"Okay, I wanna let you know that we HAVE been listening to your requests for a Mark Hamill double-feature, as evidenced by next week's flicks: "The Guyver," where Mark turns into a big cockroach, and "Time Runner," where Mark REALLY wishes he'd sent George Lucas a nicer gift after they made "Star Wars." Now, who here watched "Twin Peaks" when it was on?
Everybody, right? Hard to believe that was almost ten years ago. Just long enough for us to not give a hoot anymore. No, we're all dying to know what the final days of Laura Palmer were like, right? That's the premise here, plus the usual David Lynch bizarrity.
Is that a word? Anyhow, the movie is a prequel to the "Twin Peaks" series, and "prequel" IS a word. It means "to shamelessly capitalize on the popularity of something that's already deader than a doormat."
Let's do those drive-in totals. We have:
Three dead bodies.
One dead television.
Ten breasts, including Laura Palmer's--they don't call it "Twin Peaks" for nothin. Oh, I forgot-- this is basic cable. Nevermind.
FBI performance art.
One bloody nose.
Surreal midget dreams.
Gratuitous David Bowie.
I'll be here with the occasional dose of reality.
[fading] You need that when you're watching a David Lynch movie. How many of you have seen "Eraserhead" or "Blue Velvet"? I love "Blue Velvet"--it reminds me of visiting my granddaddy when he was so far into the bottle he had to be roped into his chair to keep him from fallin over. I got a little soft spot for those times. Grandpa always tilted a little bit even BEFORE he got drunk. He had that Masonic lodge head injury, you know."
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Commercial Break #1
"Okay, let's try and make sense of what's happened so far. There's a dead woman named Theresa Banks who has the letter "T" stuck under her fingernail. If you recall from the TV series, Laura Palmer's corpse had a letter under the fingernail--the letter "R." But I don't remember what it meant. Did we ever find out what that meant? I'm a big help, aren't I? I don't think we found out.
I think that was one of those things people with too much time on their hands wrote academic papers about-- the meaning of the letter "R," the references to old film noir pictures, the parallels to Edgar Allen Poe. Like they'd go, "Well, there was a 'J' found in Laura Palmer's diary, and an 'R' under her fingernail-- that's a filmic reference to 'Who shot J.R.?,' Laura's partner in TV cliffhanging." And meanwhile, David Lynch is saying, "Yes, that may be correct, sir. May I have my check, please. I'm weird.
You must pay to see my weirdness. That'll be a hundred thousand dollars. Thank you." That is, of course, David Lynch as the deaf FBI agent Gordon Cole, and the singer Chris Isaak is pretty good in this, but I think hands-down the best performance is by Kiefer Sutherland as the geeky forensics guy. I love him in this next scene, so roll it.
[fading] Big surprise that the best performance is by . . . the actor. So far the people in the movie are the director of the thing, a musician, some kinda mime, a gal playing dead, and . . . a movie star. I'm really steppin out there, going out on a limb, aren't I?"
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Commercial Break #2
"See, that's cheating. If David Lynch is gonna be weird, he can't just put Harry Dean Stanton in the movie as the trailer park manager. Harry Dean Stanton makes ANYbody's movie weird. Just say the NAME Harry Dean Stanton, and everyone goes "Weirdo." That's a SHORTCUT weirdness. Okay, so far I understand about . . . two-thirds of what's going on in this movie.
I don't get the old hag with the ice pack, or the telephone pole with the number six on it, but I'm not gonna dwell on it.
I'm probly doin pretty well, considering that they cut 20 minutes outta this thing after it was almost booed off the screens during its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 92. In fact, the guy who co-wrote it with David Lynch, Robert Engels, said they wrote enough story to do a whole other movie, and they shot about five hours worth of footage, and then the thing tanked and officially ended all the "Twin Peaks" mania, which we'll get into later. What I wanna say now is that I hope we get to see more of Theresa Banks, cause from that picture of her, she's pretty hot in the live state. She's played by Pamela Gidley-- one of the stars of the TV show "The Pretender."
I'm gonna have to check that show out. Okay, roll it.
[fading] What is "The Pretender" about? Some guy who solves crime by disguising himself, right? Is that the one with the guy who has that weird haircut, with the bangs? Or is that "The Profiler"? You know that guy I'm talking about? Whatever show he's on, he should lose the bangs. Or he should stay in El Lay, which is probly the only place you can away with that without gettin the crap beaten outta you. Maybe it's "The Profiler." Everybody says that these days: "I'm gonna profile him." "I can't go out with you until I profile you." Isn't that something you do for serial killers? "Ernie, we're not shooting this next segment until I profile you."
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Commercial Break #3
"WHAT THE HECK was that David Bowie scene about? I know David Lynch likes to be mysterious, but I have no goldurn idea what was goin on there. That's a scene they coulda taken the scissors to, in my opinion.
