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Unreal People

September 21, 1986|John M. Wilson

Lumberton, N.C., takes on mythic proportions as the setting for David Lynch's visionary (and oddball) murder mystery, "Blue Velvet"--but will the film ever play in the real Lumberton?

"I don't think the people in Lumberton are going to like it too much," drawled Jack Durell, a film buyer for Eastern Federal Corp., which own's Lumberton's Town and Country Cinema. "Have you seen it? That film is weird. Lumberton's an awfully small town (pop. 20,000)--that film would not appeal to our normal viewer. It's a cowboy town."

Lynch's Lumberton is a seemingly all-American logging town that knows "how much wood a woodchuck chucks"--but not how much evil lurks.

Durell's Lumberton has no logging--"strictly tobacco"--and Lynch got the citizenry all wrong: "I've been to Lumberton and I never saw nobody like the people he has in his picture. I haven't even seen people that weird in New York!"

Will Lumberton ever play in Lumberton? "Is it worth it to spend $1,500-1,800 to bring in a print for the 15 to 20 people who might want to see it?" asks Durell.

Editor Roy Parker of the Fayetteville Times, which serves Lumberton, has a special interest in the movie--son Jody Roy had a bit part early in the story as a college student. Father and son haven't seen "Blue Velvet" (it just opened Friday in some big cities) but read about it in Newsweek.

"I don't know much about it, except it's supposed to be bee -zarre," Roy told us.

Now Jody Roy's on his way to L.A. to pursue an acting career . . . unaware that his scenes got the ax.

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