Must See: Dune

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Must-see movies are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-see is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale.

Title: Dune
Date: 1984

Vitals: In a distant future where semi-Islamic monarchies have outlawed computers, space travel is dependent on a steady stream of "spice" from a desert planet called Arakis, where a nomadic group of Fremen are oppressed by imperialist spice miners. A young nobleman named Paul joins the Fremen, leading them against their colonial oppressors with a bunch of cool weapons and a cavalry that rides gigantic desert worms.


Famous names: David Lynch, Kyle McLaughlin, Sean Young, Sting

Crunchy goodness: 3

Spinoffs: With Dune, freakboy director David Lynch managed to make something epic and visually-arresting out of Frank Herbert's cheesy series about a teenage boy who takes drugs and conquers the universe with his giant worm. Of course fans of the novels hated this movie, vastly preferring a 2003 TV mini-series based on Dune Messiah.

Sight you'll never unsee: Young Paul has his mental powers tested by a witch, who orders him to place his hand in a "pain box." Paul resists the urge to snatch his hand out by chanting, "Fear is the mind-killer. I must not fear." This line became a kind of nerd mantra for reasons that nobody can adequately explain.

Stunt casting: Pop star Sting, still wreathed in a vague air of hipness due to his role as Police frontman, plays an evil young nobleman with shirtless, mousse-haired menace.

Bang for your buck: Fresh from his Academy Award wins for Elephant Man, Lynch managed to score a pretty big budget for special effects design, and his baroque spaceship interiors and goth-industrial costumes manage to suggest powerfully what a far-future, space-faring human culture might look like.

Kris' Movie Reviews - Dune (1984)