And speaking of cutting things out, the parental hand of TNT spared us a little something when that famous "Twin Peaks" music came up on Laura Palmer, who, before we got a hold of the film, was partaking in a little illegal snortage before class, if you know what I mean. Which is why she was acting like a freak with Bobby and James. And I'm wracking my brain trying to remember which one was her boyfriend, and which one she was having an affair with on the TV show.
I think James was the goodie-good boyfriend, but he had a thing for Lara Flynn Boyle, who was Laura Palmer's best friend. Whoa, that was weird. Okay, back to the movie.
[fading] You know who really went bonkers for "Twin Peaks" was the Japanese. They had fake funerals for Laura Palmer, and thousands of em went on group tours to Washington State to stay in the Lodge where Special Agent Dale Cooper stayed, and get their pictures taken lying in the mud wrapped up in plastic. I love the Japanese. They got no qualms about being total nerds, you know? I love that."
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Commercial Break #4
"Okay, what's the little twerp in the mask for? I mean, I'll never object to a midget, but I have to halfway understand it. Anyway, that's Moira Kelly playing the Lara Flynn Boyle part. Lara Flynn Boyle just got too big to do the movie, after the smashing success of "The Temp." What's she doing now? She's in "The Practice," right? Have you seen her recently? She's in that club with Calista Flockhart from "Ally McBeal"-- the "I'm a famous actress now so I have to whittle down to 90 pounds" Club.
What's with these gals? Lara Flynn Boyle's neck is the size of my pinky finger. And Calista Flockhart's just all lips. You guys know what I'm talking about? Courtney Cox is in the club, too. Or am I the only one who thinks she's a tad thin?
She's like a size negative 4.
I got that directly from an inside source on "Friends." Okay, I'm gettin sidetracked. Let's get back to "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me."
[fading] You know who's NOT thin. Sheryl Lee. Laura Palmer's lookin a little thick around the gills. She was basically cast as a dead body for the TV show, and now she's carrying an entire movie. She oughta lose some weight. She's ballooned up to 97, 98 pounds."
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Commercial Break #5
"That last part ended with a soap-opera shot. [demonstrates] Track in on me. You know how they do that? VERY creepy scene with the father and the whole hand-washing thing. We already know from the show that Bob was really her father, right? Like everybody else, I kinda lost interest during the second season. Well, let's keep it goin. Maybe something interesting happens.
[fading] Who's this movie aimed at? If you WATCHED "Twin Peaks," you know how it ends. If you DIDN'T watch "Twin Peaks," you're probly going, "What the flying frijole is this? Then there are the people in the middle. They think it's a movie about Carol Doda, the most famous stripper in the history of San Francisco. She trademarked the name "Twin Peaks" when David Lynch was still breast-feeding. Of course, he breast-fed to the age of 34."
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Commercial Break #6
"Okay, I don't know what the hayull is going on here. What's that midget with the speech impediment doing here? Where are the COOKIES? Did I miss something? And what was that girl with the bloody nose saying in Laura Palmer's bed? The fraction of this movie that I can make sense of has dropped to about one-eighth, tops. I don't think the TV show was this brooding. There were donuts everywhere, and Kyle MacLachlan walkin around lookin all fresh-faced. There was this kinda goofiness that made it fun to watch. This is fun like being blindfolded and spun around till you puke is fun. You know, at first it's cool, but then there's just vomit everywhere. Am I discouraging viewing here? I don't mean to. We're going a little deeper into the netherworld known as One-Eyed Jack's now--you might enjoy that. Go.
[fading] You know what I miss most? Sherilyn Fenn. Tying the cherry stem with her tongue. Remember that? David Lynch didn't INVENT that, you know. There's a least one girl in every Texas bar who can do that. She just popularized it for the masses. Let's go to a bar tonight, you guys, after the show."
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Commercial Break #7
"Does Laura Palmer start bawling in every other scene, or is that my imagination? Well, I think we can all figure out where Laura Palmer's twin peaks came into play. Why, she's a One-Eyed Jack's girl! And there's some kinda link to Theresa Banks, but I don't know what the heck it is, cause even though that whole scene was subtitled, I still can't understand half of it. "I'm as blank as a fart."
What does that mean? I would probly use that in my personal life if I knew what it meant. The British version of this flick doesn't even HAVE the subtitles, cause David Lynch kept changing his mind about whether they should be in there or not, and by the time he decided they SHOULD, the Brits had already made all the prints of the film WITHOUT em. So if you saw this baby in England, you'd probly be banging your head on the back of the seat in front of you.
On the other hand, those backwards scenes might've been kinda cool without the subtitles. It's hard to say. All right, let's get on with it.
