"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (and 1992 – Weird Summer epilogue)

Just as the Weird Summer of 1992 was wrapping up, New Line Cinema gave us arguably the season’s weirdest wide release. Sure, it played half as many screens as its fellow August 28, 1992 releases HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, PET SEMATARY II and FREDDIE AS F.R.O.7., but I think it’s fair to call it mainstream. There was awareness, it was based on a recently popular TV show, and it at least opened bigger than FREDDIE. As far as per screen averages it came in 4th place for the weekend.

TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME is, of course, David Lynch’s big screen prequel to his pop-culture-phenomenon TV series Twin Peaks. I’ll get into my history with the show later, but for now I’ll just note that I’m unfamiliar enough that I watched this as pretty much an outsider, looking at it almost as a stand alone movie.

And at first it really does fit into the indie releases of ’92 – it makes sense as a contemporary of NIGHT ON EARTH, ONE FALSE MOVE, RUBIN & ED, and JOHNNY SUEDE. It tells the story of FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole (David Lynch, ZELLY AND ME) teaming up stoic veteran Special Agent Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak, MARRIED TO THE MOB) and nerdy bow tie wearing rookie Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland, RENEGADES) to investigate the murder of a teenager named Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley, CHERRY 2000, HIGHWAY TO HELL) in the small town of Deer Meadow, Washington.

Though the subject matter is grim, there’s a dry, quirky humor here. When Desmond gets the call he’s in the middle of an unexplained arrest of women who maybe hijacked a school bus full of crying children? And I love the inexplicable hostility all the locals have for the visiting feds, and in Agent Desmond’s lack of reaction to it, not counting when he grabs a deputy’s nose and forces him into submission. That would be Deputy Cliff Howard (Rick Aiello, a.k.a. the cop who killed Radio Raheem). He and a secretary (Elizabeth McCarthy, THE DELINQUENTS) smirk and laugh at all of Desmond’s questions and won’t let him see the sheriff (Gary Bullock, ROBOCOP 2) until he forces his way in. They later examine the body and notice, for one thing, that her finger is missing a ring.

They stop for coffee at a diner where the deceased briefly worked, and talk to an older waitress named Irene (Sandra Kinder) who treats them just like the cops did. What is with these people? At the trailer park where the deceased lived the manager Carl (Harry Dean Stanton, WILD AT HEART) isn’t exactly welcoming at first either, but at least he has the excuse that an annoying number of people have come asking and “It just means more shit I gotta do now.” And he’s still nice enough to make them “a cup of Good Morning America.”

The clues lead Desmond to look under a trailer, where he finds the missing ring… and then it cuts to FBI headquarters in Philadelphia, where Cole says that Desmond has gone missing. Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan, THE HIDDEN) is telling Cole about a weird dream he had about some guy (David Bowie, LABYRINTH) coming for him and then he sees from the security cameras that the guy really was there and some other weird stuff happens, etc.

I’m not completely ignorant, I know that Cooper is the hero of the TV show, so I noted how cool it was that we got this whole prologue before he finally shows up 27 minutes in… not realizing that the prologue was supposed to be his main part, but MacLachlan was pissed about Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost mostly abandoning the show in season 2, and could only be talked into shooting a few scenes for the movie. I really like Desmond and the fact that when Cooper finds his abandoned car somebody wrote “Let’s rock” on the windshield, so I think it worked out for the best.

Cooper has a premonition/prediction about the next victim in this series of murders. He says it will be a blond, sexually active, drug using high school girl. The rest of the movie focuses on just such a girl, so even if we didn’t know there was a whole show about the investigation of her murder we’d know there was an expiration date on her.

This is the story of the last week of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee, WILD AT HEART)’s life. What started as an odd procedural now turns into a mix of teen melodrama and avant garde horror. Laura is (we later hear) the homecoming queen at Twin Peaks high school, and she’s no angel, though she talks about angels and has a painting of them in her room. Her hobbies include cocaine and two timing her “goon” boyfriend Bobby (Dana Ashbrook, WAXWORK) with motorcycle riding James (James Marshall, GLADIATOR). She works at a diner but also goes to a bar called The Roadhouse where the bartender Jacques (Walter Olkewicz, 1941) pimps her out to adult men.

“So you wanna fuck the homecoming queen,” Laura says to two johns with withering disdain, but they sure don’t seem ashamed of themselves. (This is also the fantasy of Sean Connery’s character in THE ROCK and the cops who quote him in AMBULANCE, though in those cases it’s supposed to be a triumph instead of a violation.)

Most of the movie is light on plot, medium on puzzling dream imagery, heavy on mood. The latter really struck me in the scene where Laura ditches her best friend Donna (Moira Kelly, THE CUTTING EDGE) and goes alone to the Bang Bang Club (or the Roadhouse? Is it the same place?), the bar in this little lumber town where you can walk in and see Julee Cruise and a full band with some surreal blue lighting. Laura listens to the song and starts crying. I guess it’s because she’s about to turn tricks, but in the moment I thought she just walked in during a vulnerable time, felt utterly alone in a crowded public place, and was moved by the music. I liked that.

The title is one of many cryptic phrases uttered in the film, but I think it describes the situation when Donna follows Laura to the Roadhouse, sees her with the johns and joins her as a naive act of support or protection. Earlier they hypothetically discussed “falling in space,” and “going faster and faster” and how “for a long time you wouldn’t feel anything.” I think Donna wants to intervene before Laura has to, in her words, “burst into fire… forever.”

So she goes with Laura and these disgusting older men (one calls Laura and another friend “my high school sandwich”) to a topless lounge to drink drugged beer and perform lewd acts. The only memory I had of this movie from renting it in the VHS era was that I liked this scene taking place in a bar with loud live music and subtitling what the characters are saying to each other rather than cheating on the sound mix.

