The City of Absurdity Lost Highway
a film by David Lynch

Empire Magazine, UK, August 1997

Glad to report that David Lynch is still circling planet earth in a spaceship with his mind located several galaxies beyond. This is delightfully bonkers; an eerie and edgy outpouring that makes Twin Peaks look like Moonlighting.

After a pulsating Bowie song - accompanied by a moronic cruise down a (presumably lost) highway, there is a disconcerting 20 minute overture. Pullman as Fred Madison puts in a splendidly foul-stenched performance opposite a high voltage Arquette (playing his wife Renee) - clad in the best wig and super sexy clothes since Uma T. in Pulp Fiction.

Things go pear-shaped when each morning, mysterious videos are left outside their house, the contents of which become more disturbing each day. Pullman starts hallucinating witchlike images of his wife. He kills her but doesn't remember doing it, is imprisoned, dies and comes back as car mechanic Pete Dayton (Getty) who is working at a garage under the supervision of Arnie (Richard Pryor).

Meanwhile, Arquette returns as a blonde siren (called Alice Wakefield) who is stepping out with mob man Mr. Eddy (Robert Loggia). She has an affair with Dayton and in search of a fast buck tries to get him to commit murder. But will she double-cross and kill him? And so the dream becomes - as things are wont to do on Planet Lynch - a nightmare, signposted by the recurring presence of a Dracula-type Mystery Man (Robert Blake) who will try to destroy them all. There's also numerous other oddities including a cameo by visceral US rocker Marilyn Manson as a porn star. And much disturbance later, we're back for a laconic drive down the highway.

Confused? Oh well, go with it. Interested? You should be.

Director: David Lynch
Cast: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Gary Busey
Details: 2 hrs. 14 mins. Cert. 18 USA
Released: August 22 (selected UK cinemas)

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© Mike Hartmann