->''"Dick Laurent is dead!"''

Describe ''Lost Highway'' here.

Fred Madison (Creator/BillPullman) is a jazz saxophonist married to Renee Madison (Patricia Arquette). Fred wakes up one morning to answer the door intercom, where a mysterious voice gives him the message: "Dick Laurent is dead." After this, Fred and Renee begin to receive a series of videotapes on their doorstep, showing the interior of their house and even images of them asleep. Fred also begins to suspect that Renee may be cheating on him, and begins experiencing nightmares in which he wakes up next to his wife, only to discover she is somebody completely different.

After a terrifying encounter with a Mystery Man (Robert Blake) at a party, Fred receives a final video which shows him killing Renee. Fred is arrested for her murder. After being found guilty and sentenced to death, Fred is locked away in his cell...

Wait... let's try that again...

Describe ''Lost Highway'' here.

Pete Dayton (Balthazar Getty) is a young mechanic who wakes up in a death row prison cell despite having committed no crime. Pete is released into his parents' care, while being trailed by two detectives who want to know how he came to end up in Fred Madison's cell. On returning to work at his garage, Pete crosses paths with the volatile gangster Mr. Eddy (Robert Loggia) and his beautiful mistress Alice Wakefied (Patricia Arquette). Pete embarks on an affair with Alice, who fears being discovered by Mr. Eddy, who isn't actually Mr. Eddy at all but a porn producer called Dick Laurent who...

[[MindScrew Oh, dear.]]

Released in 1997, ''Lost Highway'' remains not only a key Creator/DavidLynch work, but a surprisingly influential film, despite its rather outre qualities and mixed critical reception. The twisting, neo-noir plot revolving around identity is echoed by films such as ''Film/FightClub'', ''Film/DonnieDarko'', and ''Film/{{Memento}}''. Lynch would further develop the theme in ''Film/MulhollandDrive'', this film's SpiritualSuccessor.

The best way to watch this film is with an open mind, preferably in a well-lit room with the phone unplugged.

Not to be [[NamesTheSame confused with]] the classic Music/HankWilliams song, or with Music/BonJovi's [[NewSoundAlbum country album]] of the same name.

