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Directed by David Lynch
Written by David Lynch
Produced by David Lynch
This is, after all, the guy who stuck Robocop into a series of baffling events involving hallucinogenic bug killer, typewriters built from insect carcasses, and massive governmental conspiracies engineered by enormous bugs in the midst of Islamic ports.
Based on the novel written by a former heroin addict.
So naturally, it should not come as even a lick of surprise that David Lynch’s overall body of work is just mind-boggling. And the mind continues to be boggled in “Dumbland.”
Though for a totally different set of reasons.
“Dumbland” is the excruciating story of a violent, abusive troglodyte of a man living in suburbia and the events that comprise his thoroughly pointless God-I-wish-they’d-all-just-get-hit-by-a-meteor-to-preserve-the-gene-pool life.
And when I say thoroughly pointless, I damn well MEAN thoroughly pointless. This movie’s alleged plot revolves around farting, child abuse, spousal abuse, farting, screaming obscenities at poorly rendered helicopters, weird sexual appetites involving ducks, and farting.
There is a LOT of farting going on in “Dumbland.” I don’t recall this much farting in “Beavis and Butthead Do America,” and that movie treated farting like a minor religious experience (remember the desert?).
“Dumbland” is the single longest half-hour I’ve spent watching a movie in some time. Every minute felt like three, and every minute felt like a hook in my skin. I found myself agreeing with Lynch’s own perception of the film: “‘Dumbland’ is a crude, stupid, violent and absurd series. If it is funny, it is funny because we see the absurdity of it all.” I agree totally. The sad part is, despite the absurdity, it’s STILL not that funny.
If there is television in hell, then “Dumbland” is what’s on. This is Thursdays at nine, right after “Richard Nixon’s Laugh-In,” but before “Cooking the Cajun Way! with Judas Iscariot.”
I don’t walk into a David Lynch movie expecting things to make sense, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask to expect a plot more coherent than “some guy too stupid to live does a lot of stuff and eventually gets his in the end.” And he does, too.
The ending gives us a lovely comeuppance for this pig-stupid throwback as he’s both beaten by relatives and a line of ants crawls into his full body cast.
All in all, avoid this monstrousity. Avoid it at all costs. “Dumbland” is exactly as advertised, and unless you’re in a mood to waste half an hour on some of the worst drivel put on DVD plastic, you will regret putting this one in your player.
Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.
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