Bad Karma

Discussion of Lost Highway

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Mr. Reindeer
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Bad Karma

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

The recent allegations against Marilyn Manson have made me again think about the fact that, while I love this movie a great deal, there seems to be a tremendous amount of bad karma surrounding several of the players.

Robert Blake, of course, civilly found liable for the wrongful death of his wife, while being (controversially) acquitted of her murder (eerily mirroring the OJ Simpson trials that inspired LH in the first place).

Louis Eppolito (one of the two cops), a real-life NYPD detective who was subsequently convicted on several counts of murder and other charges and died in jail.

Natasha Gregson Wagner, daughter of (the infamously possibly-murdered) Natalie Wood.

Bit-player and Asymmetrical staffer (and Keanu Reaves ex) Jennifer Syme met Marilyn Manson on this film, and apparently died because Manson later gave her drugs at a party then let her drive home. (Mulholland Drive is dedicated to her memory.)

Richard Pryor’s last film.

Jack Nance’s last film.

And now it would appear that Manson’s creepy public persona extended into his private life.

I can’t think of any other Lynch film that has anything approaching this level of behind-the-scenes unpleasantness/baggage. It doesn’t detract from the viewing experience for me, but it does make the film feel even darker in a weird way, almost haunted by something evil.
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Henrys Hair
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Re: Bad Karma

Post by Henrys Hair »

I had similar thoughts when the Manson allegations came out. To the above, I'd also add:

Michael Massee fired the incorrectly-prepared prop gun on The Crow that killed Brandon Lee. Not his fault and a horrendous burden to have to live with.

Twiggy Ramirez, who appears alongside Manson, was accused of rape.
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kingchatterbox
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Re: Bad Karma

Post by kingchatterbox »

I agree, Lost Highway definitely has a lot of darkness swirling around it. I wonder how much of this was encouraged by Lynch on some level, with regard to involving people who already had tragedy or other dark things surrounding them.

Gary Busey had a cocaine overdose in 1995 (not long before filming), and a "cancerous, plum-sized tumor" removed from his sinus cavity in 1997 (not long after filming). As well as suffering long-term brain damage from a near fatal motorcycle crash in 1988.

Balthazar Getty's father John Paul Getty III (descent of Getty Oil founder) was famously kidnapped in 1973, and was tortured (including, notably, having an ear severed and sent to a newspaper). He was eventually released for $2.2 Million (which according to B. Getty, his father made him pay back with interest), became addicted to drugs and alcohol, and suffered an overdose/stroke in 1981, leaving him permanently paralyzed and unable to speak. The story was adapted to Ridley Scott's film All the Money in the World (notable for recasting Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer after filming.)

Also, this is more of stretch, but I associate Lost Highway with David Foster Wallace, who visited the set and wrote a notable essay on Lynch and the film for Premiere magazine, and later committed suicide in 2008.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Bad Karma

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

Great points all around, especially the Massee and Getty stuff.

Ugh, poor Patricia Arquette. I know she ended up being uncomfortable with a lot of what she had to do in terms of nudity (even though she signed up knowing she would have to). To look back and realize she huddled nude next to an alleged rapist (Ramirez)...that has to feel extra icky.
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Jacob
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Re: Bad Karma

Post by Jacob »

Lynch also engaged Robert Loggia because he met him for Blue Velvet and was shocked by how angry he was. I think he wrote the scene where Mr. Eddy beat up the driver with Loggia in mind.

No doubt Lynch was consciously looking for a dark tone in this movie. I remember he also put Rammstein very loud during the shooting.
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