This is still I think my favorite part of the movie other than the Desmond prologue. It’s sleazy and gross but it has such a vivid feeling of being a teenager just hanging out in a place that feels dangerous. Donna stands wide-eyed with these large adult men and her fearless, experienced friend, probly not knowing they gave her a beer with pills in it, feigning laughter at their jokes to pretend to be comfortable and understand what they’re talking about – which is honestly kind of how I felt watching the movie at that point, not sure how well I’m actually following it, but trying to go with the flow.

Their voices being so drowned out by the music gives the scene an unusual authenticity, but also a creepy sense of distance that moves organically into the dizzy disorientation as the drugs kick in.

Crucially, the “(loud instrumental blues rock),” as the subtitles call it, is a moody, aimless instrumental, not performing for anybody, just laying into the same groove over and over, the same riff chugging along with nowhere to go. Again, kinda how the movie feels at this point. It almost feels like time has stopped. The scene finally does come to a conclusion when Laura sees drugged-out Donna topless and writhing with one of the men. She runs over furious, panicked, throws a sweater over Donna’s breasts, abruptly protective of her friend’s innocence.

The transition from that long sequence to the next is perfect – a pan across the bar floor covered in a preposterous amount of cigarette butts, ashes and Rainier bottles dissolves to foggy Washington forest land. That’s the full spectrum of this town.

Reading about the movie afterwards I saw Lynch and Lee call it a story about a struggling incest survivor. That didn’t specifically come across to me without the context of the TV show, but Laura’s fucked up father Leland (Ray Wise, CAT PEOPLE) is clearly the source of her issues. At the dinner table he bizarrely fixates on her hands allegedly being unclean, then accuses of her of being promiscuous. Later he comes up into her room crying, saying he loves her and “Good night, princess.” He doesn’t quite say he’s sorry, though.

Donna lives with a similarly possessive/cleanliness-obsessed prick (Eric DaRe, SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT III: BETTER WATCH OUT!) who yells at her about scrubbing kitchen tiles and hits her. Men in this movie pretend to be fanatic guardians of women as cover for their love of defiling them. Seems familiar.

Another malevolent masculine force in Laura’s life is Bob (Frank Silva, property master, ONE FALSE MOVE), who I remember a little bit about from the show but here he seems to be either a psychotic delusion who only exists in Laura’s mind or a demonic force who she sees peeping in her window and finds crawling on top of her. She yells “Who are you?” until his face turns into her father’s. I guess that’s the confirmation of incest, but I took it as a symbolic nightmare premonition, like Luke seeing his own face under Darth Vader’s mask in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Did you guys know David Lynch turned down RETURN OF THE JEDI? A little rare trivia for you there – I’m gonna make that the headline of this review for clickbait purposes.

Reading that Leland raped his daughter changes what I thought was the movie’s big revelation about him. Flashbacks reveal the Deer Meadow murder victim Teresa was also a teenage prostitute, and sanctimonious Leland was (of course) one of her regulars. He tells her he wants to party with “those friends” she mentioned before but when he shows up for the tryst he sees (just in time to duck out) that one of them is Laura. So in my misunderstood reading of it it’s like there you go, creep. You’re practically victimizing your own daughter. (But not literally.)

It’s cool that Lee was (from what I understand) only in flashbacks on the show, but here she’s alive and she’s the main attraction and gets to give a hell of a performance. She plays mischievous, she plays lusty, she plays falling over giggling drunk, she also plays completely broken, panicked, and in one scene I think goes mega with the crying. I called WILD AT HEART “a juvenile delinquent drive-in movie from another dimension,” and I think this has a little bit of that too. Laura Palmer is the beloved prom queen who’s secretly the town terror, but every ounce of the movie’s sympathy is with her. All the adult men in her life are bastards and the young men are dressed up like they think they’re James Dean but they have about as much charisma as a bag of potatoes. I thought it was funny that Bobby wears a flannel tied around his waist (the ol’ Steve Isaacs) and a leather jacket that has a letter T on the back – I think meaning he lettered in football or whatever. All the archetypes in one. There’s also a scene where she goes to see the dumb poet boyfriend from LEAVING NORMAL (Lenny von Dohlen, ELECTRIC DREAMS) and he almost seems like the same character.

Much of the creepiness in the movie comes from the surreal dream sequences and people saying things that are either completely nonsensical or nearly impossible to decode just by watching the movie once. Things you can’t understand leave you feeling a loss of control. In the end this mixes with something more commonplace in scary movies: men who rape and murder, and the death of Laura Palmer. That was inevitable, but Lynch offers her some solace, I suppose, seeing an angel (Lorna MacMIllan) floating above her in… Heaven, or a dream, or whatever the fuck. She responds with what looked to me like devastation, then tears of joy, then an evil smile. Could be any or all of those things.

Theatrically released movies continuing TV shows still aren’t hugely common, but they especially weren’t back then. It had been a couple decades since shows like Dobie Gillis, Batman, The Munsters, The Monkees, Dark Shadows and H.R. Pufnstuf had gotten movies. In the ‘80s there had been some big screen companions to cartoons (G.I. Joe, GoBots, The Transformers), there had been Muppet movies and FOLLOW THAT BIRD. And in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s we started getting the adaptations of TV shows recast with movie stars (DRAGNET, THE ADDAMS FAMILY). And there had been THE NAKED GUN: FROM THE FILES OF POLICE SQUAD, a movie version of a TV show most people who saw the movie didn’t know existed. Otherwise the closest precedent to something like FIREWALK WITH ME were the six original cast Star Trek films released from 1979 to 1991. It would be years before shows like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, The X-Files, Firefly, Entourage, Hannah Montana, Sex & the City, and Downton Abbey moved their adventures to a larger canvas. Even still, this feels like something different from any of those.

