Dune (1984) – More Pugs Please

On record – Roger Ebert’s review of David Lynch’s Dune (1984) is one of the more damning statements about the film. In a populist way, it’s arguable that Ebert’s sentiments lay part of the bedrock for the decades-long debate of whether or not Lynch’s Dune is a misunderstood masterpiece. Ebert complained about its story, undeveloped characters, effects, and dusty look.

Dune is not the 80’s sci-fi/fantasy wreck like, say, Krull (1983) is, but neither is Dune without flaws. The first hour and a half of the movie are easy to follow, and I say this with the inability to recall any of the first novel. It does, however, fall down and apart in the last 30+ minutes, which feels like a highlight reel of plot points.

By some ’80s Lucas or Spielberg standards, maybe the effects are subpar, but they also have a dreamy, at times, hyperreal quality to them, which is unique. The sets have also aged better than they may have been received, with steampunk vibes and lots of gold and slime greens. Kenneth McMillan’s Vladimir Harkonnen is truly crazed, and I always forget people like Patrick Stewart, Brad Doriff, Sean Young, Max Von Sydow, and Sting with his doofus grin are in it. Virginia Madison’s preamble to the story is also truly one of the weirder opens to a film, where she fades in and out a number of times as she sets the stage for the story we are about to experience. When she fades back in over the star backdrop for the last, she apologizes with an, “Oh, yes. I forgot to tell you,” like she’s some absent-minded narrator.

My own childhood memory of the film is that it was murky, but memory is tricky. When I watched the new 4k transfer of the film put out by Arrow, I was taken aback at how good it looked. Yes, it’s ‘dim,’ but Lynch has never been a fan of the brightly lit.

Lynch disavowed the movie after its release, but he’s come back out of the woodwork recently and voiced an interest in doing a director’s cut. If he does, I hope there is more pug footage.

Sir Patrick Stewart and a pug in Dune (1984) directed by David Lynch.
Sir Patrick Steward & Pug.

7 thoughts on “Dune (1984) – More Pugs Please

  1. Imagine if you will you got an invite to the Graham Norton Show and just before going on they teased there’d be one of your dream girl actresses and she’s there all sheened up to be on the show and you have to make convo on camera and if you don’t pull it off and make america love you then fuck you you’ll never work again.

    Also, too, something something tom hardy talking about that being bait.

    Nope. Not taking it. Watchin’ it trawl on by….

  2. Oh whew oh shit whew I can still read this shit without a subscription.


    1. It’s clear you need to expand the name field by one character across the board and into the past just to make sure people know that’s twitterpoonT not that without the last ‘t.’

      Just make the change YOLO don’t look back I’m sure it won’t fuck up any formatting.

  3. For real, being serious, I feel not mentioning the Toto/Brian Eno soundtrack is a big oversight.

    5 o’clock…Addendum writin’ time.

  4. protag: “Arlo’s Alive!”
    [next phase of special effects trip through a worm hole and what does the protag see….but a tiny trinket guitar floating in microgravity and it has an inscription…this machine kills…]

    protag: ” OH GAWD ANOTHER WORMHOLE!!!”

    antag: “i’m here in your thoughts you cannot escape me. They once said this would be too heavy handed and lame in the 90s but this is the 2020s and the alt script is now the remake…This is how movies work now, hiss, tssss, villainy villainy, lol, that is interesting, isn’t it???? Just go snorkeling on the Pensacola Beach and see like one bleached crab and a dead sea fan and forget about it go back and sleep, bitch, until the world is dead and we enjoyed ours.”

    [jump to present]

    protag: “Drop the Bomb. Exterminate them all.”

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