Essentially a prequel to David Lynch and Mark Frost's earlier TV series "Twin Peaks". The first half-hour or so concerns the investigation by FBI Agent Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak) and his partner Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) into the murder of night-shift waitress Teresa Banks in the small Washington state town of Deer Meadow. When Desmond finds a mysterious clue to the murder, he inexplicably disappears. The film then cuts to one year later in the nearby town of Twin Peaks and follows the events during the last week in the life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) a troubled teenage girl with two boyfriends; the hot-tempered rebel Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) and quiet biker James Hurley (James Marshall), her drug addiction, and her relationship with her difficult (and possible schizophrenic) father Leland (Ray Wise), a story in which her violent murder was later to motivate much of the TV series. Contains a considerable amount of sex, drugs, violence, very loud music and inexplicable ...Written by
According to writer Robert Engels, he and director David Lynch originally conceived this film as the first in a series of films exploring the mythology of the Black Lodge. To that effect, the two inserted four characters as "outs" with which to continue the story: Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), Agent Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie), Major Garland Briggs (Don S. Davis) and Agent Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak). The critical and box-office failure of this film, however, caused Lynch to abandon any plans for sequels. See more »
The cabin scene at the end of the film differs vastly from its depiction in the series. In the film the cabin has no red drapes, there is no phonograph left playing, nor does the exterior of the cabin even appear to be the same. Also missing/omitted from the narrative of this sequence: - No Leo's bloody shirt. - Waldo never leaves the cage & does not draw blood. - No broken One Eyed Jack's casino chip or "Bite the big one, Baby." See more »
[shouting very loud]
GET ME SPECIAL AGENT CHESTER DESMOND OUT IN FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA!
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In the original US theatrical release, the scene where Agent Desmond disappears concludes by fading to white. The director altered the video release so it fades to black. See more »
This remains my favorite of Lynch's "difficult" films of the last decade, which include "Lost Highway" and "Mulholland Dr." Absolutely no one can establish a mood of dread like Lynch, and this film is superlative in this respect. Images, sound design, and Sheryl Lee's near-miraculous performance all contribute to something much closer to a Horror Film than the genre with the actual namesake.
It seems that many fans of the Twin Peaks TV series were very disappointed with this film. I read over and over how "peakies" feel the movie lacks the "quirky, off-beat, kinda funny" tone of the TV series. Well, step back and consider something: the central themes of the movie AND the TV show are 1.) father-daughter incest, 2.) drug addiction, and 3.) murder. I guess we're all pretty desensitized, what with TV shows like "Law and Order" and Jerry Bruckheimer movies all purporting to give us action and thrills that are gritty and hard-bitten.
Lemme tell ya, that stuff ain't gritty and hard-bitten. Rape victims on TV shows are paper-thin stereotypes compared to the Laura Palmer of "Fire Walk With Me." Why? Because Lynch shows us the HORROR, the inescapable, fenced-into-a-corner hysterical inevitableness of a young girl who can't cope with her father's abuse of her, who then turns to drugs and increasingly can't cope with those either, and who finally sees the true tragedy of her life before it's even finished playing out. The wings disappear from the picture.
What "Fire Walk" offers in its portrait of evil and abuse is the full gamut of emotions, not just fear and anger (though there is plenty of that), but also aching, aching sadness, loneliness, abandonment. Lynch did a fairly good job of conveying this within the confines of a TV show with commercials (remember how the first half hour of the pilot was just people crying?), but in the movie he really gets to go town.
Incest and drug abuse are absolutely devastating. This movie is absolutely devastating, and so touches the truth.
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