Though initially a sensation, the show’s ratings declined in the second season, and ABC cancelled it. Since Lynch and Aaron Spelling Productions (yes, the 90210 company) had intended a third season, they quickly announced that the story would be concluded in a trilogy of films. Co-creator Mark Frost wanted to do a sequel, not a prequel, so he left and did his movie STORYVILLE (also released that summer, and I should’ve reviewed it, but I ran out of time, sorry).

FIRE WALK WITH ME, I think we can agree, does not seem like it gives two flying fucks about being commercial enough to kick off a trilogy. And of course it did not. It didn’t make back its small budget, it got very divided reviews, and it generally had a reputation as a disappointment for fans. I think that’s mainly because it sets aside the quirk that brought many to the show, instead focusing on the dark and tragic through the esoteric arthouse nightmare style of Lynch’s subsequent films. I like that the opening credits play out over a closeup of television snow. It starts out blurry and abstract, starts to get clearer, but almost hypnotic, then the camera pulls out to show the TV just before it’s smashed in a fit of violence. As if to say that this is not the TV show, this is something else. He tried to warn you!

It’s irrelevant in the context I’m watching it, but I’m sure people were also bothered by the small part for Cooper and other major characters not being present. Some cast members had scheduling conflicts, some didn’t want to participate, many filmed scenes that were cut because the movie was much too long and Lynch chose sort of almost making some kind of vague sense for this specific story over checking off all the boxes of who you’d expect to see from the TV show.

And that’s why FIRE WALK WITH ME is a perfect capper for Weird Summer. Here is a director with an opportunity to try for a crowd pleaser making the deliberate choice to go another direction. 30 years later the movie is much more appreciated, in the Criterion Collection, called a masterpiece by some. Lynch used some of the things he set up in Twin Peaks: The Return, a limited series that by all reports leans heavy into the arcane David Lynch shit, but by that time there was a large audience that wanted, expected and embraced it.

Here’s my history with Twin Peaks. I watched it when it aired, when I was a teenager, but not from episode 1. Maybe not from season 1? In those days you didn’t expect to have to watch every episode of a show to understand it, you just tuned in when you wanted. My parents, who never watched a David Lynch movie in their lives and did not go for the weird shit, nevertheless loved it for a while. My mom bought the soundtrack CD and wore it out. But in season 2 it got “too weird” and they stopped watching and that’s when I got more into it. Creepy owls, the little guy talking backwards, zig zaggy floors, all that shit. The weirder the better, at that age. I was into political allegory and stuff but I didn’t need to find meaning in a thing – I loved it if it was aggressively hard to understand. If my parents were turned off by it being weird or people were outraged about the Penguin being too scary for kids that seemed like a badge of honor to me. Getting something in front of normal people that made them uncomfortable seemed subversive.

One of the few goofy scenes in FIRE WALK WITH ME is right at the beginning when Cole welcomes Agent Desmond at a small airport with the “surprise” of a young woman named Lil (Kimberly Ann Cole) who wears a bright red dress and does a little dance. Later in the car Stanley remarks on that being “really something” and Desmond explains that it was actually a coded message. Her “sour face” meant “we’re going to have trouble with the local authorities,” both eyes blinking meant “trouble higher up,” one hand in her pocket meant “they are hiding something,” etc. It’s funny because as far as I can tell there’s zero reason to keep any of that secret and also it doesn’t help them in any way.

At the end they discuss a particular detail about her dress:

“Did you notice what was pinned to it?” Desmond asks.

“A blue rose,” says Stanley.

“Very good,” says Desmond. “But I can’t tell you about that.” And he doesn’t.

Later Cooper will say that the Teresa Banks murder is “one of Cole’s Blue Rose cases,” so it’s a classification for a certain type of case. A wiki on fandom.com describes it as a case involving the supernatural or UFOs – basically an X-File, I guess. I’d like to forget about that context, though, because I like this scene as a description of Lynch’s approach. A whole lot of symbols, some of them maybe mean something, though good fucking luck decoding it on your own. And some of them – sorry, I can’t tell you about that.

I never went full blown into Twin Peaks, but in my twenties I considered myself a Lynch fan. I probly would’ve had BLUE VELVET and THE ELEPHANT MAN on my list of favorite movies. I liked ERASERHEAD too. I often listened to the soundtrack, with the eery wind sound effects and all. I rented On the Air and Hotel Room. I went and saw LOST HIGHWAY when it came out. I didn’t get it but I thought I kinda liked it.

By the time of MULHOLLAND DR. my relationship to the weird had changed a little, though. I actually reviewed that one for The Ain’t It Cool News because I went to an early screening of it at an art museum. Naomi Watts and I guess it was Richard Green, who is credited as “The Magician” in the movie, presented the movie. He just kept raving about how brilliant she was and all the awards she should win and it seemed like he really had it bad for her. It’s weird to think of now because she wasn’t very famous yet. I knew her from TANK GIRL.

I liked the movie but I had a different experience from most people. You may remember that MULHOLLAND DR. was originally shot to be a TV series. The new Twin Peaks. A co-worker loaned me a tape of the pilot, so I saw it in that form before it was turned into a movie. When you see it that way you see it as an introduction to a world and characters and a set of mysteries that will be explored over the course of the series. When you then see it as a movie it seems mostly like that pilot but then with a bunch nonsense tagged on at the end in the place of what would’ve been the meat of the show. Most people seemed to take that stuff like Lil’s dance, they thought each little thing had a specific meaning. I thought it was just an empty box for you to fill, and instead of accepting it for that, I thought of it like a scam. Like he didn’t know where it was going so he figured just slap some weird shit on the screen, nobody will know the difference. So I didn’t keep up with the Lynch movies after that or ever go back and watch the rest of Twin Peaks.

