Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart ★★★★★

Original grade: 4 stars
Rewatch grade: 5 stars 

Viewed on 35mm as part of the Nic Cage Raising Arizona/Wild at Heart double feature at the Trylon Cinema in Minneapolis,MN. Or as the event poster trumpets: “Presented on some of the last known circulating 35mm prints.”

...And they weren’t fucking kidding about “last known 35mm prints.” This one was decrepitly patchy and grainy as hell (perfect for a Lynch film if you ask me). In fact it even sputtered and came to an abrupt halt right before the classic “Wizard of Oz” sequence at the end of the film. Letterboxd recluse C.S. Walsky even tried to leave because he thought the film had literally frayed into dust/exploded and could never be restarted (it was thankfully). 

C.S.: “Just tell me the ending.”
Me: “uh...um...it gets weird?”
C.S. (after film is over): “You’re right, you could have never explained that.”

This film is one of the greats.
This is Lynch’s lost gem (which is weird because it WON CANNES) ...it’s perfectly positioned after Blue Velvet and before Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me marking his peak “monument of excess” era. To throw Cage into it elevates it to high art as much as it creeps into reflexive absurdity. I cannot properly or learnedly discuss this film on my own, so I will just simply list everything great about it and curse the many, many revisits to this world I could have made had this had a proper blu ray release sometime in the last 10 years.

This film contains:

•The greatest Elvis impersonation of all time
•greatest demented homage to an Elvis movie •greatest demented homage to The Wizard of Oz, •greatest ass whooping of all time (The opening beating Cage’s Sailor Ripley gives a pimp who accuses him of fucking his girlfriend’s mother in a bathroom stall)
•greatest teeth (Bobby Peru) 
•greatest pronunciation of “Gulf of Tonkin” (Bobby Peru)
•greatest sex scene
•greatest Laura Dern performance
•greatest dance sequence set to death metal
•greatest double barreled cigarette toke (this happened twice)
•greatest decapitation scene (Bobby Peru)
•most terrifying scene of extreme sexual harassment (Bobby Peru)
•greatest scene of Isabella Rossellini running over a cop
•greatest performance by a character actor (Harry Dean Stanton)
•greatest seer sucker suit (Harry Dean Stanton), •greatest soap opera acting
•greatest use of lipstick in a deviant way
•greatest puke scene
•greatest rip off of a Nic Cage film to create the greatest Woody Harrelson film (Ollie Stone/Natural Born Killers)
•greatest performance of Laura Palmer playing Glinda the Good Witch (Sheryl Lee)
•greatest Crispin Glover Santa Claus performance
•greatest underpants cockroach infestation
•greatest “confused tit grab” to invite guttural guffaws from a theater audience (Nic Cage and Laura Dern)
•greatest deviant nickname (Mr. Reindeer)
•greatest film to utilize a Chris Isaak song a full 9 years before Kubrick did in Eyes Wide Shut
•greatest film ever to be called “White Trash Noir” by C.S. Walsky

...and last but certainly not least...2nd greatest pantyhose-masked robbery sequence (2nd only to Raising Arizona of course).

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