“Fire Walk With Me” disappointed many “Twin Peaks” fans because of what questions if chose not to answer, despite answering many other questions and posing quite a few more. Much darker and with less of the quirky humor of the TV show, “Fire Walk With Me” shows us the final seven days of Laura Palmer’s life as she reaches the ends of her sanity and ability to withstand the intentions of the demonic BOB entity that seems to originate in the evil of the Black Lodge in the forests surrounding the town.
The film was controversial also for the many mainstay TV show characters that did not appear, such as Audrey and Ben Horne, Big Ed and Norma, the Sheriff and his crew, and for its forced re-casting of Donna. On top of that we have the reported reluctance of Kyle MacLachlan to return to the franchise until filming had already begun. One wonders whether FBI agents Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak) and Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) would have appeared in the film at all if MacLachlan had been on board from the start.
We are left with a somewhat disjointed film segueing jarringly from the investigation of the murder of Teresa Banks in the town of Deer Meadow one year prior to Laura Palmer’s murder, into the final seven days of Laura Palmer, via a confusing dreamlike Black Lodge-style sequence briefly featuring David Bowie.
Rumored to top four hours before hitting the cutting room, the final film caused consternation, genuine anger, frustration, and a range of other more receptive reactions when it screened, and since then has slowly garnered wider appreciation as a critical chapter in the story of Laura Palmer, Dale Cooper, and the town of Twin Peaks.
During shooting, Sheryl Lee drew heavily on the “Secret Diary of Laura Palmer,” written by David Lynch’s 22 year-old daughter Jennifer Lynch, and the result is a truly moving portrait of the tragedy at the heart of the Twin Peaks mythos: the irrecoverable descent of the town’s homecoming queen into wanton self-annihilation, and her final destruction at the hands of the possessive forces at work in the town.