But I continue to change. Now I think my attitude back then was as superficial as when I just wanted to see some weird shit that would freak people out. Now I hope I’m more open-minded about there being a wide range of approaches to movie making. Not all of them are for everybody, and I’m included in everybody. I recognize that I tend to prefer something a little more narratively structured and direct than some of those Lynch movies. But it doesn’t need to be as long as I can find some hook or idea that I can connect to emotionally, or relate to something about life that I care about. This summer I found a little slice of that in FIRE WALK WITH ME, I found more than ever of it in ALIEN 3, I found it in BATMAN RETURNS just as I always have.

If we look at the subsequent career trajectories of many of the directors of Weird Summer (see Appendix) we can see that it’s very possible – or at least was back then – for directors who make movies that only appeal to a niche audience to survive and/or prosper, especially if they don’t retreat after a perceived failure. And I suspect that coming of age as a movie fan in that era is part of why those are the type of directors I respect most. I love mainstream pop culture and franchises and shit but I can’t relate to these people that want to make the biggest, widest appealing movies, the people who talk like corporations instead of artists, who want to have brands and make content instead of using this medium to express something that’s inside them or that’s unique to them. That can mean something inscrutable like FIRE WALK WITH ME or LIGHT SLEEPER and it can also mean Tim Burton taking the actual biggest pop culture icon of the time and painting it in his personal obsessions.

We have good movies now, and we have good directors, even working within the system where most of the big budgets go to established comic book universes and other types of name brand remakes, reboots and sequels. But I think most of them see themselves as professionals hired to please the studio and “give the fans what they want.” Sometimes they put their spin on it, but how often do they put their soul into it? And how many of their movies will stand out as a singular work 30 years later like BATMAN RETURNS does, or even like the hated-in-its-time and disavowed-by-its-director ALIEN 3 does? Worse, there don’t seem to be directors even trying to make something like that. That’s what needs to change. Fuck being a salesman. Be a weirdo.

Epilogue: Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis)

I started the summer obsessed with Check Your Head, and that didn’t wear off, but some time around September 8, 1992 I picked up another CD that changed my life. This is one I bet most of you never heard of, so I’d love to hear if anyone else here is into it or what you think if you check it out.

The group is called Praxis, the album is Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis), produced by Bill Laswell. It’s hard to encapsulate Laswell for the uninitiated, but he’s a fusion bass player who co-wrote and produced Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” (the song that birthed a million turntablists) and later with his label Axiom masterminded a whole universe of genre-defying experimental music with legends like Sonny Sharrock, Archie Shepp, Henry Threadgill, Pharaoh Sanders, Tony Williams, the Last Poets and even William S. Burroughs. I first learned of him because I was obsessed with Parliament-Funkadelic, and in the ‘90s he started using some of them on his projects (I think The Third Power by Material might’ve been the first one that got me).

So in ’92 along comes this new Laswell project built around my absolute favorites, Bootsy Collins on space bass and Bernie Worrell on keyboards. I knew the drummer Brain was from a band called Limbomaniacs, because Laswell produced their album. Scratches (and, I later learned, other strange sounds) were provided by someone credited as AF Next Man Flip (Lord of the Paradox), better known as Afrika Baby Bam from the Jungle Brothers. And on guitar was a head-spinningly talented 22-year-old called Buckethead. On the fish-eye-len back cover photo he’s wearing what we now know as his trademark white plastic mask; I couldn’t tell his hat was a KFC bucket until I read about it elsewhere. All I had to go by was the name and the playing.

How do you describe this album? It’s part futuristic funk jams, part weird metal, a little bit of dystopic hip hop, even a little new age. In method (but not sound) it’s kind of jazz, I think – two veteran virtuosos with decades of experience laying it down both on stage and in studios getting together to improvise and bounce off of some young up-and-comers, building it into songs that allow them to take turns going wild on.

The unlikely combination of these people at this time jamming in the studio under Laswell’s direction created something unlike I’d heard or have heard since. It’s all instrumental except for the single “Animal Behavior,” on which Bootsy sings, but mostly ad libs (“Hey Buckethead – what’s in the bucket, man? Ey Brain, whatchyoo thinkin about? ”). The rest swerves through funk grooves, sledge hammering metal guitars, spacey Worrell organ dirges, sounds of power tools, telephones and electronic toys. Buckethead alternates between sounding like some Cenobite-Terminator covered in drills, a malfunctioning super computer, and a rollercoaster running out of tracks, but then he’ll turn on a dime and play a solo that sounds like it’s torn straight from his heart. A robot with a soul. As a devout fan of vintage Japanese sci-fi, he also covers the theme from his favorite show Giant Robot, and also one of Akira Ifukube’s GODZILLA themes, treating them with the reverence of national anthems. In the “Animal Behavior” video he gets decapitated in a battle with Rammellzee wearing one of his robot-monster suits.

Transmutation is a perfect alchemy of the shit I love. My favorite bass player and keyboardist pushed into the craziest, most futuristic side of their genius to keep up with the hungry young weirdos they’ve found themselves in a room with. Laswell was the best at getting those guys to evolve their sound for the ‘90s without pandering to what was popular or leaning too heavily on nostalgia. But Transmutation is Bootsy and Bernie absolutely unleashed, experimental, free, pure, clearly excited to fly down the different corridors opened up by these unusual sounds flying at them. Most of their peers were playing greatest hit shows at casinos (and more power to them) but Bootsy and Bernie were off exploring new planets. It’s probly not what most old school funk fans wanted out of them, but for my specific tastes it was better than I could’ve ever dreamed.

I dubbed it on a tape that stayed permanently in the tape deck in the car, and I played it over and over again. I haven’t driven in more than 20 years but I still listen to Transmutation, almost always front to back. The way this album sounds, that’s how I want the world to be. Monstrous funk, scorching guitars and hard beats slamming through all rules and limitations. Freak flags on every window. You don’t need to do what’s expected, what’s broadly appealing, what you know people want. You do what is thrilling in your soul and you trust that somebody somewhere is cool enough to appreciate it.

