Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Horrorfication of David Lynch

Sometimes I question the amount of space I devote to David Lynch on a site that’s half devoted to Horror Movies, because though several of Lynch’s films are among the most unsettling— and even scary— you’re likely to see (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr., and Inland Empire being some prime examples), he’s not exactly a horror filmmaker. I’ve always particularly taken issue with the designation of Eraserhead as a horror movie and am flat-out baffled by how The Elephant Man has made its way into numerous discussions of the genre. The only way I can feature that is the argument that some of the film’s so-called “normal” people—Merrick’s cruel “owner” Bytes, the exploitative night porter, the posh douche bags who gawk at Merrick in disgust— are the film’s monsters.

Bytes: Man or Monster?

Yet I continue to write about David Lynch because I love the guy: love his films, love his charmingly inarticulate manner of expressing himself, love his art, love his renaissance man excursions into television, transcendental meditation promotion, book authoring, and coffee production. But do he and his work really belong on this site? Short answer: yes; long answer: yes, because I says so for one thing, and for another thing, I’m not the only kook who has attempted to cram his avant garde output into the horror cubicle. Not only has the American horror channel Chiller TV aired “Twin Peaks” (which, after all, features such horrory elements as serial-killing demons, creepy owls, hellish otherworlds, and soul-trapping pull knobs), but the Horror Channel in the UK has also taken to running Lynch’s output.

Check out these two interesting promos, one for a run of “Peaks” and one for a so-called “Lynch Season” series, that attempt to paint the man as a horror maestro.

Does a zombified Laura Palmer really represent the essence of “Twin Peaks”? Discuss.

I wasn't able to embed the "David Lynch Season" promo, but you can watch it here.
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