!!This film contains examples of:
* AllJustADream: One interpretation is that it's the fantasy of a Death Row prisoner who's about to be executed.
* AloofDarkHairedGirl: Renee.
* AmbiguouslyHuman: The Mystery Man. How exactly could he be at the party and at Fred's house at the same time?
* ArcWords: "''Dick Laurent is dead.''" and "''We've met before, haven't we?''"
* BerserkButton: Tailgating for Mr. Eddy. Seriously, don't even think about it, or you WILL be sorry.
** That's nothing compared to what he'll do when some other man gets too close to Alice...
* TheCameo: Creator/RichardPryor. In one of his last acting roles, he plays Pete Dayton's boss, a HonestJohnsDealership mechanic.
** Marilyn Manson and Twiggy Ramirez appear as porn stars in one of the pornos.
* ClusterFBomb: Mr. Eddy drops an epic one on a tailgater after driving him off the road while simultaneously whacking him with his gun for his reckless driving. A very satisfying moment for anyone who doesn't like tailgaters. For more about why that scene was put in there, see {{Expy}} below.
* CrazyJealousGuy: Mr Eddy and possibly Fred Madison.
* CultSoundtrack: The [[Music/NineInchNails Trent Reznor]]-compiled soundtrack includes music by Music/DavidBowie, Music/TheSmashingPumpkins, Music/LouReed and Music/MarilynManson. Lynch himself chose the Music/{{Rammstein}} tracks because he's a fan of the band.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Mr. Eddy's slight overreaction to a tailgater.
* EnigmaticMinion: The "Mystery Man" has no clear goals or motivation, looks somewhat strange, and only shows obvious threatening behavior towards the end of the movie. His role in the movie is, along with everything else in it, open to interpretation (though it is generally agreed that it involves a kind of symbolism)... It is a David Lynch film, after all.
* EvilLaugh: The Mystery Man gives Fred a considerably sinister laugh during the phone call at the party.
* {{Expy}}: Mr. Eddy is remarkably similar to Frank Booth in ''Film/BlueVelvet''. There's even a fairly similar "joy ride" scene. The character was written for actor Robert Loggia after he waited several hours to audition for Frank, only to be told that the role had already gone to Dennis Hopper. Loggia dropped a serious ClusterFBomb that impressed Lynch so much he gave Loggia his own version of Frank to play.
* FanDisservice: Only David Lynch could make sharing a bed with Patricia Arquette the stuff of nightmares, when she has ''that'' face. The porn flick seen near the end of the movie also certainly qualifies.
* FanService: You see a lot of Patricia Arquette in this movie. Balthazar Getty too, but not as much.
* FemmeFatale: Renee/Alice.
* FilmNoir
* GainaxEnding
* {{Gorn}}: You'll never look at coffee tables the same way again...
* GothicPunk: Sort of.
* HairTriggerTemper: Robert Loggia's performance as Mr Eddy/Dick Laurent has two modes: Charming ebullience and terrifying, psychotic rage.
* HandCannon: Mr. Eddy's Desert Eagle.
* HalfwayPlotSwitch
* ICanSeeYou: Lynch manages to give this trope a genuinely unsettling new spin.
* ImAHumanitarian: [[spoiler: If the tapes are to be trusted. Fred.]]
* LotusEaterMachine: Arguably the second half of the movie, [[spoiler: as wife killer Fred re-imagines himself as the more innocent, down to earth Pete while at the same type villainizing both Dick Laurent as a dangerous gangster and his wife as a lying tramp.]]
* LouisCypher: The Mystery Man, obviously. Robert Blake himself stated that he played him as this.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: In the grand David Lynch tradition. ''Some'' kind of weird shit is definitely going down, but whether it's truly supernatural or not depends heavily on the viewer's interpretation.
* MeaningfulName: The sleazy porn producer is named ''Dick.'' [[PunnyName No]] [[DoubleEntendre laughing, please.]]
* MindScrew: Similarly, the viewer will vacillate between terror and confusion throughout the movie.
** The point at which it goes off any possible rails is hard to tell, but a good guess is when the Mystery Man tells Fred he's "In your house... Call me"; Fred calls his house, [[spoiler:and the same man answers him]].
*** {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler: As Fred tells ''himself'' via intercom that Dick Laurent is dead.]]
* MsFanservice: Renee/Alice, given that they're played by Patricia Arquette.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Dick Laurent threatens to kill any other man who would get too close to Alice about half-way in the movie. [[spoiler: Shortly before the end of the movie, Laurent is himself killed by Fred for his affair with Renee.]]
* MusicalisInterruptus: Done in a really creepy manner. When the Mystery Man approaches Fred at the party, the music fades out the closer he comes, and comes back when he leaves, as if he occupies his own travelling pocket dimension.
* NoBrows: The Mystery Man doesn't have eyebrows. It makes his face look all the more skull-like.
* SchrodingersButterfly
* SelfServingMemory: Fred's statement: "I like to remember things my own way. How I remembered them, not necessarily the way they happened."
* SequelEscalation: The videotapes.
* ShamefulStrip: Alice is forced to strip in front of the baddies at gun point.
* SplitPersonality: One possible interpretation. Maybe?
* StableTimeLoop: Although technically no time travel is involved...possibly...
** It's not so much a loop as a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobius_strip Möbius Strip]].
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler: The mystery man appears as the dragon to Dick Laurent / Mr. Eddy but ends up 'helping' Fred / Pete kill him.]]
* SurrealHorror
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler: Three. Pete to Fred, Alice to Renee and Mr. Eddy to Dick Laurent.]]
* UncannyValleyMakeup: The Mystery Man.
* UnreliableNarrator: [[spoiler: Fred has a very interesting concept of truth and reality: "I like to remember things my own way. (...) How I remembered them. Not necessarily the way they happened."]]
* TheUnreveal: We never find out [[spoiler: what really happened to Pete during the night, when he was "transferred" to the prison, but there is one scene, where Pete's father is almost decided to tell us.]]
* TheVerse: If WordOfGod is any indication, that may just be [[Music/DavidBowie Agent Jeffries]] singing "I'm Deranged" from [[Series/TwinPeaks inside the Black Lodge]], and Phil the mechanic is probably Pete Martell's twin or something.
* VoiceOfTheLegion: When the Mystery Man laughs at the party with Fred, and also at Fred's house [[spoiler: ''[[MindScrew simultaneously.]]'']]
* VillainProtagonist: [[spoiler: Fred, under many interpretations of the film, murdered his wife and is telling us a very unreliable account of the incident.]] [[MindScrew Not that we have any way of knowing for sure]].