Appendix: Weird Summer Filmmaker Where Are They Now

We discussed most of this in the reviews, but it might be helpful to look at it all in one place.

DELICATESSEN’s rookie directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro went on to make the ‘90s fantasy classic THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, split up over Jeunet’s Hollywood sellout ALIEN: RESURRECTION (where BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER screenwriter Joss Whedon undid ALIEN 3’s death of Ripley). Jeunet then made the international smash AMELIE, followed by a couple more with mixed reception, disappeared for years, made a straight-to-Netflix one this year. Caro went mostly into the obscurity of experimental animation. Whedon made TV shows and a couple giant Marvel movies and was cancelled for being a dick.

THE PLAYER’s Robert Altman continued to be a respected auteur (plus one John Grisham movie) until his death in 2006. He was about to make a narrative version of the documentary HANDS ON A HARD BODY and The Rock was gonna be in it.

NIGHT ON EARTH’s Jim Jarmusch continues to be a one-of-a-kind indie filmmaker doing his own thing, with eight more features to his name since then (my favorite being GHOST DOG: WAY OF THE SAMURAI).

ONE FALSE MOVE director Carl Franklin has directed five movies since then, but none since 2012. Screenwriter/co-star Billy Bob Thornton soon became a hot indie director and screenwriter and then better known as an actor. Oh, and musician and subscriber to Famous Monsters of Filmland.

POISON IVY’s Katt Shea has not received as many opportunities as her male peers but seems happy with her recent output of NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE (2019) and this year’s dog drama RESCUED BY RUBY.

Somehow ALIEN 3’s David Fincher managed to navigate a career where he continues to make big, expensive, risky movies but only does projects where he can have complete control. He’s one of the era’s great perfectionist visionaries with ten more features so far, most of them great, and none of them sequels to other people’s shit (though he apparently came close to doing WORLD WAR Z 2!?)

ZENTROPA/EUROPA director Lars von Trier continued to make many acclaimed and/or controversial films, experimented with filmmaking techniques, mediums and artifice, became known as a provocateur, weirdo, etc. Unfortunately he has also been accused of sexual harassment by Bjork.

BATMAN RETURNS is interesting for Tim Burton’s career because is it a “one for them” or a “one for him”? It followed his very personal EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, but was weird enough to terrify those Happy Meal parents and the WB brass. Either way it was followed by a smaller, personal, black and white film that is arguably his best, ED WOOD. And at the same time he was producing the timeless classic THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS! Unfortunately I believe he used up most of his passion in those years and now makes movies that look cool but feel empty.

BOOMERANG director/BEBE’S KIDS writer Reginald Hudlin wrote Black Panther comics and ran BET for a while and has a new documentary about Sidney Poitier out this year.

GAS FOOD LODGING director Allison Anders has directed five theatrical features and three made-for-TV movies since. MI VIDA LOCA made her enough of a ‘90s indie hotshot to do a segment of FOUR ROOMS, and GRACE OF MY HEART is well liked. Of course she now directs TV shows and teaches film.

DEATH BECOMES HER director Robert Zemeckis’ next film FORREST GUMP was a smash hit and won six Oscars including best picture, and he went through a phase as the Serious Adult Director who did CONTACT and CAST AWAY. Nothing against him doing that but I’m way more interested in his period as the rule breaker who pioneered motion capture animated features with THE POLAR EXPRESS, BEOWULF and A CHRISTMAS CAROL, not giving a shit what anybody said about it. He has directed 13 features since ’92, including this year’s PINOCCHIO remake.

Jon Turteltaub followed 3 NINJAS with eight slicker, more expensive Disney movies plus LAST VEGAS and THE MEG.

Brian DePalma has directed nine features since RAISING CAIN, from the smart blockbuster spectacle of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE to the Cain-like thriller FEMME FATALE.

Clint Eastwood arguably had a career peak with best picture winner UNFORGIVEN, but (I can’t fucking believe this) has directed an astonishing 23 movies in the years since, most of them good, one of them (MILLION DOLLAR BABY) also winning best picture.

Michael Ritchie directed four more movies after DIGGSTOWN and died in 2001. They are not movies I’ve had any interest in watching, so let me know if you like any of them.

JOHNNY SUEDE’s Tom DiCillo went on to direct five more narrative features and two documentaries (the last one in 2014). At the very least he maintained his idiosyncratic tone and subject matter and didn’t just do a gig for a paycheck.

SINGLE WHITE FEMALE’s Barbet Schroeder has directed nine movies since then. I liked KISS OF DEATH.

Paul Schrader can’t beat Clint but he’s directed 15 movies since LIGHT SLEEPER if you include the made-for-TV WITCH HUNT. And he’s been in top form the last few years with FIRST REFORMED and THE CARD COUNTER (both following a similar template to LIGHT SLEEPER).

David Lynch has only directed four movies since FIRE WALK WITH ME, but 18 episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return counts for something, and he paints and roasts coffee and stuff. He seems to have done whatever the fuck he wants the whole time, as is the dream.


And that’s murder she wrote or whatever for 1992 – Weird Summer. Phew. Sorry it took an extra month. It’s been a fun time though, at least for me. I hope you got something out of it. Thanks so much for reading.

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40 Responses to “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (and 1992 – Weird Summer epilogue)”

  1. Everyone likes to play the parlor game of what if Lynch directed Jedi. Thing is, Lynch was never in serious consideration to begin with. (Not unlike that stupid false rumor that Howard Stern was going to be The Scarecrow in the next Schumacher Batfilm). This gets talked about in a recent biography of George Lucas.

    Lynch was recommend to Lucas by others as a guy he should meet. Lynch and Lucas have lunch together and while Lynch had a good time. Lynch spent the entire time wondering what he was even doing here?

