Blue Velvet

Dennis Hopper was the epitome of sixties cool until the big chill set in. His commercial flop, The Last Movie, the alleged follow-up to Easy Rider, put biker Billy on the skids. But he soldiered on, despite the cool reception of his overheated characters in such films as Apocalypse Now and Rumble Fish. That is until David Lynch's color-drenched neonoir Blue Velvet and Hopper's pressurized portrayal of Frank Booth, the nitrous-gulping, obscenity-lobbing bad guy. Small-town U.S.A. becomes a nightmare of meticulous lawns and rose bushes, sprouting from fetid soil. Cool-couple Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern sleuth out the ugly underneath, but it is Hopper who is a total gas.

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