[fading] I like that little Lesbetarian fantasy Leland Palmer had of Laura and Donna in their undies, inspired by the tete-a-tete they were having on the couch.
Chicks always sit around arm-in-arm with their faces close like that. It's very natural. In the movie world. Not in my world. In my world, even the lesbians don't do that. The lesbians I know are watching the game, having a cold one, like God intended. In their plaid work shirts."
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Commercial Break #8
"OH, so it WASN'T a fantasy Leland had with Laura and Donna in their undies. Theresa Banks was sharing her Lady of the Evening duties with Mr. Palmer's daughter. Naughty, naughty. Wasn't there a TV movie like that, where the husband is patronizing a certain "escort" service, and he ends up being sent his own daughter one night? And then the whole family starts falling apart? "A Family Torn Asunder: Portrait of an Embarrassing Father- Daughter Moment," starring James Brolin. On the Lifetime Network. Something like that.
Okay, let's get back to the flick. Bobby killed Mike. If only we could remember who Mike was.
[fading] I should point out that it might not have been James Brolin in that TV movie. I don't want Barbra Streisand's lawyers calling me up on Monday morning. I only use James Brolin as an EXAMPLE of an actor who might do that kind of movie. Not that James Brolin would. He's too good for that. He did the one about the hookers who are twin sisters."
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Commercial Break #9
"I must say, I think Sheryl Lee's pretty dang good when she's supposed to be, how shall we say, ON DRUGS.
Like that scene in the woods where she's cracking up before Bobby kills the dealer, and the one where she's talking on the phone and she keeps turning the receiver the wrong way. I really bought it. Remember how after "Twin Peaks," all these actors started poppin up all over the place? It was like if you were in that show, you couldn't a been hotter. But then they all started disappearing. Like James Marshall, who plays the dim-witted James, was the dim-witted guy on trial in "A Few Good Men," but then he started doing cheesy TV movies like "The Unspoken Truth" and "She Stood Alone" and "All She Ever Wanted," stuff like that. And Grace Zabriskie, who's Laura's chain-smoking psycho mother, did some GREAT "Seinfeld" episodes as George's fiancee's psycho mother, and then SHE kinda disappeared. Madchen Amick, who was in this flick for about five seconds gettin bitch-slapped by her boyfriend, went brunette and had a little indie-film career that lasted about a day and a half.
"Sleepwalkers"--she was good in that. Sherilyn Fenn kinda comes and goes. And Sheryl Lee looked to be history till she got this show last fall, "L.A. Doctors," with that weenie guy from "thirty- something." Probly the only true success story is Lara Flynn Boyle, and now I'll probly get 200 letters and e-mails saying "Joe Bob, you dope, don't you know Heather Graham was in 'Twin Peaks'?!"
Well, EYE don't remember her, and what I don't remember, I don't talk about. I find I get into a lot less trouble that way. Hey, guess what? We're gonna find out who killed Laura Palmer now in the conclusion to "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me."
[fading] Well, EYE know who killed Laura Palmer, and YOU know who killed Laura Palmer, but there's one guy out there who was in a coma in the spring of 1990 who doesn't know. Don't ruin it for him."
"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" Outro
"Well, wasn't that interesting? Redneck orgy, incest, murder, prostitution. Angels and FBI agents--all your major David Lynch food groups. See, the trouble with this movie is that we didn't really learn anything new about Laura Palmer's death, did we?
We knew the father had this crazy alter-ego named Bob, and we knew he was having sex with her, and we knew he killed her. I think David Lynch at least coulda thrown us a bone, and had some interesting revelation about where Leland got the plastic or something.
Or made sense of those dang letters under the fingernails. And whatever happened to Chris Isaak, who disappeared in the first reel? You think David Lynch and his cronies were counting on a sequel? That movie made me kinda mad. I wanna remind you, though, that next week is, of course, the long-awaited Mark Hamill double-bill, "The Guyver" and "Time Runner," in which Mark tries to pay off the mansion he bought after "Star Wars."
And that's it for me, Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that it ain't the size, it's . . . no, wait--it IS the size.
Did you guys hear the one about the brunette who goes to the doctor? She starts touching every part of her body, saying, "Doctor, it hurts everywhere. My leg hurts, my arm hurts, my neck hurts, and even my head hurts!" The doctor says, "Are you naturally a blonde?" And the girl says, "Why yes, I am. Why do you ask?" The doctor says, "Because your finger is broken."
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.
[fading] Did you hear about the two blondes that were found frozen to death at the drive-in theater?
They went to see "Closed for Winter."
Why did the blonde stare at the can of frozen orange juice?
Because it said concentrate.
Why do blondes always smile during lightning storms?
They think their picture is being taken.
Why shouldn't blondes have coffee breaks?
It takes too long to retrain them."
Two and half stars
Joe Bob says check it out.