It’s amazing how time flies. It was in January that David Lynch first tipped off that a treasure trove of deleted scenes and lost footage from his classic 1986 psycho-drama “Blue Velvet” had been unearthed. And as the Guardian details, these scenes may have been lost forever were it not for the persistence of an MGM staffer who kept up a search for the footage.
But first, a little background. When David Lynch first finished up “Blue Velvet,” he had a rough cut running somewhere between three-and-a-half and four hours, and under contractual obligation to deliver a two-hour cut to producer Dino De Laurentiis, he snipped and clipped and delivered the movie we all know and love now, leaving a plethora of stuff in the editing bay. As Lynch related earlier in the year, when he went back to try and unearth that old footage he had a bit of bad news. “So, one day I looked into seeing where the lifts were because some of these scenes on their own would be beautiful to see again. So I find out that Dino, the producer, doesn’t know where they are. They’ve gone. His company went bankrupt, it was taken over by another company, and then it was sold to other companies. No one knew where they were, they were gone. So depressing,” he explained. Enter: a plucky technical services worker at MGM.
For years, Darren Gross has been chasing the missing scenes as his own personal mission. He tracked the facilities of various companies who owned “Blue Velvet” at one time or another, hoping he would stumble across the treasure of excised stuff. And just when he was about to give up — in a twist Lynch himself could be proud of — everything turned up in nearly pristine condition in the unlikeliest of places, a warehouse in Seattle. Take that “Storage Wars.” Now, the big question is, what are we going to see? Well, the highlight of the scenes is easily a set of flaming nipples. Here’s what the Guardian had to say:
The flaming nipple scene will open the new footage on the DVD, giving audiences more of Hopper in what is possibly his scariest performance – in a career of scary performances…The action unfolds in a bar where Frank threatens a man who has been hanging out with a posse of naked women. On set, one of the actresses happened to show Lynch a trick she had for setting her nipples on fire with a match. He liked it so much he filmed it and gave her the closing line: “Motherfucker, you’re really going up in flames this time!”
Sounds awesome right? You’re not alone there. “That’s one of my favourite scenes,” Lynch said in an interview for the book “Lynch on Lynch” adding that he ultimately dumped it because, “It was too much of a good thing.” As for the other scenes, will there be anything as extreme, such as Kyle MacLachlan‘s character witnessing a date rape or Isabella Rossellini’s character throwing a human ear down the toilet? It doesn’t appear that way. Apparently, the nipples are about as raw as these excised scenes get, with the bulk mostly made up of extended character moments and yes, there is even a blooper reel. And no, this won’t be incorporated into a longer cut. Lynch declined to recut his movie now that the footage has been found, stepping away from the revisionist trend (and frankly, this stuff was cut for a reason). But at least it’s here for fans to check out, and we’ll definitely be eager to take a look. The 25th anniversary “Blue Velvet” BluRay hits stores next Tuesday, November 8th in the U.S. For those of you in the U.K., it will arrive in 2012.