Easy Rider is not just a significant American movie. It is also an exceptional example of independent filmmaking, one where, with the unwavering ambition of youth and a desire for something different, a film rises above and beyond the studio-beholden establishment to achieve a triumph all its own.
Few would argue against the original Chain Saw Massacre as being anything but a classic of the horror genre. Its influence lasted for decades afterwards, still reverberating today when horror movies opt for grimy, gritty, gross-out realism. With respect to the sequel, which was filmed and released a full 12 years later, the debate is still wide open. It has been equally lambasted and praised, sometimes for the very same reasons, such as not paying one iota of respect to the tone of the original.
In 1986 it was a strange world and it was about to get weirder, as the irradiated detritus from the Chernobyl disaster infected Northern Europe a similarly radioactive event was contaminating cinema screens worldwide, as we alight upon the first masterpiece of Lynch’s career – I just thought I’d be up front about that. After the painful critical evisceration of Dune a wounded Lynch retreated to his lair and decided he needed to go back to his roots and make a smaller, more personal and manageable film, without the distractions that an interfering studio, costly SFX and adjacent marketing concerns which had partially diluted his creative essence and drive.