In interviews Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost has said that the goal of Twin Peaks was to do “something original”. While it achieved originality in spades the idea of a story about a girl who is murdered from the get-go stems from the 1947 Robert Wise film Born to Kill. In Born to Kill the victim’s name is Laury Palmer, in Twin Peaks it’s Laura Palmer. So it’s quite fitting that we never get to know Laura in the series but follow a whole week or so of her life in the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
Laura Palmer is your average popular American blonde high-school student only she’s a prom queen with a coke habit. Abused from the age of 12 by a mystery man called Bob, Laura is the perfect child on the outside but is wrought with demons stemming from child abuse, drug use and her sexual explorations (including prostitution). During her last week alive we see Laura toying with boys, drugs, sex and violence, and boy has Lynch ramped the sex and violence up on this one.
I’ve found that people who watched the series back in the 90s tend to not like the film while those who were too young to watch the series when it aired seem to love it. Here in NZ the film was available for years before the series was on DVD. I remember having to purchase the bulky VHS box-set for an extreme price back in 2004 or 2005 (at this point the first series was available on DVD). It was awesome sitting down for nearly 2 days straight watching the entire second series as I’d been dying to see it for so long.
For those who saw the series first there would be many things that could irk the viewer: the actress who plays Donna is replaced by Moira Kelly and seems far too demure and regular cast members are barely in the film or not at all. Of course new faces always annoy people: Kiefer Sutherland, David Bowie and Chris Isaac to name a few, although none are in the film for that long.
I’m a huge fan of the film. I think David Lynch could put the cast of Twin Peaks in the Jersey Shore house and I would still love it. Perhaps restricted by the tighter regulations of television, Lynch lets loose with sex and violence galore in the film, although there were plenty of unsettling scenes in the series too. No complaints from me in that regard, my only (and this is a forced criticism to be “objective”) is that some of the experimental shots do seem a little superfluous but make for great visuals.
As for the extras on the DVD there’s the electronic press kit which contains an 8 minute TPFWWM featurette that is sprinkled with interview clips which are also included in the press kit. Next up are actor clips which are excerpts out of the film, I hit the fast-forward button on these. Then there’s some interviews with Ray Wise, Sheryl Lee, Moira Kelly and Madchen Amick, these don’t really offer much as the bulk of them were used in the featurette part of the press kit. These features are not individually selectable they play as one long clip. Rounding out the EPK is the theatrical trailer for the film and Madman have included a bunch of trailers for other Director Suite releases.
If you already own the Region 2 release of this DVD there’s no need to pick this up on DVD as there’s no difference between the two releases. I would advise picking up the Blu-ray instead as I am sure the quality is better.
Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me is available on R4 DVD from Madman Entertainment.