From the Chicago Reader (August 1, 1992). Having recently seen or reseen the “complete” Twin Peaks to date, in the splendid Blu-Ray box set (subtitled The Entire Mystery and The Missing Pieces), I no longer agree with this review. I was obviously part of the backlash consensus that was still recovering from the gradual deterioration of the series during its often lamentable second season (only part of which I’d watched at the time), and though I still regard this prequel feature as uneven and at times uncertain — an impression confirmed by the 90-odd minutes of deleted or initially trimmed sequences found in the box set’s extras, some of which are superior to many of the scenes included in the original release version — it clearly deserved more respect and attention than it got from me and most other reviewers at the time.
So I’m happy to learn that Lynch and Mark Frost are now preparing nine new Twin Peaks episodes — all of them to be directed by Lynch, to be set in the present, and to air on American cable TV’s Showtime in 2016. — J.R.
The 1992 prequel to David Lynch and Mark Frost’s famous but short-lived TV series, this deals with the events leading up to the murder of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in a Pacific northwest town that suggests a somewhat funnier and kinkier version of Peyton Place. It has its moments, but not many, and generally speaking it runs neck and neck with Dune as the least successful and interesting Lynch feature. The story involves a lot of heavy breathing about the evil that lurks in supposedly innocent small towns, with various intimations of sexual abuse. The surrealist conceits work better here than the orgies, though both suggest that Lynch was badly in need of a rest and a change of pace. R, 135 min. (JR)