Jim Jarmusch crafts a surreal and horrific vision of the Old West, with Johnny Depp at the helm of the madness in Dead Man. Depp plays city man William Blake, heading out west to take a job as an accountant. After he shoots a man, Blake goes on the run, meeting up with an Indian named Nobody, who acts as Blake’s guide into the realm of surreal existentialism. Marking his journey are a series of encounters with characters as bizarre as they come, including a “family” consisting of Iggy Pop, Billy Bob Thornton and Jared Harris (if that doesn’t give you nightmares, I don’t know what will), a trading post missionary, a bounty hunter named Cole (played with sinister conviction by Lance Henriksen), not to mention two of my absolute favs, Crispin Glover et Robert Mitchum (a.k.a. The Man). As Blake journeys deeper and deeper into the wild, he begins to become more legend, less man. Dead Man is a heady mix of darkness and philosophical depth, a modern allegory that pits civility against the metaphorical elements. Apparently, Neil Young scored the whole movie in one go by playing his guitar as he watched the film projected on a giant screen in an airplane hangar. Wow, Jim Jarmusch, you get some extra crazy points for that stunt. Don’t ever change.