Trying to pick the most messed up David Lynch scene is like trying is like trying to name your favorite way to eat bacon. There are just so many answers, it is hard to choose just one. Hell, even picking six scenes was a real challenge for me. But I had to go with the scenes that stayed with me the longest after I saw them.
For that reason, this is what we call an “opinion piece”, so try not to crucify me too harshly in the comments because I left out your favorite scene from Inland Empire. I knew writing this list would incite some comments, because most Lynch fans are quite outspoken about their favorite (and most disturbing) David Lynch scenes, but I encourage that. And if you do decide to crucify me, atleast do it on film and not in the comments. Because on film, it would make David Lynch proud.
Blue Velvet: A Closet and a Booth Scene
I truly believe that, before this scene, I may have had a sliver of innocence left in me, somewhere. But it was this moment, when we are in the closet with Kyle Maclachlan’s character, Jeffery Beaumont ( As Kyle Maclachlan, as Jeffery Beaumont) as we watch Dennis Hopper melt the celluloid with his portrayal of Frank Booth, one of the scariest and most over the top antagonists ever put on film.
There will be no “he is passing a kidney stone here” jokes. Oh wait…
I really will never forget the way I felt when I first saw this scene. There is an unforgivable brutality to this scene, and to the Frank Booth character overall, and though there is a certain sense of vulnerability when he is “kneeling” in front of her, even his vulnerability is hyper-sexual and deranged.
No matter how old I get, this scene will always fill me with a sense of dread and panic. Wow, I incite that a lot with my film choices, come to think of it.
Though I will say, this film and the Frank Booth character did yield one of the greatest Pabst Blue Ribbon references ever made on film. Those who knows what I am talking about are nodding to this, and those who don’t will go Youtube it, so everyone wins.
Eraserhead: Unwrapping the Baby Scene
This was my first exposure to the calculated madness that is a Lynch film, and to this day, the Erasherhead baby truly f*cks me all up.
Whenever I see the “ugly baby” episode of Seinfeld, this is what I imagine is in the crib.
When you’re a teenager, the birthing process and the idea of being a parent in general, is foreign and scary to a you. So then you add the baby from this film to the mix, and it truly twists the subconscious of a young, growing mind. And as if the baby isn’t disturbing enough, the scene where he cuts open the bandages after it laughs (cackles?) at him is just outright nightmare fuel.
Now I know everyone is going to say I should have included the pencil factory scene, so I will:
The whole movie imbues a “I’ve been drugged against my will” feeling in the viewer.
And though I do find the pencil factory scene unsettling, when he cuts the baby’s bandages and all (*Spoilers*) of it’s guts pour out and it starts making those even more unGodly sounds than before, that is the scene that made my skin crawl. I can still hear that baby in my mind. Skin still crawling.
Lost Highway: Stranger at the Party Scene
I do realize that ALL of David Lynch’s movies are surreal movies that play out more like separate vignettes as oppose to one hulking entity, but there are just some examples of his directing style and what he brings to the surface in some actors that just truly shine. The party scene with Robert Blake is one example of that.
The scene is only made more creepy by the fact that not long after filming was complete, he would shoot his wife in the head after leaving a restaurant one night.
Note the “crazy” in his eyes. Yeah, that was not acting. That was ALL him.
I suppose what really does it for me in each one of these scenes is imagining myself in the protagonist’s shoes. Imagine being in this scenario, for instance? For those unfamiliar, here is the scenario:
I find this scene both compelling and terrifying. Like Nicky Minaj.
How exactly should one react to this situation? I am pretty sure I would scream the word witchcraft and then throw my drink at him. Then I would knock him out, put him in my car, and take him to my house so he can watch me kill him in front of him.
That last sentence sort of shows why I am such a fan of David Lynch films. Because sadly, I think like he directs.
Suffice it to say, my life can be very scary at times.