Director – David Lynch – 2022 – US – Cert. 18 – 135 mins
Movie prequel to Lynch’s Twin Peaks TV series.
David Lynch appears early on in his Twin Peaks prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me as FBI chief Gordon Cole. The TV series’ ubiquitous Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is soon wandering up and down a nearby corridor before rushing to check himself in the security video monitor, when a crazed David Bowie (as a long disappeared Bureau operative) turns up from what appears to be another dimension.
If you’re one of those who didn’t make it to the end of the TV series, you might just enjoy the apparent wackiness in itself; however, if you stayed with the series, you’ll know all about The White Lodge and The Black Lodge and a lot of other stuff without which this movie doesn’t make half as much sense.
For example, the mutilated body which briefly materialises in Laura’s bed is Cooper’s true love Annie Blackburn (Heather Graham). Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me isn’t so much a straightforward movie as a movie springing from a successful TV series, which makes it a rather different animal altogether.
As demented as – but more structured than – Wild At Heart (1990), the opening three-quarter hour segment investigates a pre-Laura Palmer murder through an FBI Agent who subsequently vanishes and is punctuated by a riot of typically quirky Lynchian detail. Bureau man Kiefer Sutherland struggles to decode case information from watching a twirling girl at an airfield; Sheriff Cable (whose office sports a proud photo of him trying his strength headlined “Cable Bends Wire”) goes out of his way to be difficult to FBI investigators.
By the time we get to the last week of Laura Palmer’s life, we’re ready for just about anything except the complete change of pace that occurs. The humour vanishes to be replaced by an intense character exploration of Laura (Sheryl Lee) herself, including her various spiralling romantic attachments, sexual congress with “Bob”, terrifying rows with her father Leland (Ray Wise), sleazy dives with loud, unending and memorable rock music, and a final apparition of an angel straight out of 15th Century European painting. At once expanding the Twin Peaks mythology and an essential addition to the Lynch canon, Fire Walk With Me is a must-see.
Review originally published in What’s On In London, 1992.