The "Mystery Man" scene from Lost Highway (embedded above) has become a YouTube classic, a bite-size précis of everything distinctive about the director's unique style and tone, that weird unnerving place between terrifying and cheesy. Here's Sean T. Collins on "David Lynch's scariest scene"
Our hero’s an avant-jazz saxophonist; it’s possible this isn’t the oddest person he’s met this week. Nevermind that he’s had nightmares about his wife Renee, whom he can no longer satisfy sexually, in which she had this man’s face. Nevermind that this guy is saying they met at Fred and Renee’s austere house, where an unknown intruder has been breaking in to film them as they sleep and then dropping off the videotapes at their front door. Nevermind that all the music and party chatter has faded out and all we hear beneath the dialogue is the proverbial ominous whoosh. We may know we’re watching something frightening, but Fred doesn’t, not yet.
“As a matter of fact,” the Mystery Man says regarding the house, “I’m there right now.”
Blake's perverse intensity gets instantly under your skin even if you think it's silly, which it is. In the real world, dangerous people are often ridiculous and I wonder if this is why David Lynch let Robert Blake design the character and do his own makeup.
See also Collins' article about monumental horror images.
Who is Patrick Mason? I just ran across a few short horror films he wrote and directed, and they’re truly scary. Like edge-of-your-seat gasp-out-loud scary. Not only that, but they’re beautifully made with good actors, especially Ayuda (see below). The three videos posted here are the ones I’ve seen so far, but there are more […]
When I was in junior high school, I joined the Science Fiction Book Club. One of the books I got from the club was an anthology that included several stories by Fredric Brown (who was primarily a mystery writer but occasionally delved into science fiction). Some of Brown’s stories in the anthology were a mere […]
As Ray Bradbury fans know, there’s a curious minor character named Mr. Electrico who turns up in his creeptastic 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes. Bradbury always insisted Mr. Electrico was real but scholars never could confirm that. Then in a fantastic interview from 2010 by Sam Weller in The Paris Review, Bradbury tells […]
Popping a new battery in a smoke detector or adding salt to your water softener are easy fixes. But if you run into trouble or a necessary repair in a cramped, tight place, sometimes with no obvious fix or easy access, it can be a pretty frustrating exercise. Since flying blind is the absolute worst, […]
Firing up the engines each morning and attacking the day with gusto and purpose can feel like a mighty tall order sometimes. We’ve all been there. But on those sluggish, why-don’t-I-just-stay-here-in-bed-all-day kinda days, it might just take a rational, calming, reassuring nudge to make it happen. No matter what it takes to keep you motivated […]
You may not realize it, but one of the fastest-growing employee benefits over the past several years is one that’s keeping thousands of workers feeling happier and healthier. Back in 2013, only 13 percent of employers were willing to provide or subsidize standing desks for their workers, but by 2019, that number had exploded to […]