By Sheila O'Malley
David Lynch asked Dean Stockwell to play Ben, the creepy pan-sexual pimp and drug dealer who appears in only one scene in Blue Velvet. With all the scary crap that happens in that movie, that scene - and its absurdity; everyone in it obeying a set of rules that are opaque to us in the audience - is the scariest. Who is Ben? The script says very little. All we know about him is:
-- Frank Booth is scared of Ben and looks up to him. We all know that Frank Booth is a psychopath - so this should give us SOME clue of what Ben is capable of.
-- He appears to be in charge of a bevy of overweight prostitutes.
-- He keeps a kidnapped child locked up in the back room.
-- He gives Frank Booth drugs.
-- He has some kind of emotional/sexually charged arrangement with Frank that involves lip-synching. I mean, what? It's never explained to us - it is just something these two apparently do. Frank tells him what song, and Ben goes into drag-queen lip-synch mode. Perhaps it helps take the edge off of Frank's insanity - but again, that's just a guess. The script does not say why these two do this.
To read the full post, click here. House contributor Sheila O'Malley is the publisher of The Sheila Variations. For more on O'Malley's fixation, peruse The Dean Stockwell Archives.