A 1990 film directed by David Lynch based on
the novel by Barry Gifford. It follows Sailor (Nicolas Cage
), a recently released convict, and his lover Lula (Laura Dern
) going on a road trip from North Carolina to California in order to escape the clutches of Lula's extremely overbearing mother (Diane Ladd). As they travel and come across Lynchian situations, Ladd has both of her boyfriends (Harry Dean Stanton and J.E. Freeman) try to track down Lula and dispose of Sailor. Hilarity
, Elvis Numbers
and Oz Allusions Ensue
This film includes examples of:
- Adaptational Attractiveness: mob lady Perdita Durango was supposed to be "a hairy, ugly woman", and the actress who played her was quoted as being "overjoyed" at the chance of grunging it up; as a result, "ugliness" comes down to a cheap blond dye job with visible dark roots. Oh, and the actress? Isabella Rossellini.
- All Women Are Lustful
- Arc Words: More like Arc References, as many characters allude to The Wizard of Oz throughout the film.
- Bar Brawl: very narrowly avoided.
- Berserk Button: Whatever you do, don't insult Sailor's snakeskin jacket.
- Black Dude Dies First
- Big "NO!": The whimpiest one ever captured on screen.
- Blood from the Mouth: The girl from the car crash vomits up a little blood right before she dies from her injuries.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Double-Aught Spool, the rocket scientist who won't stop talking about his dog (assuming he even is a rocket scientist, since we only have the word of another minor character on this matter).
- The Cast Showoff: Cage does a pretty impressive job with his authentic-sounding covers of Elvis songs.
- Crapsack World: Lots and lots of violence everywhere.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: An extremely brutal and bloody one opens up the film.
- Dysfunction Junction: Sailor's childhood is only alluded to via dialogue, but that's what we discover:
Lula: When'd you start smoking, Sail?
Sailor: I guess I started smoking when I was about... four. My momma was already dead then from lung cancer.
- Elvis Impersonator: Nic Cage's performance as Sailor.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex: man, Sailor and Lula are just the tip of the iceberg here.
- Evil Matriarch: Marietta.
- Gorn: There's the opening head-smushing sequence and then the bank robbery.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Sailor's snakeskin jacket, He takes a lot of pride in it.
Sailor: Did I ever tell ya that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom?
Lula: About fifty thousand times.
- Infant Immortality: played with, since Lula finds out she's pregnant midway.
- Large Ham: It's not hard to see that Nic Cage is having the time of his life.
- Mrs. Robinson: played with, as Marietta tries - and fails - to seduce Sailor early on- her actual goals are debatable, though, since it may as well be a ploy to drive the couple apart, and she's soon revealed to be evil.
- Outlaw Couple: Sailor and Lula become one, since they decide to head off to California violating Sailor's parole, and later they get mixed up with Bobby Peru's gang, who Sailor joins in a robbery.
- Rape as Backstory: Lula was attacked at a very young age by a family friend; upon learning that, Marietta arranged for him to be murdered.
- Say My Name: "LULAAAAAA!"
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Sailor and Lula seem to be heading towards that, right up until the very end.
- Stealth Pun: Sailor once refers to Marietta by her last name, as "Ms. Fortune".
- Sudden Musical Ending: Although Sailor does have one musical number earlier in the movie.
- Title Drop: "This whole world's wild at heart and weird on top."
- Troubled Backstory Flashback: Lots and lots.
- World of Ham: Deliberately invoked.
- Your Head A Splode: Willem Dafoe after the robbery.