Twin Peaks (1990)
Directed by David Lynch

Starring Grace Zabriskie Kyle MacLachlan Lara Flynn Boyle Michael Ontkean Miguel Ferrer Mädchen Amick Russ Tamblyn Sheryl Lee

David Lynch, fresh off the success of his "Blue Velvet" cult favorite, recast Kyle McLachlan as Agent Dale Cooper, who drives into a town known as Twin Peaks, where the local Homecoming Queen, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) has been murdered. Originally produced as a pilot for the excellent TV series of the same name, the version released on video features an alternate ending that reveals the identity of Laura's killer, sort of. That pilot became a theatrical movie in Europe.

The series still has a huge public following around the world, and a follow up movie to the show, "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me," enjoyed wide release in the U.S., but didn't pack the excellence of either the first movie/pilot or the series. The basic story: On the morning of February 27, in the town of Twin Peaks, Washington state, lumberjack Pete Martell discovers a naked corpse tightly wrapped in a sheet of clear plastic on the bank of a river. Following the arrival of Sheriff Harry S. Truman, his deputies, and Dr. Will Hayward on the scene, the body is discovered to be that of homecoming queen Laura Palmer, the most popular girl at the local high school. The news spreads among the town's residents - particularly Laura's family and friends - who react in various ways. Meanwhile, just across the state line, a second girl, Ronette Pulaski, is found walking along the railroad tracks in a fugue. Since Ronette was discovered across the state line, the FBI (Special Agent Dale Cooper) is called in to investigate. Cooper's initial examination of Laura's body reveals a tiny typed letter 'R' inserted under her fingernail. He recognizes this as the "calling card" of a killer who took the life of Teresa Banks a year earlier in a town described as "in the southwest corner of the state."

Now the series still enjoys a devoted cult following, but a small one. The supernatural and heavily horror-themed show served as inspiration for "The X Files."

Cast members have also frequently turned up in horror films. Eric Da Re (who played Leo) was seen in the second "Silent Night, Deadly Night" sequel, while Madchen Amick was in "Sleepwalkers" and Ray Wise in "Jeepers Creepers 2." Grace Zabriskie was seen in "The Grudge" and Piper Laurie played the mother in Brian De Palma's "Carrie." Russ Tamblyn was in "Dracula vs. Frankenstein."

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


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