If this 1984 film really cost $60 million, producer Dino De Laurentiis must be the greatest patron of avant-garde cinema since the Vicomte de Noailles financed Buñuel's L'Age d'Or. Director David Lynch thoroughly (and perhaps inadvertently) subverts the adolescent inanities of Frank Herbert's plot by letting the narrative strangle itself in unnecessary complications, leaving the field clear to imagery as disturbing as anything in Eraserhead. The problem is that the imagery—as Sadean as Pasolini's Salo—isn't rooted in any story impulse, and so its power dissipates quickly. The real venue for this film is either a grind house or the Whitney Museum; its passage through the shopping malls of America was a once-in-a-lifetime anomaly. Kyle MacLachlan is the pallid hero who becomes a messiah to an oppressed desert tribe.
Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Producer: Dino De Laurentiis, Raffaella DeLaurentiis and José Rodero
Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Francesca Annis, Leonardo Cimino, Brad Dourif, Jose Ferrer, Linda Hunt, Freddie Jones, Richard Jordan, Virginia Madsen, Silvana Mangano, Everett McGill, Kenneth McMillan, Jack Nance, Sian Phillips, Jürgen Prochnow, Paul Smith, Patrick Stewart and Dean Stockwell