Originally filmed as a prequel to director David Lynch’s cult television series “Twin Peaks,” this movie appeared in theaters after the show was canceled and attempted to answer the big questions for diehard fans. Who would have wanted to kill high school prom queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) — and why? The usual suspects (Grace Zabriskie, Ray Wise and Kyle MacLachlan) reprise their roles alongside guest stars Kiefer Sutherland and David Bowie.
Directed by David Lynch
2 out of 10
This film is an absolute debacle. In one fell swoop, David Lynch managed to make us forget the talent he brought to the table with the brilliant “Blue Velvet” and the heartbreaking “Elephant Man” by taking a perfectly good TV series and reducing it to a laughing stock. Quentin Tarantino summed it up perfectly about this film when he said, “This film is proof that David Lynch has disappeared up his own ass.” Years later, he would redeem himself with the perfectly executed “Mulholland Drive”, but, that wouldn’t be for several years after this turd was released in 1990.
It starts out with detectives going to meet David Lynch (yes, he acts in this one too) and hear the mutterings of some retarded woman who is supposed to be leading the detectives to answers about a murder. And, if that isn’t the perfect fucking metaphor for watching the rest of this pile of cat shit, I don’t what is. We, as viewers, are then subjected to the most inane series of events that make little to no fucking sense and we’re supposed to decipher all of it like the detectives figured out the retarded woman’s bantering at the beginning.
The plot progression is not metaphorical, or artistic, or even coherent. They’re just baffling jigsaw puzzle pieces that never fit together. Why should any viewer be subjected to shit like this? I’m all for movies that don’t always give me answers. I find it’s interesting to be given the language by the director but I have to form the sentences and figure out the meaning. I may sound like a broken record mentioning “2001” but it’s a perfect comparison.
I never got clear cut answers from Stanley Kubrick about the Star Child, the monolith, or the meanings behind the space crews’ journey. But, I was given a framework and a foundation that I could make some decisions for myself. Twin Peaks doesn’t have any framework to guide us even into a world. David Lynch’s decisions seem based on the idea that he had no idea for the script and was winging it. Well, loyal followers of the TV series and Lynch’s other films deserve better.
It’s a fun midnight movie, like, The Room, but certainly not a good movie and it takes away from how good the series was.
I’d have to say that David Lynch redeemed himself well before the excellent Mulholland Drive. Lost Highway was a well received return to form, and The Straight Story was nominated for the Palm d’Or, Golden Globes, and and Oscar.