nothing happens. I mean, I get that Jeffrey’s warned not to go to Lincoln Street and all, but still . . . Lynch, you crazy fucker.
9.) Another constant complaint of mine: repetition is a subtle art. If anyone tells me that it’s a strange world one more time, I may well be cutting off their ear with scissors.
10.) Dean Stockwell and Brad Douriff? HA! Brad Douriff is sporting that unfortunate long, wavy hair he had in the 80’s and super shiny pants. That’s pretty creepy all by itself. Stockwell? There are not words for the scene with Dean Stockwell in it. I am utterly bewildered and speechless, and I’m thinking a Disney movie might be in order after all of this.
11.) There’s an ambulance in one scene, and it has to be the weirdest fucking thing I’ve ever seen. It’s like an ambulance/station wagon/hearse thing.
I must have one.
12.) Finally . . . A Few Friendly Tips For Morons
A: Piss before you break and enter into a potential murderer’s home.
B. Do not go by yourself to places where violent, deviant psychopaths are probably waiting for you.
C. Do not screw emotionally fucked up woman who are involved with violent, deviant psychopaths.
D: Do not, under any circumstances, give violent, deviant psychopaths your real fucking name.
E. Finally, unless you’re Humphrey Bogart, the Winchester Brothers, or Nancy Drew, leave the investigations to the fucking cops, please.
In conclusion, you scare me, Lynch. You freaking creep me out.
Grade: . . . I just . . . can’t . . . a B-, maybe? I need to reflect. And shower. A lot.
4 thoughts on ““Yes, That’s A Human Ear, All Right.””
RE # 11 — it’s what abulances looked liked before they started using vans and truck bodies. It is actually the same body as a herse. Back in the day, the job was just to get you to the hospital quick.
Huh. I wondered about that, but I thought I’d seen older movies (like Halloween 2 for instance) where they had more normal ambulances. Still. It’s kind of neat looking.
Smaller, more rural areas may still use these as more modern units are expensive. Or Lynch may have consisdered its use “art.”
Back in the 80s this was a GRRRRRREEEEEEAAAAATTTTTT date movie.
And the ear wasn’t in dirt, it was in an overgrown area.