Episode 33 – The Elephant Man (w. Brianne Gobeski)

Charlie, Jessica and Adam alternate between high emotion and utter confusion while reviewing the 1980 David Lynch film The Elephant Man with return guest Brianne Gobeski. We discuss what material the movie is based on (and NOT based on), Mel Brooks’ contribution, and how it compares to the stage play. We all agree that acting and sound design are strengths of the film, but what about the dream/otherworldly sequences? You’d better believe we spend a while talking about the intro and finale, the style of which is much more “the rule” for David Lynch than “the exception”.


If you’re in the greater Phoenix area, check out Brianne Gobeski in the Zao Theatre production of The Elephant Man! If it’s anything like she describes it on the podcast, it’s definitely worth your while!

Roger Ebert features in our discussion yet again, and we’d be remiss not to mention that he has one of the FOUR negative reviews of this film, which brings its RT score down to a paltry 91%. C’mon Roger, why didn’t you predict the rise of score aggregators and give this film a break??

Here’s the Amazon review Adam mentions by someone who watched this as a child. Also, a counterpoint.

We had no idea what cartoon Adam was referring to, but here’s some info on M.A.S.K. if you want to educate yourself, as we did.

Did we somehow not mention Michael Jackson in this episode? Well, he reportedly tried to buy the remains of John Merrick in 1987 but was unsuccessful. They are still located at the Royal London Hospital museum.

Uhh, we almost hesitate to put this here, but there’s a bit we cut where Charlie talks about the David Lynch project Rabbits. Well, here it is, but seriously it’s creepy. You’ve been warned!

Things We Reference:

The Remains of the Day (1993)

Snowpiercer (2013)

The Theory of Everything (2014)

“Doctor Who – The Day of the Doctor” (2013)

“Doctor Who – The War Doctor: Only the Monstrous” (2015)

Dekalog (1989)

Mask (1985)