  2. Yeah, in hindsight the extremely negative reaction to FIRE WALK WITH ME when it came out is puzzling…and it’s not. It’s a brillant movie, but also bleak as fuck and disregards pretty much everything that made mainstream audiences fall in love with TWIN PEAKS in the first place. That it was also rejected by the arthouse crowd for a while, is strange though.

    Thanks again for doing this series, Vern. They are always fun and I really appreciate the work that you put into them. Now I’m gonna have to track down a copy of that Praxis album.

  3. I’ve not seen any of Michael Ritchie’s subsequent movies either, but I think it’s worth noting that he had a story credit on 1993’s COOL RUNNINGS. It’s pretty clear his story was grittier and more realistic than that movie ended up being, which might have been OK. But it probably wouldn’t have given us one of John Candy’s best performances, which is what we got.

    Thanks for another great series, Vern. It reminded me how much I used to go to the movies. But I’m pretty sure Cronenberg’s NAKED LUNCH was the best movie I saw that summer; sadly, a late ’91 release in the U.S.

  4. Always thought you were way too harsh about Mulholland Drive, so I’m glad to see you (sort of) reconsider. I knew it began as an abandoned pilot but hadn’t seen that so to me it was just a new Lynch film with a slightly unusual production history. The idea that he could re-purpose the footage and build a complete movie around it seemed like a brilliant improvisation, a sort of analogue to Bill Pullman’s wild free jazz in Lost Highway, and I didn’t mind at all that some of the tantalizing threads led nowhere. After all, that same could be said of Twin Peaks.

  5. In all fairness, the repurposement of MULHOLLAND DRIVE had already been done with the TWIN PEAKS pilot. There is a version out there, that was done in case the series wouldn’t get picked up, so some of the international investors got a movie version, where Cooper dreams of Bob and the one-armed man (the dream was later added into one of the episodes) and arrests them (Both normal human beings and not supernatural entities from the Black Lodge) as Laura Palmer’s killers. I think it was shown in France. Not sure if it’s available on any of the box sets.

  6. Thanks for turning our 2022 hell right into 1992 heaven this summer Vern (actually my 2022 hasn’t been so bad really, I shouldn’t complain).

    I’m too young to have watched TWIN PEAKS on its original release, but there were enough remnants of it in early 1990s UK culture for me to be fascinated by it, culminating in Bravo advertising a complete rerun of the series around 1994/95 (which I wasn’t able to see but deepened my fascination). I never quite reached superfan level, but I have seen all of it, and liked it. I saw FIRE WALK WITH ME before I saw most or all of the TV series, and I enjoyed/”enjoyed” it.

    I liked THE RETURN quite a bit, some of it is truly masterful filmmaking, but the final episode or two fed into my more negative suspicions and feelings about Lynch as an artist. Still the journey justified the destination.

    My favourite album of 1992 is TUBULAR BELLS II, it really answered all my questions.

  7. I saw TWIN PEAKS first during a rare re-run around 20 years ago. Generally liked it, but even back then it suffered from “Most of the time nothing happens until the cliffhanger at the end of the episode” syndrome.

    In Germany it’s best remembered for one of the biggest sabotage actions in our TV history! Back in the days it could take a long time until a movie or TV show landed on our screens and by the time TWIN PEAKS premiered, the US already knew who killed Laura Palmer. So shortly before RTL aired the pilot with a big amount of hype, rival network Sat.1 spoiled who did it on the startpage of their teletext! The ratings were pretty bad here, but nobody knows if the show was just too much for German audiences at that time or if the spoiler had something to do with that.

    That said, I did enjoy THE RETURN a lot, but also have the suspicion that just like the original run was partly supposed to be a parody of contemporary crime shows and soap operas, the new episodes were partly parodying the TV landscape of the “golden age of television” and its “we add mystery over mystery, have long stretches where nothing happens and can’t come up with a good conclusion, because we made up everything on the fly” way of storytelling. Sure, part of it was just Lynch being Lynch, but that’s how I took the non-finale.

  8. Sorry for you and your fellow countrymen for that pre-internet bit of spoilering CJ, but I can’t deny part of me is amused and impressed by Sat.1’s WCW-esque craven hucksterism.

    That faux-movie version of the pilot with the tacked on ending was released in the UK on VHS, I remember now that I saw that before I saw FIRE WALK WITH ME.

  9. Well, I’ll almost certainly never watch this movie, as his shit tends to put me in mind of this Gil Scott Heron speech about the bullshit poetry he had foisted on him in school. (The applicable material begins about a minute in, but the whole speech is great and worth listening to.) I don’t hate a few of his movies–ERASERHEAD is a pretty excellent white noise machine of a movie, I seem to remember BLUE VELVET being watchable, and WILD AT HEART is fun despite the mess he made of the much more soulful source novel–but everything I’ve seen from him since LOST HIGHWAY just makes me think the same thing: “Must be deep.” And if you listen to the speech, you’ll know that’s far from a compliment.

    BUT I am almost certainly going to check out that Praxis album as soon as I get off work. That sounds like exactly my kind of mindfuck. So I consider Weird Summer a raging success.

    Seriously, though, check out that speech. It says the shit I believe about art and its purpose better and funnier than I’ve ever managed to say it.

    Gil Scott Heron On blues and poetry

    I do not own the rights to this. However, I am grateful for what Gil had to say.“These people had taken the blues as a poetry form back in the 20’s and the ...

  10. Eh, I think Lynch is one of those cases where an artist is taken WAY more seriously by his critics (both by people who like and hate him), than he takes his work and himself. Without being a Lynch completist, I think FIRE WALK WITH ME seems to be the only one of his movies, that actually does have something to say, with its depiction of the hell abuse victims go through. Everything else is IMO “just” the work of a weirdo who is more interested in moods and images than stories and their messages and somehow managed to become well enough known within the mainstream, to get studios to invest and Hollywood stars to appear in his random film experiments. I can actually see Lynch laugh his ass off whenever some academic writes another analysis of his movies, that tries to force any kind of deeper meaning into it, while Lynch himself most likely just thought: “Hey, I what if I let someone speak all their lines backwards? I wonder what that would sound like.”

