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NEW Dumbland (DVD)

Price: CDN$ 28.90
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Amazon.com: 24 reviews
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Dumb, but a perfect distillation of what Lynch is all about April 1 2006
By RTW - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This series of Flash-animation shorts originally viewable at davidlynch.com is exactly what you might expect... eight brief segments of crudely-drawn characters interacting absurdly, making some sort of commentary about the traditional small-town American values that have led to the existence of these archetype characters in the first place: the overweight fatman with an angry face who guzzles beer, watches football and wrestling, and defecates in the yard; the cowering wife who whines and nags and cries just to hang her laundry or exercise on her treadmill; the hyperactive yapping child who repeats everything ad nauseum. None of the repeated themes here will surprise anyone who has ever seen *anything* Lynch has done, and that's one way that this series disappoints, but that's also part of its brilliance. Lynch takes a new medium--this kind of episode-based Flash series was very trendy a few years back when it was made--and successfully applies all his usual tricks to completely master the form, somehow making it adhere so clearly to his vision that it confirms, once again, why that adjective "Lynchian" has found its way into our language. As usual, he is *that* much of an auteur, with an irrepressible vision.

But the things that make this great are the things that the average consumer likely won't appreciate: Lynch's use of sound design, as usual, is incomparable, and this DVD release (not presented in surround, yet still detailed and full) likely betters the original Flash soundtrack tenfold. The best shorts here are nearly avant-garde in their appreciation of hallucinatory sound loops and repetitive noise, from the wife-beater electrocuting himself on a broken lamp to an overwhelmingly layered snapshot of a regular machine-like afternoon for this family that includes flies, violent television, trampoline-jumping, and vocal quivering. A neighbor is a one-armed duck-f**ker, a doctor is a sadist, a redneck friend likes to hunt and cut heads off, and Uncle Bob, well, you just have to see Uncle Bob. And just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder, an incident involving ants and the druggy effects of bug killer brings out a Lady-in-the-Radiator-style song and dance sequence that will make all Lynch fans wink-wink and nudge-nudge.

The whole presentation is over in half an hour, and much of that time is taken up by redundant episode menus and the mindnumbing cowpunk theme music (like the King of the Hill theme with more of an edge), and as usual there are no illuminating extras. Thus, while this is worth seeing--especially for fans--its obvious dependency on the bite-sized limitations of the Internet make it a fairly slight release in the Lynch DVD canon.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Even geniuses have bad days Aug. 23 2006
By Scott Bresinger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
A series of short, crudely animated cartoons from "Eraserhead" auteur David Lynch. Here's how the man himself describes it: "Dumbland is a crude, stupid, violent and absurd series. If it is funny, it is funny because we see the absurdity of it all." If you need more detail, it's main "characters" are a Lynchian version of the typical American family. The dad is a foul-mouthed, violent, flatulent and stupid monster. Mom is a whimpering, cowering and constantly crying mass of trembles. The kid is an annoying stick figure who just inanely repeats things over and over. Actually, repetetivenes seems to be the main theme of the series. These shorts, which clock in at just 33 minutes altogether, are minimalist (and minimally animated) b&w studies in doing the same disgusting things over and over. When, in one episode, a "character" called Uncle Bob shows up, he just launches into an escalating series of gross tics, including retching, farting and vomiting. That makes up most of the episode. The best short here involves dad discovering the hallucinogenic effects of bug spray, with ants performing a Busby Berkely-like dance routine while insulting their would-be killer.

Considering its brief length and throwaway nature, this isn't recommended for everyone. In fact, it's not recommended for 99% of everyone. Even if you're a David Lynch fanatic, you're probably better off renting instead of buying (FYI: it's available on at least one very popular DVD rental web site). Really, it's hard to say who the audience for this is; it's too crude and profane for the art-film crowd, and just too plain weird for Adult Swim crowd. Judging by his comments, even Lynch himself doesn't like it that much. Like many of his side projects, it's almost a pure experiment; he just wants to see what he can do with the medium. Speaking for myself, I kind of enjoyed it, but most people think that I'm just one sick puppy anyway, and they may be right. If you like this, it doesn't necessarily mean there's something wrong with you. It's a damn clear sign, though.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Senseless Humor, Why Not? Oct. 15 2006
By D. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I love David Lynch, and so far he has yet to really disappoint me. And Dumbland was no exception. I can easily see why most stuck up wanna be film critics would immediately slam this film, some people just can't take this type of humor seriously. But as for me, I adore it. I found myself bellowing in insane laughter, not just at the genius dialogue and inept storyline. But also at how relevant this film is to many morons you see in society. Is it so hard to just enjoy ridiculous and offensive humor from the man who practically invented surreal filmmaking and storytelling?
Lighten up; Lynch wasn't attempting to break any new ground with this cartoon, and judging by many reviews, it seems people had that consensus.
I couldn't get enough of this little treasure and would reccomend it to anyone with a vast and open-minded sense of humor.

Keep going Lynch, your cult has not died yet
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
...welcome to the United States of Buttholes Jan. 15 2008
By olofpalme63 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Unless you visited David Lynch's website to view the complimentary trailers, "Dumbland" was one of those hidden treasures only available to the subscribing members of his internet address. With this DVD release, the casual Lynch observer can now witness all 8 episodes in all their dysfunctional (animated) white trash glory. The beer drinking, wife beating, bug spray sniffing "Randy" is captured yelling at helicopters, beating up salesmen and farting on trees. But that's not even the best part. This David (Lost Highway & Eraserhead) Lynch release is worth the price of admission for episode 4 (A Friend Visits) alone. Randy and his buddy (good ol' boy "Friend") sit around the back yard drinking beer and talk about killing animals while spitting tobacco. Classic! Whether you admit it or not...we all have a neighbor like Randy (that obvious candidate for the Jerry Springer Show). Or...he was the reason you moved.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
if you're not into fart scenes... Oct. 21 2006
By A. C. Walter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
There's one or two things you need to know to appreciate David Lynch's "Dumbland," laden as it is with mindless expletives, domestic violence, and gratuitous fart scenes. First, Lynch has explored this territory in an admittedly less concentrated form through his films. Largely, this is all about an artist exorcising some demons, and those are demons riding the current of lowbrow, uncultured, anti-rationalism that dominates a large part of the world today. (Look, I don't want to use the term "white trash" here--so don't think you can make me do it.) Secondly, this is really the second stab that Lynch has taken at getting to the heart of this issue. The first experiment like this was a comic strip called "The Angriest Dog in the World," and you can get a glimpse of those comics at the City of Absurdity website.

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