Y’all will likely have heard of the ongoing challenge to have “Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me” – director David Lynch’s movie prequel to the early ’90s TV series – released in either it’s originally unNewLined form or for a DVD or Blu-ray to be released containing the many deleted scenes that were cut from the 1992 picture.
I spoke to “Peaks” EP and writer Bob Engels last year who, upon being asked the question, didn’t do much to raise anyone’s hopes – even questioning whether the scenes were shot :
Caffeinated Clint : I remember reading that original 200-page script and, if I recall correctly, there was a lot more with Dale Cooper and Sam Stanley in it.
Bob Engels : Yeah, I think so. I don’t remember, but I think so. Like I said, the script was long but… I think we had them on another case, and then that case led to this case.
Caffeinated Clint : So none of that stuff was filmed?
Bob Engels : No, I don’t think any of that was filmed. There was, however, probably another forty-minutes or so of stuff that was actually filmed that didn’t make it into the movie. Everybody in the series we wrote a part for. And then, as I recall, there was more with the David Bowie character. But everyone had their moment – we were very faithful, we brought everyone back. A lot of it was written and a lot of it was shot. When it was clear it was too long, David started to cut it down.
Caffeinated Clint : Do you think we will ever see these legendary deleted scenes?
Bob Engels : I don’t know if those scenes still exist or not. I’m not bullshitting here – I don’t know if they exist or not. I know they shot them, and I saw some of them, but I don’t know if they’re gone or if they’re somewhere or… my guess is that they’re gone or they would’ve turned up on the internet. A film house would’ve come across them by now.
But fast forward to a year or so later… and we’ve a few tweets from “Peaks” co-creator Mark Frost suggesting otherwise (with thanks to FWWM Fight) :
Lynch decided to make a ”Twin Peaks” movie because, as he said 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.” Tracing the events before the series pilot, “Fire Walk With Me” jets back to the last seven days of Laura Palmer (the brilliant Sheryl Lee), the murdered prom queen of the series. Out of control, hornier than ever and just begging for affliction, Palmer’s got herself mixed up in an interchanging reality where men find her alluring, she finds sex overpowering, and soul-sucking demon fiends possess those close to her, preparing for her looming death. Yep, Laura Palmer’s on a one-way trip to hell. Following the inexplicable disappearance of colleague, Agent Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak), pro snooper Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is called into action to head up an investigation to pick up where his predecessor left off. Seems a body floating in the water, belonging to a woman named Theresa Banks, leaves a path of clues and insight into revealing the man responsible for such gruesome acts.
Though Lynch was forced to make some drastic cuts to the film pre-release, “Fire Walk With Me” is still an intriguing and visually arresting film experience. Sheryl Lee gives an award-worthy performance as the demonized Laura Palmer, while there’s great (if even too brief) turns from the likes of Kyle MacLachlan (briefly reprising his role as agent Dale Cooper – - who, quite frankly, the film needed more of), Harry Dean Stanton, crooner Chris Isaak, Gary Bullock and a twitchy Kiefer Sutherland. The star of the show might be Ray Wise though, again brilliant as the maniacal Leland Palmer. The cinematography, music and production design is also excellent.
I first saw “Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me” in November of 2003 at an Art House theatre in Melbourne. First session. First day. Not unexpectedly, quite a few folks turned up dressed as their favourite “Twin Peaks” characters – one lass was dressed in a plastic sheet, a few guys came as James Hurley, and those that didn’t want to go the whole hog, simply wore a “Twin Peaks” T-Shirt. It was an event though. And I can’t say I’ve been to a screening as wild as it since.
Meantime, hit up the new FWWM Fight Facebook page to request those ‘deleted scenes’ be released!