David Lynch & Frank Herbert
Ciudad de Mexico 1984
in the audiences in 1984 were unprepared for the ferocity of Lynch’s
translation of Frank Herbert’s popular science fiction epic. More than
one vocal viewer accused him of homophobia because of this scene in particular, conveniently overlooking the fact that the victim here, who is clearly filled with fear, is also clearly Queer. One might also note that the actor performing the role of the sacrificial victim is himself Queer and Mexican; that the Fremen were played mostly by Mexicans and so one may assume that this victim is meant to be read as being of mixed Fremen and Harkonnen
ancestry (a typical result of a colonial system being the mixing of the
ethnicities of the colonizers and the colonized, often or especially by
force.) At the time it came out, the only critic I remember mentioning Pasolini’s Salo in this connection was Dave Kehr. It’s what one calls a genuinely smart reference.