Happy New Year to all our readers. Clan McClarey spent New Year’s Eve in our usual fashion in watching the movie Dune (1984) a movie so wretchedly bad that it is good, if watched as an unintentional comedy! When the film was originally released the introduction to the film consisted of the above video by Princess Irulan, portrayed by Virginia Madsen, a very minor character in the film. When it was determined that the introduction merely confused already confused moviegoers more, at least those who had never read Frank Herbert’s novel Dune, a new introduction was made up when the film was released on television:
Upon its release the film was nearly universally panned. David Lynch, the director, disowned the film, and adopted the pseudonym of Alan Smithee, a name traditionally adopted by directors of films that turn out so badly that the directors do not want their names attached to it. The film earned the title of worst film of the year by film reviewers Siskel and Ebert. Janet Maslin in the New York Times gave the film one star, and regarded it as completely incomprehensible: “Several of the characters in Dune are psychic, which puts them in the unique position of being able to understand what goes on in the movie”.
Why is Dune such a grand buzzard of a film?
1. Confusing. Audiences were simply asked to take in too much of an immensely complicated science fiction setting. Now if they had simply had this catchy tune at the beginning of the film, perhaps some of the confusion could have been eliminated:
2. Overacting. A prime example:
3. Sting. Dune was the movie where Sting amply demonstrated that he could not act to save his singer soul. His role is actually fairly minor. But he does have a climatic fight scene where he jumps around like a deranged gerbil and comes off as silly rather than menacing: