May 31, 2010
NOW IT’S DARK
As you may have heard, the great Dennis Hopper passed away this weekend after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. Older movie fans may know Hopper best as the director and star of Easy Rider or as the wacky photographer from Apocalypse Now. Younger fans may better know him as the bad guy from Speed or maybe King Koopa from Super Mario Bother: The Movie. Many will also remember that Quentin Tarantino-penned history lesson on interracial relations in ancient Sicily that he delivered to Christopher Walken in True Romance. Throughout his long and illustrious career, he played many memorable roles. Of all of them, however, the one that will always hold a special place in my heart is that of Frank Booth, the anti-hero of David Lynch’s 1986 classic Blue Velvet.
For those of you unfamiliar with the film, Frank Booth is a rather eccentric gentleman with a bit of a rage disorder and slightly warped sexual proclivities. He enjoys himself a Roy Orbison tune (specifically the one about the "candy colored clown they call the Sandman") as well as an ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbon and the occasional puff of nitrous oxide, a convenient travel size tank of which he carries in his jacket.
Like all of us, Frank just wants to be loved. He finds himself falling for Dorothy Valens, a night club singer known as “The Blue Lady” at the local club where she performs each night. But alas, Dorothy doesn’t even know he exists. And so he hatches a plan so crazy, it just might work! Our friend kidnaps Dorothy’s husband and son, cutting off the former’s ear and turning the latter over to the molesting pleasure of Ben, a very suave gentleman who smokes his cigarette from a holder and enjoys hanging out with a group of morbidly obese middle-aged women at place called “Pussy Heaven”. In exchange for keeping Donny and Little Donny alive, Frank asks that Dorothy (whom he affectionately refers to as “Tits”) endure his sexual kinks, which include a blue velvet fetish, some good ol’ fashion infantilism, and a touch of brutal masochism for good measure. Of course, as happens in every Scooby Doo cartoon, some pesky kids get involved and ruin everything – but not before lots of madcap high jinks and a bounty of memorable quotes, including this Shakespeareanesque monologue:
Don’t be a good neighbor to her . . . I‘ll send you a love letter, straight from my heart fucker! You know what a love letter is?! It’s a bullet from a fucking gun fucker! You receive a letter from me, you’re fucked forever! You understand fuck?! I’ll send you straight to Hell fucker! In dreams I walk with you. In dreams I talk to you. In dreams you’re mine all . . . forever in dreams . . .
Be sure to pay tribute to the late Dennis Hopper by watching Blue Velvet this Memorial Day.
RIP Frank, you'll live in our hearts forever.
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