18" by 24"
Hand SIgned & Numbered
Giclee' Print on 200gsm Enhanced Paper
Limited Edition of 50
David Lynch originally intended Ronnie Rocket to be his follow up to his stunning debut Eraserhead which was quickly reaching cult status and acclaim as a midnight movie in Los Angeles & New York. Ronnie Rocket would expand on the bleak industrial dystopian theme and setting of Eraserhead while establishing new themes of identity, dream logic and experimentations with tone that would develop later in his career in films like Mulholland Drive Lost Highway and Blue Velvet.
The plot centers around two stories. A noir detective story about a man delving deeper and deeper into a nightmarish wire strewn industrial city looking for the means to escape. As he gets closer and closer to the center of the city he encounters confusion everywhere and episodic encounters with the city's disturbed inhabitants. He's hunted by the donut men, a group of donut eating men with vague magic abilities who maintain order in the city. The donut men are part of a power structure under the city's boss Hank Bartell who has reversed the city's electricity in an effort to confuse and control his citizens.
Meanwhile concurrently we see the story of a severely deformed man who undergoes a surgery that turns him into a red pompadour donning electricity sensitive young man named Ronnie Rocket. His creators decide to enroll him in high school where through happenstance he joins a rock band. The electric guitars and amplifiers affect Ronnie and cause him to shoot sparks from his body and convulse in such a way that appeals to the audience. His band wins a record contract and become huge stars but his promoter cares little for Ronnie's well being and increasingly dynamic shows start to wear him down.
The movie begins with the detective in a room with the disfigured man who will become Ronnie, who gives him a piece of paper with symbols on it. The stories converge again at the climax when Ronnie is dying on stage performing at his peak and the detective has reached the innermost place in the city and confronts Hank Bartell.
Lynch didn't garner enough interest in Ronnie Rocket in 1978 to make it his follow up, instead he reached main stream appeal with The Elephant Man which he made for Mel brooks in 1980.
Ronnie Rocket would sit on the back burner for years until Lynch reached critical and box office acclaim with Blue Velvet in 1986. Dino De Laurenti had agreed to produce Lynch's next film and David intended to make Ronnie Rocket. He rewrote the script, amongst other things adding the image of a two hundred foot tall wall of flames at the beginning of the film. He scouted locations and assembled a cast. Michael J. Anderson, who would later on play the iconic "man from far away" in twin peaks, would be Ronnie and Lynch's frequent collaborators Dennis Hopper, Isabella Rossellini, Brad Dourif, Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell and Jack Nance would round out the cast. The film would be shot in black and white with flourishes of color. Everything was set, De Laurenti's involvement meant that Lynch would have access to Cinecitta Studios, famous for creating spectacular productions for films like Flash Gordon and the intricate sets of director Federico Fellini.
Unfortunately De Laurenti gambled much of his studios worth on a film / publicity stunt where characters search for 3 of four hidden treasures. The fourth treasure which could actually be found by careful watching of the film and by purchasing Glad trash bags which had clues in it's packaging as part of a cross promotional agreement. The movie didn't make enough money to even cover the prize money and De Laurenti's studio stopped production on all major project including Ronnie Rocket.
Lynch hasn't made a film since 2006's Inland Empire but with the return of his series Twin Peaks, there may still be hope for Ronnie Rocket. Lynch has expressed interest in making the film off and on for his entire career.