Lost Highway

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

Bizarre and boring describes this confusing, surrealistic drama from enigmatic director David Lynch, who combines two stories in a strange fashion. Jazz saxophonist Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) suspects wife Renee (Patricia Arquette) is having an affair. A series of videotapes left anonymously at their door show someone entering their house while they sleep. The last tape shows Renee's murder, and Fred is sentenced to death for an incident he can't remember. While awaiting his execution, he undergoes an inexplicable transformation. The man inside his cell becomes Pete Dayton (Bathazar Getty), a teenage auto mechanic with no knowledge of Fred. Puzzled authorities release him, and Pete returns to his repair garage. Mob boss Mr. Eddy (Robert Loggia) visits with girlfriend Alice (Arquette again), who looks like Renee but with blonde hair instead of brown. Pete has a dangerous but passionate love affair with Alice, leading to more violence and another transformation. The basic stories are pretty conventional, so only the weird happenings and Lynch's striking images could hold anyone's interest. Most viewers will be bewildered and annoyed for wasting their time on this dull, pointless film.

With its nearly incomprehensible story, Lost Highway degenerates into a series of often offensive visuals. While Renee's death is shown very briefly, two other incidents are quite gory. A man falls into the corner of a glass coffee table, which slices into his skull as a pool of blood flows out. Another victim has his throat slashed and is shot at close range. Several explicit sex scenes often include female breast nudity and male rear nudity, and a woman is forced to strip at gunpoint, also with breast nudity. A pornographic movie features a sex scene along with two nude women kissing and caressing each other. Frequent obscenities pose the biggest language problem, along with several crude words and two regular profanities. With its emphasis on explicit sex and grotesque violence, a moral roadmap is definitely missing from Lost Highway.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
October Films, 65 Bleeker St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10012

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) times - Mild 2, Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (40) times - f-word 28, s-word 8, others 4

Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular 2 (G-d 2), Exclamatory 1

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (murder scene, house on fire, assaults, fistfight, throat slashed with gory wound, man shot, bloody nose, gory head wound, cars collide)

Sex: Several (7) times - mostly graphic (5 times with male rear nudity and female breast nudity, once head and shoulders only, once obscured in pornographic film)

Nudity: Many times (female breast nudity, male and female rear nudity); near nudity with low-cut outfits, skimpy bathing suits, woman in underwear

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (man kisses woman's breast, passionate kissing, man caresses clothed woman, woman strips)

Drugs: Alcohol, smoking

Other: None

Running Time: 135 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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