King of the crazies 30/5/2010
A highlight of the TV viewing week lately has been the splendid portrayal of a Phil Spector-type character by Dennis Hopper in the Showcase series Crash.
Sadly, it turns out to be Hopper’s last role.
The director of Easy Rider and star of Blue Velvet, Flashback and Mad Dog Morgan always did crazies to perfection.
Eloquent appraisal here:
The thing is, even his drugged-out fall from grace only served, in the end, to set up one of the greatest acting comeback/triumphs in the history of Hollywood. Seven years later, in what would be — in my view, at least — the single greatest film of the 1980s, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, Hopper gave a performance that was more than “dark” and “scary” and “creepy” and all the other words that you could appropriately hurl at it. He gave a performance that shocked audiences with its down-to-the-bone knowledge of evil. Hopper’s Frank Booth still showed the actor’s 1950s roots. He was a greaser out of your nightmares, a delinquent all grown up into a dirty old daddy-uncle. But when he pulled out that drug canister, snapped on the gas mask, and began to inhale, we saw what he had curdled into — a man out of period, a true modern monster, not just an addict but the ultimate addict, a guy who got high on things we had no idea of, because somewhere along the way, he had gone that far past being able to get pleasure out of normal pleasure.
He’ll be missed by those who abhor predictability in performance.