Dune has always stuck out as something of an anomaly in David Lynch's oeuvre, a mishandled undertaking or just a potential masterpiece eviscerated on the editor's splicing block. Not that it's a simple matter to adapt Frank Herbert, and it's a wonder that the success of Star Wars and the implied profitability of space epic franchises gave Hollywood's powers-that-be the bright idea to hand over a $40 million budget (those were 1984 dollars, mind you) to the man who made Eraserhead. Failure or not, it wasn't the first attempt at adapting Dune for the silver screen..
Alejandro Jodorowsky - The Pigs Monastery (from El Topo)
the below excerpted from Jodorowsky's excellent recounting of his aborted stab at filming Dune in Arthur Magazine:
..I required a clever dreamer who can draw the space ships in a different way than that of American films:
"I do not want that the man conquers space
In the ships of NASA
These concentration camps of the spirit
These gigantic freezers vomiting the imperialism
These slaughters of plundering and plunder
This arrogance of bronze and thirst
This eunuchoid science
Not the dribble of transistorised and riveted hulks
The divine one
The delirious one
The superb one
I want magical entities, vibrating vehicles
To prolong to be to it abyss
Like fish of a timeless ocean. I want
Jewels, mechanics as perfect as the heart
Rebirth into other dimensions
I want whore-ships driven
By the sperm of passionate ejaculations
In an engine of flesh
I want rockets complex and secret,
Sipping the thousand-year-old nectar of dwarf stars... "
So we could have had crystalline latices and undulating jellyfish rocketing through the stars instead of spaceships?! Not to mention Salvador Dali and Charlotte Rampling? But who could do the score.. Probably not Toto..
Zed - Fremen
**Buy Visions of Dune at Forced Exposure**
Zed was a project of Bernard Szajner's that paid homage to Frank Herbert's book, no connection to either Jodorowsky or Lynch implied. The album's tracks are swathed in disorienting arrays of modulated synthesizers, it's really more for the analog gear lover than the breakbeat fiend, though there are some worthy drum passages scattered throughout. In a perfect world Jodorowsky and Szajner would have collaborated, but without Lynch and his passable film we wouldn't have this, that, or this.