Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (released internationally as Twin Peaks: The Movie) is a 1992 American psychological thriller film directed by David Lynch and written by Lynch and Robert Engels. The film can be viewed as both prologue and epilogue to the television series Twin Peaks (1990–91), created by Lynch and Mark Frost. The film revolves around the investigation into the murder of Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley) and the last seven days in the life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), a popular high school student in the fictional Washington town of Twin Peaks, of which these two connected murders were the central mysteries of the television series. Additionally, the film's convoluted narrative references - and clarifies - Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan)'s fate in the series finale. Thus, the film is often considered a prequel - however, it also has features more typical of a sequel.
Most of the television cast returned for the film, with the notable exceptions of Lara Flynn Boyle who declined to return as Laura’s best friend Donna Hayward (she was replaced by Moira Kelly), and Sherilyn Fenn due to scheduling conflicts. Also, Kyle MacLachlan, who starred as Special Agent Dale Cooper in the TV series, was reluctant to return out of fear of getting typecast, so his presence in the film is smaller than originally planned.
Fire Walk with Me was greeted at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival with booing from the audience and met with negative reviews in the United States. The film fared poorly in the United States at the box office, partially because it was released almost a year after the television series was canceled (due to a sharp ratings decline in the second season), partially due to its incomprehensibility to the uninitiated and the fact that the film only appeals to a subset of the viewers of the Twin Peaks series. However, it was a commercial hit in Japan.
The film begins with Gordon Cole calling Agent Chester Desmond about the mysterious murder of Teresa Banks in the town of Deer Meadow; Cole introduces Chester to his new partner, Sam Stanley, and they receive clues from Lil the dancer. After some difficulty with the local police force, Desmond and Stanley eventually view Teresa's body at a morgue, realizing that her ring is missing and that a letter "T" has been placed under her fingernail. Desmond and Stanley learn about the victim's recent past from the town residents. Stanley leaves Deer Meadow after he finishes his part in the investigation, while Desmond remains behind. Desmond later vanishes after picking up Teresa's ring in the trailer park where she lived.
Meanwhile, at the same moment at the FBI headquarters in Philadelphia, long-lost Agent Phillip Jeffries re-appears, and tells Gordon that he was in a nightmare for two years. As he explains, we see images of the Man from Another Place, BOB, Mrs. Chalfont, and her grandson. Jeffries disappears into thin air, and Agent Dale Cooper is sent to Deer Meadow investigate Desmond's disappearance, and sees the words "Let's Rock" (said by the Man From Another Place in the series) on the windshield of Desmond's car. The clues to Teresa Banks' murder have led to a dead end.Cooper, however, is certain her killer will strike again.
One year later in Twin Peaks, Laura Palmer and Donna Hayward go to school, where Laura takes cocaine and makes out with James Hurley. After school, Laura talks with Donna about the difference between Hurley and Laura's actual boyfriend, Bobby Briggs. Laura realizes that there are pages missing from her secret diary, and goes to tell her friend Harold Smith about the pages, saying that BOB did it, and getting mad at Harold for not believing in BOB. Laura gives Harold her diary.
Meanwhile, Agent Cooper tells fellow FBI agent Albert Rosenfield that he believes the killer will strike again, and describes the appearance of who he believes the victim will be. During her Meals on Wheels rounds, Laura sees Mrs. Chalfont and her grandson. Mrs. Chalfont gives Laura a painting, and her grandson informs Laura that the "man behind the mask" is in Laura's room. Laura lets Shelly Johnson deliver the remaining Meals on Wheels and returns home, where she sees BOB. As Laura rushes outside in terror, she sees her father Leland emerge from the house. Laura then realizes her father could be Bob.
When the Palmer family is about to eat, Leland menaces Laura about her dirty hands, and questions her about her "lovers." Later, about to go to bed, Laura hangs the painting she got from Mrs. Chalfont. She dreams about Cooper entering the Black Lodge, and the Man from Another Place telling Cooper that he is "the arm" and he sounds like an Indian Whooping sound. The Man from Another Place shows Cooper the ring that Teresa Banks had, and Cooper tells Laura not to take the ring. Laura wakes up to find Annie Blackburn next to her in bed, covered in blood, and Annie tells Laura that "the good Dale" (Cooper) is trapped in the Black Lodge, that he can't leave, and that she should write it in her diary. Laura sees the ring in her hand. Laura awakens in the morning, and the ring is gone from her hand. Meanwhile, Bobby, Leo, and Jacques Renault discuss drug scores.
