Look guys, I’ve watched everything David Lynch has done. I’m a bit obsessed with the surreal maestro and the beautiful nightmares that he directs. From Twin Peaks to Mulholland Drive, the director has completely blown and chilled my brain to varying degrees and to tiny pieces . I like to pride myself in my loyal following of Lynch’s work. I’ve seen all of his short films and even the things in between. Once again the internet has managed to unearth something that managed to almost entirely peel my cap straight back and to do a quadruple take.
Turns out Lynch had worked on an HBO series called Hotel Room. The series was an anthology that would have revolved around one mysterious hotel room and the stories that went down within its walls. Sorta like HBO’s Room 104 from the Duplass Brothers, the series would have always revolved around that one space, only transforming and fitting narrative around it.
Much like Rod Serling’s Twlight Zone intro, Hotel Room began with Lynch giving a monologue in classic Lynch tone. “For a millennium, the space for the hotel room existed, undefined. Mankind captured it, and gave it shape and passed through. And sometimes when passing through, they found themselves brushing up against the secret names of truth.”
Hotel Room aired quietly on HBO in 1993. The episode featured three stories two of which were directed by Lynch himself. The three episodes made up the feature length pilot that eventually failed the popularity test of the people, unfortunately.
The episodes were packed with some great star power too. Harry Dean Stanton, Crispin Glover and Griffiin Dunne all lent their skills to the Lynch project and gave off some seriously memorable performances to boot. Author Barry Gifford once again paired with Lynch after their collaboration on Wild At Heart. Gifford wrote both episodes that Lynch directed.
Long time collaborator Angelo Badalamenti even worked on the score for Hotel Room. That makes a full house of Lynch collaborators for a series that was just waiting, slightly hidden, to be discovered.
Hotel Room is a good series. It is something that I would have definitely continued to watch if given the chance. But, I guess you can see how it failed. HBO was looking for an anthology to go in the same direction as Tales From the Crypt. Obviously, these carefully crafted episodes are not that. But, they are something wonderfully and undeniably, Lynch.
Turns out that up to this point, Hotel Room enjoyed a very short VHS release here in the United States. It also was released in Japan on an English laserdisc. Gotta say, I would love to find that laserdisc to add this one to the collection of Lynch.
The first episode alone is worth its weight. The setup of Harry Dean Stanton and Glenne Headly begins silently calm enough with Stanton ordering two chimney glasses with some bourbon, but then sneakingly becomes a tremendously tense bit of fiction tied up in its claustrophobic confines. All this in a fashion that is uniquely Lynch.
I’m hoping we aren’t far from a proper and modern release of Hotel Room but, In the meantime, enjoy this amazing little Lynch nugget.