May 7, 2020
Dune (1984) (part 11 of 11)
After the Emperor bitches about how much the Baron has screwed the pooch, Alia is brought in. Yes, really. She was captured off-screen, and we didn’t even get any narration about it.
This is the first real look we’ve gotten at her, and it’s freaking terrifying. She’s dressed in a huge burka thing that makes her look like a face sticking out of a pepper shaker, she has the blue Fremen eyes, and to top it off, the child actor is dubbed over by an adult, who’s just barely out of sync with the girl’s lip movements.
Never let it be said that David Lynch can’t conjure up some creepy stuff, but it really goes against the film’s interests this time. Having this character introduced so late in the film is enough of an obstacle to the audience being attached to her, but now she’s been made so scary that there’s no chance in hell of us rooting for her.
Mohiam, who’s in the room all of a sudden, gets her own chance to ham it up with the line, “Get out of my miiiiind!” She explains that Alia is Paul’s sister, and the Baron gives a couple of odd, truncated screams in response. What, no puppy raping or anything? They’ve really run out of material, haven’t they?
Paul, Stilgar, and Gurney make their final preparations, with any dramatic tension completely undercut by how they’re now all wearing mattress covers. Yes, mattress covers. They’re supposed to be some kind of radiation suits, but they’re so obviously mattress covers. Did I mention the money was really running out at this point?
Lynch wastes more time with all kinds of explosions going off, and then the charge is on. And it’s lit so poorly, we can barely see anything, so we can’t even enjoy it just for the action. Lynch really is bound and determined to destroy any possibility of us caring about this story, isn’t he?
And then he tops himself, as back inside, a guy with a metal nose orders around the bad guys. This has no meaning.