    Or to use a callback from a discussion here from a few weeks ago: Lynch seems to me like more of a DePalma than a Haneke. Only way less crowdpleasing most of the time.

  11. I agree that Lynch is not some hoity toity artiste who can’t be bothered to communicate his intentions to us plebes. His intentions are simply to put some freaky dream-like shit on the screen for reasons he does not find value in articulating or even understanding. I respect that. It just doesn’t do a damn thing for me nine times out of ten. Like, I started watching a series on Shudder about the scariest scenes of all time, and they started talking about the first scene in MULHOLLAND DR., which I already knew was considered some kind of bravura shock set-piece by Lynch fans. I didn’t even remember that the scene existed, and after rewatching, I still don’t get it. It’s just a booga booga jump-scare that announces itself five minutes ahead of time. It has no CONTEXT, no rug to pull out from under me, and without that, it’s nothing. At least for me. I recognize that other brains are less literal than mine.

  12. The big thing to never forget about Lynch, or sell him short on, is that he has a pretty fantastic sense of humor that colors all of his stuff. Add that to the great craft, an interest in noir, an interest in (Whispers): S.E.X., and he’s an all-timer for me.

  13. Thank you for this series, Vern. I hope the COVID pain, some of the clunkers and any stress otherwise did not whittle away too much at your enthusiasm for contemplating a time and place.

    You write about music wonderfully and are similarly inspiring of a writer to many as how you’ve spoken feeling about Laswell, Bootsy, Bucket and the publishers of Grand Royal Magazine. Thanks for being an example of Possibility of Strange and Individual Perspective for myself in the weird summers of ’02 and ’22 alike.

    To make my indie-pop discursions somewhat appropriate to your text itself, I once stood next to Ad Rock in the crowd of a Comet Gain concert.

    Speaking of Jocks’ Faves With Admirable Politics and Frequently Wussy Taste in Art, here is a definitively Weird Summer of ’92 minute for anyone that would like to see someone at what I feel was their literal best moment – confusing, moving, odd, sad, of social potential and kind.

    What a nice meeting between what forever are for all intents and purposes, three very strange children.

    I hadn’t known about Bruce Fowler and RETURNS. “Winged Mammal Theme” my ass, who needs it.

    Vern’s Spooky Ass Halloween to you always.

  14. YouTube

    Share your videos with friends, family, and the world

  15. If that link did not work, please look up the video of “Kurt Cobain backstage Reading Festival 1992”.

  16. DGAF about Lynch or Twin Peaks (I watched a few episodes of Season 1, can’t even remember how many but less than four) but…

    PRAXIS! I love Praxis. Mutatis Mutandis is great, their next album Sacrifist was even weirder (cameo appearances from John Zorn and dub-metal Blind Idiot God), and they have some incredible live releases, too — my favorite is Transmutation Live.

    I actually saw them once in the early 2000s at the Knitting Factory in NYC; that night the lineup was Buckethead on guitar, Laswell on bass, Brain on drums, and the Invisibl Skratch Piklz on turntables, guest raps from dudes from Antipop Consortium and New Kingdom, PLUS Rammelzee came onstage in one of his home-built samurai armor suits. It was fucking amazing.

    I interviewed Laswell once and asked him about that, and a bunch of other things:

    Interview: Bill Laswell

    Bill Laswell’s discography, as producer and bassist, label head and general eye-of-the-storm, is vast and can be intimidating. Not all of it’s brilliant. His central concept of collisio…

  17. Weird summer had a lot more weird comedies in August, like The Gun in Betty Lou’s Hand Bag and Out on a Limb, the long awaited reunion of Matthew Broderick and weird summer stalwart Jeffrey Jones, and John C Reilly. I remember the latter being fun (and barely seen) but Gun was a slog.

    Never saw Fire Walk w Me or the first two seasons but I did watch The Return and as I understand wouldn’t be any less lost with context. I loved Dougie, just the audacity of doing that on prestige tv.

  18. A.L.F. Didn’t know that you liked Nirvana as well. I’ve an interview with the band where they discuss briefly Twin Peaks. It was new at the time. They were on tour in England and beyond at the time. By the way the way the ratings dropped on Twin Peaks because they revealed who killed Laura. After that people didn’t care. Anyway I saw recently that one of Kurt’s favorite movies was Eraserhead. Probably gleaned from his published journals which I’ve never read out of respect. Anyway I love Fire Walk With Me. I contend that if Lynch was interested in doing it he could make a horror film that would blow every other current horror directors movie away. Twin Peaks The Return already did that actually.

  19. And Vern, I always took Laura’s smile and laughter at the end to be her relief that her suffering was finally over. Sheryl Lee did appear in the original series as Laura’s cousin Maddie.

  20. I remember enjoying OUT ON A LIMB quite a bit but I was 8. I might have watched it again or at least some of it when I was about 13, but either way I wouldn’t necessarily trust or distrust vintage Pacman there. I mainly remember the two brothers called Jim, one of whom it seems was played by John C. Reilly.

  21. Pac-Man, it was the Labor Day dump movie and I think had been held for a year, so maybe it just surprised with low expectations. That must’ve been my first exposure to Reilly but I saw him in everything after that!

  22. Very weird movie for me… Saw it (twice) in the theater and thought it cast a spell. Then, I caught it on cable like 3-4 years later and was “I liked this??”.

    Hot and cold on Bill Laswell ‘projects’ or whatever he considers them to be. Unfortunately, Praxis is pretty much on the cold side. Massacre on the other hand…

  23. I have never heard of Praxis, but I recognize a number of those band members. This album is gold so far Vern, thanks for throwing it out there!

