David Lynch, Dennis Hopper, Fred C. Caruso, Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini - Blue Velvet
Without indie movies of the past few decades, the message that weird, creepy stuff happens beneath happy suburban surfaces might be dangerously underreported. Before David Lynch went past disturbing into straight up inexplicable, he made this surreal, noir-ish riff on that very subject, and with more distinction than many who followed him. The movie’s patchwork of voyeurism, sadomasochism, and just plain ol’ regular violence is made creepier when juxtaposed with the innocence of young amateur sleuth Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan; yes, this is a movie where Kyle MacLachlan plays the normal guy). Co-star Dennis Hopper got his comeback Oscar nomination for the more uplifting Hoosiers the same year as Blue Velvet, but it was arguably his performance as the gas-huffing foulmouthed, abusive mystery psychotic Frank Booth that brought him back from the brink, career-wise.