Laura is ready to go to the Bang Bang Bar when Donna tells her of her wish to accompany her, but Laura says she's not invited. As Laura is about to enter the bar, she encounters the Log Lady. Inside the bar, Jacques Renault introduces Laura to two men. The group is about to leave for the Pink Room to have sex, but Donna shows up and wants to come too; impressed by her "audition" kiss, they let her. Within the Pink Room, Laura discusses Teresa Banks' murder with Ronette Pulaski, then receives oral sex with the men. Laura sees Donna topless, making out with one of the men, overreacts, and takes her home.
The next morning, Laura tells Donna that she doesn't want Donna to become like her. Leland arrives, and takes Laura home. On the way home, MIKE (the one-armed man) shouts madly at Leland and Laura, shouting at Leland that "the thread will be torn" and showing Laura Teresa's ring.
Leland pulls into a gas station parking lot to gather his wits, then recalls his affair with Teresa, and her murder at his hands. Laura realizes that the ring she saw was the same one from her dream. The next night, Laura and Bobby take cocaine in the woods, and Jacques sends a drug messenger carrying an enormous amount of cocaine. The messenger takes out a gun, but Bobby shoots him, and futilely tries to bury him as Laura laughs maniacally in drunken hysteria.
The next morning, James is worried about Laura taking too many drugs. That night, BOB comes through Laura's window and begins raping her. She realizes that BOB is Leland, and warns Leland away from her the next morning. Upset over the realization that her father is actually BOB, and strung out on cocaine, Laura can't concentrate at school. Later, Laura refuses sex with Bobby, and he finally realizes that Laura was using him to get the cocaine. The angel in Laura's painting disappears.
James and Laura go to the woods and start to make out, but she tells James "his Laura" is gone. Screaming that she loves him, Laura runs away from James into the woods. Laura meets Ronette, Jacques, and Leo Johnson, and they hold an orgy in Jacques' cabin as Leland watches from outside. Jacques wants to have hard sex, and ties Laura up. Leland attacks Jacques outside, and Leo flees in panic; Leland takes Laura and Ronette, both bound, to the train car.
Meanwhile, MIKE realizes that BOB/Leland is about to kill again, and chases after him. BOB/Leland takes a mirror, and says he'll kill Laura if she won't let him inside her. MIKE tries to get into the train car, and when Leland sees Ronette trying to let him in, he knocks her unconscious and kicks her out of the train car. MIKE drops Teresa's ring as he flees the scene. Laura wears the ring, preventing BOB from going inside her. Angered that he can't enter her anymore, he brutally stabs her to death.
BOB/Leland dumps Laura's body in the lake. As her corpse drifts away, BOB/Leland enters the Black Lodge, where he encounters MIKE and the Man from Another Place (who is seated at MIKE's left side as the aforementioned "arm"). They tell BOB that they want their Garmonbozia ("pain and sorrow"). BOB returns it in the form of blood. Laura's spirit later sits in the Black Lodge, and notices Agent Cooper at her side, who has a comforting hand on her shoulder. Suddenly, her angel appears, and she begins to cry, and then laugh.
- Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer
- Ray Wise as Leland Palmer
- Mädchen Amick as Shelly Johnson
- Dana Ashbrook as Bobby Briggs
- Phoebe Augustine as Ronette Pulaski
- David Bowie as Phillip Jeffries
- Eric DaRe as Leo Johnson
- Miguel Ferrer as Albert Rosenfield
- Pamela Gidley as Teresa Banks
- Chris Isaak as Special Agent Chester Desmond
- Kiefer Sutherland as Agent Sam Stanley
- Moira Kelly as Donna Hayward
- James Marshall as James Hurley
- Jürgen Prochnow as Woodsman
- Harry Dean Stanton as Carl Rodd
- Grace Zabriskie as Sarah Palmer
- Kyle MacLachlan as Special Agent Dale Cooper
Twin Peaks had only been canceled for a month when it was announced that David Lynch would be making a movie with French company CIBY-2000 financing what would be the first film of a three-picture deal. However, on July 11, 1991, Ken Scherer, CEO of Lynch/Frost productions, announced that the film was not going to be made because series star Kyle MacLachlan did not want to reprise his role of Special Agent Dale Cooper. A month later, MacLachlan had changed his mind and the film was back on.
The film was made without the Twin Peaks series regulars Lara Flynn Boyle and Sherilyn Fenn. At the time, the absence of these actresses was attributed to scheduling conflicts, but in a 1995 interview, Fenn revealed that the real reason was that she "was extremely disappointed in the way the second season got off track. As far as Fire Walk with Me, it was something that I chose not to be a part of." Fenn's character was cut from the script and Boyle was recast with Moira Kelly. MacLachlan's reluctance was also caused by the decline of quality in the second season of the show; he said "David and Mark [Frost] were only around for the first season... I think we all felt a little abandoned. So I was fairly resentful when the film, Fire Walk with Me, came around." Although he agreed to be in the film, MacLachlan wanted a smaller role, forcing Lynch and co-writer Robert Engels to re-write the screenplay so that the Teresa Banks murder was investigated by Agent Chester Desmond and not by Cooper as originally planned. MacLachlan ended up working only five days on the movie.
Another missing figure from Twin Peaks was co-creator Mark Frost. The relationship between Lynch and Frost had become strained during the second season and after the series ended. Frost went on to direct his own movie, Storyville (1992), and was unable to collaborate with Lynch on Fire Walk with Me.
Filming began on September 5, 1991 in Snoqualmie, Washington and lasted until October of the same year, with four weeks dedicated to locations in Washington, and another four weeks of interiors and additional locations in Los Angeles, California. When shooting went over schedule in Seattle, Washington, Laura's death in the train car had to be shot in Los Angeles on soundstage during the last day of shooting, October 31.
Lynch wanted to make a Twin Peaks movie because, as he claimed in an interview, "I couldn’t get myself to leave the world of Twin Peaks. I was in love with the character of Laura Palmer and her contradictions: radiant on the surface but dying inside. I wanted to see her live, move and talk." And that he had "not yet finished with the material". Actress Sheryl Lee, who played Laura Palmer, also echoed these sentiments. "I never got to be Laura alive, just in flashbacks, it allowed me to come full circle with the character." According to Lynch, the movie is about "the loneliness, shame, guilt, confusion and devastation of the victim of incest. It also dealt with the torment of the father – the war in him."
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me received a reaction quite the contrary to the television series. The film was entered into the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, where it was greeted with booing from the audience and met with almost unanimously negative reviews. According to Roger Ebert from The Chicago Sun-Times the film was met with two extremes, one side being overall positive, while the other side being the exact opposite. Even the CIBY-2000 party at Cannes did not go well. According to Lynch, Francis Bouygues (then head of CIBY) was not well liked in France and this only added to the film's demise at the festival. After the Cannes showing, David Lynch said "It was a little bit of a sadness, [...] You'd like to have everybody there, but (their characters) didn't have a bearing on the life of [Laura Palmer]".
U.S. distributor New Line Cinema released the film in America on August 28, 1992. It grossed a total of USD $1.8 million in 691 theaters in its opening weekend and went on to gross a total of $4.1 million in North America. The film flopped in the United States, partially because it was released almost a year after the television series was cancelled (due to a sharp ratings decline in the second season) and partially due to its incomprehensibility to the uninitiated.
According to the Internet Movie Database, despite its poor critical and commercial response Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me gained attention come awards time. The film was nominated for five Saturn Awards and two Independent Spirit Awards, including Sheryl Lee being nominated for Best Actress. The only awards won by the film were for Angelo Badalamenti's musical score, which won an Indie Spirit Award, a Saturn Award and a Brit Award.
Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream film critics, reported that there were "generally unfavorable reviews", with an average score of 28% based on 16 reviews. The film holds a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 19 of 36 critics giving the film a positive review. The website wrote of the critics' consensus: "For better or worse, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is every bit as strange and twisted as you'd expect from David Lynch".
Among the negative reviews, was Janet Maslin from the The New York Times wrote, "Mr. Lynch’s taste for brain-dead grotesque has lost its novelty". Fellow Times film critic Vincent Canby concurred, "It's not the worst movie ever made; it just seems to be". In his review for Variety magazine, Todd McCarthy said, "that Laura Palmer, after all the talk, is not a very interesting or compelling character and long before the climax has become a tiresome teenager". USA Today gave the film one-and-a-half stars out of four, calling it, "a morbidly joyless affair". Rolling Stone magazine's Peter Travers wrote, "And though the movie ups the TV ante on nudity, language and violence, Lynch's control falters. But if inspiration is lacking, talent is not. Count Lynch down but never out". In her review for the Washington Post, Rita Kempley described the film as a "perversely moving, profoundly self-indulgent prequel".
Among the positive reviews, Kim Newman from the British magazine, Sight & Sound stated: "The film’s many moments of horror ... demonstrate just how tidy, conventional and domesticated the generic horror movie of the 1980s and 1990s has become". Mark Kermode has hailed the film as Lynch's "masterpiece". Slant Magazine gave the film a four out of four stars, listing it in their '100 Essential Films' list.
Home media releases Edit
Director David Lynch originally shot about five hours of footage that was subsequently cut down to two hours and fourteen minutes. This missing footage is highly coveted by many Twin Peaks fans. The footage nearly appeared on New Line's Special Edition DVD in 2002, but was nixed over budgetary and running-time concerns. In 2002, a French distribution company called MK2 began negotiations with Lynch to include the missing scenes, properly edited and scored, in an upcoming Special Edition DVD. This has yet to appear. Most of the deleted scenes feature additional characters from the television series who ultimately did not appear in the finished film.
In 2007, dvdrama.com reported that MK2 was in final negotiations with Lynch about a new two-disc Special Edition that would have included 17 deleted scenes hand-picked by the director himself. It had been tentatively scheduled for release on October 17, 2007, but MK2 subsequently opted instead to re-release a bare-bones edition of Fire Walk with Me, citing that a new version including the deleted scenes has been put on hold indefinitely. In November 2008, Lynch had the following to say regarding the deleted scenes to Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me:
...Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is owned by a company called MK2 in France. And I spoke to them a couple of months ago...I've spoke to them several times about this...I think it will happen, but maybe the financial crisis is...affecting that in some way. I'm not sure what's going on. I'm pretty sure there's 17 scenes in that at least but its been a while since we've looked into that.
A Blu-ray release of the film that had been slated for 2009 in the UK has been delayed indefinitely. Paramount Pictures (which has DVD distribution rights to the TV series) has acquired the rights in Germany and most of the world excluding the US, UK, France, and Canada. Paramount released their DVD in 2007. The DVD was a port straight from the MK2 French edition. Fans hope that Paramount will gain the rights to the film worldwide and release the TV series and film as a complete box set on Blu-ray.
Legacy and sequel Edit
According to the film's cinematographer, Ron Garcia, the film was very popular in Japan — in particular, with women, as Martha Nochimson wrote in her book on Lynch's movies, "He surmises that the enthusiasm of the Japanese women comes from a gratification of seeing in Laura some acknowledgment of their suffering in a repressive society". Released under the title, Twin Peaks: The Last Seven Days of Laura Palmer, it was greeted with long lines of moviegoers at theaters. In retrospect, Lynch felt bad that the film "did no business and that a lot of people hate the film. I really like the film. But it had a lot of baggage with it". The film’s editor Mary Sweeney said, "They so badly wanted it to be like the T.V. show, and it wasn’t. It was a David Lynch feature. And people were very angry about it. They felt betrayed". Lee is very proud of the film, saying, "I have had many people, victims of incest, approach me since the film was released, so glad that it had been made because it helped them to release a lot".
After Fire Walk with Me was released, Lynch reportedly planned two more films that would have continued and then concluded the series' narrative. However, in a 2001 interview he said that the Twin Peaks franchise is “dead as a doornail”
- "Theme from Twin Peaks-Fire Walk with Me" 6:40
- "The Pine Float" 3:58
- Jimmy Scott - "Sycamore Trees" 3:52
- "Don't Do Anything (I Wouldn't Do)" 7:17
- Thought Gang - "A Real Indication" 5:31
- Julee Cruise - "Questions in a World of Blue" 4:50
- "The Pink Room" 4:02
- Thought Gang - "The Black Dog Runs at Night" 1:45
- "Best Friends" 2:12
- "Moving Through Time" 6:41
- "Montage from Twin Peaks: Girl Talk/Birds in Hell/Laura Palmer's Theme/Theme from Twin Peaks" 5:27
- "The Voice of Love" 3:55
In addition, a second soundtrack of music, entitled, Twin Peaks: New Season Two Music, from both the TV show and the film was released on October 30, 2007. * Were specifically written & recorded for the film.
- "Love Theme Intro" 2:22
- "Shelly" 2:18
- "New Shoes" 3:48
- "High School Swing" 1:52
- "Hayward Boogie" 2:16
- "Blue Frank" 5:12 *
- "Audrey's Prayer" 2:11
- "I'm Hurt Bad" 2.31
- "Cop Beat" 1:56
- "Harold's Theme" 1:43
- "Barbershop" 1:26
- "Night Bells" 2:47
- "Just You" 3:36
- "Drug Deal Blues" 3:08
- "Audrey" 2:27
- "Josie and Truman" 4:32
- "Hook Rug Dance" 2:25
- "Packard's Vibration" 2:39
- "Half Heart" 5:31 *
- "Laura's Dark Boogie" 5:01 *
- "Dark Mood Woods/The Red Room" 9:01
- "Love Theme Farewell" 2:32
- "Deer Meadow Shuffle" 5:21
- "Deer Meadow Shuffle (film version)" 4:40
- "Mysterioso 1" 5:08
- "Mysterioso 1 (film version)" 3:07
- "Mysterioso 2" 4:44
- "Mysterioso 2 (film version)" 3:28
- "Girl Talk" 2:07
- "Birds In Hell" 4:23
- "RR Swing" 2:00
- "James Visits Laura" 1:32
- "Nightsea Wind" 5:25