  24. Haha, seeing the Praxis album cover in the youtube link was a blast from the past. I had this on CD way back when! I was a huge fan of most Shrapnel Records artists, so this seemed like a natural progression. Sad to say I haven’t revisited it since in the same way I’ve revisited, I dunno, Jason Becker or Tony McAlpine, but listening to it now it all rushes back in. What a thorny, awesome record.

  25. Yeah, I’d never heard Praxis before, and am enjoying the album. Brain co-scored DETENTION (and Buckethead played on it), and I was a fan already from his work with Primus. I played middle man to get them on that movie (a very surreal experience for me). Both he and his collaborator Melissa are awesome people.

    I was also a massive Lynch fan in high school, but like you, TWIN PEAKS was the last of his stuff from that time I got into. I guess I’ve always found the time investment of TV series daunting.

  26. I came to Twin Peaks a couple decades late, but I loved the original run, even the Lynchless episodes nobody else likes. This movie wasn’t entirely my cup of tea though– I think because of the tonal shift CJ mentions. FIRE WALK WITH ME journeys fully into the dark underbelly part of the show. Sheryl Lee gives a tour-de-force performance, though.

    The Return was also not as successful for me as the original run, but I found it fascinating, and I’m astonished so many “normies” watched and discussed it along with the film nerds. I agree with CJ that, in a way, it’s a parody of prestige TV as the original series was a parody of soap operas and the like. Both of these projects seem to have Lynch willfully refuse to give the audience what it wants, and I respect him for that.

    As for what it all means– Lynch seems to be trying to put a dream on the screen, and what you read into it is your business. I think he’s been pretty successful at it, even if not all of his Blue Rose projects are satisfying in the same way as more conventional narratives can be.

  27. One of my favorite scenes in FWWM is the dream (?) when Laura rolls over in her bed and the girl with the slit throat is lying next to her. If memory serves, she tells her who did it and tells her to write it in her diary.

    Praxis got a lot of play back in high school, but I absolutely wore out Welcome to Buckethead Land. It was like a concept album theme park ride. Great stuff.

  28. As a long time Twin Peaks (and Lynch in general) fan, I am in that camp of people who did not like FWWM when it came out but has come to appreciate it a bit more now that some time has passed. For me, the tone shift wasn’t too bad but there were some inconsistencies and prequel-isms which bothered me a lot at the time (Wait, what?!? Bobby straight up murdered somebody before anything in the show happened? And nobody ever says to him anything like, “You’re a murderer?” OK.)

    Also, as a big Bowie fan who was excited to hear he was going to be in a David Lynch movie, I was seriously disappointed when his role amounted to about 15 seconds on a surveillance video.

    But, nowadays, I can watch it and enjoy it for what it is: A weird, flawed, horrific piece of art which we were fortunate to get at all.

    Don’t think I’ve ever heard that Praxis album, so I’ll have to check it out!

  29. B-Ri. The good Dale is in the Lodge and he can’t leave. That was Heather Graham by the way.

  30. Good job on completing the summer of 92 retrospective! As a fan of weird cinema, there’s lots to like in there, esp. Delicatessen.

  31. Still thinking about Weird Summer as we’re a week away from Halloween. I keep finding myself drawn back to 1992 and I can’t quite place why. At best it was a transitional year. 1991 was when I started high school. 93 I turned 16 and got my license, 94 I got my movie theater job and my first girlfriend. 92 is just kind of there.

    My best friend is a year older so he got his license that year. That gave us a bit more freedom… to go to the movies without our parents driving us. Maybe there’s something I’m missing about that era, perhaps a sense of structure, I don’t know. Certainly some missed opportunities had I been a bit more mature but I was 14-15 after all. I suppose it was technically the last year I needed my parents to take me to the movies, but of course I continued to go with them sometimes even when I could drive.

    The movies themselves were weird that year too. Sure there were big ones for me from Memoirs of an Invisible Man to Universal Soldier, and big cultural ones from Wayne’s World and My Cousin Vinny to Basic Instinct and Dracula. And interesting failures like Cool World and Stay Tuned. Fuck, Lethal 3 and League of Their Own. It was a big year even if it didn’t feel big.

    There was no T2 from 91 or Speed/True Lies/Gump of the summer, and 1994’s Pulp Fiction was a singular once in a lifetime experience. But I suppose there is still a notch in the formative years of my cinematic discovery.

    Maybe there’s no need to ascribe meaning to a year but I want to and I feel like there’s something there. Anyone else still ruminating on 1992?

  32. Well Fred, the year 1992 as I lived it doesn’t mean all that much to me; I was 5, so as you would expect from that age a lot of my memories of that year are a bit of a blur between that and the previous year and the one or two that followed. I know it was my first full calendar year of school. I visited my Great Uncle Bill and his, er, lets just say “unique” wife Irene in Spain, where I bought a TMNT Splinter keyring that I tragically left on the beach and then miraculously found. My Grandfather retired from his career at British Airways, and my Uncle gave him/us a Sky Satellite Dish as a retirement gift. One breakfast in November I remember my mother telling me that there had been “a contest between two men in America” the previous night and that “the person we were rooting for won”. (I have of course since admonished her for this outrageous indoctrination).

    Pop culture wise though, I’ve always thought there was something a bit special about 1992. A lot of this is probably just a general subset of being a 90s kid, but I think there’s a pretty significant list of films that made a big impression on me in one way or another, and cultivated my imagination; you’ve got (I won’t capitalise these as that would look ugly) Aladdin, Wayne’s World, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Universal Soldier, The Lawnmower Man, Toys, Raising Cain, The Player, Bob Roberts, Cool World, Chaplin, Blame it on the Bellboy, Leon the Pig Farmer and of course my boy F.R.0.7. Heck, as much as I kind of hate it, Alien 3 fascinates me in much the same way these other films do. These certainly aren’t all great or even good films, I’m not sure I’d argue for it being a great film year, but there’s a lot of well-funded imagination and creativity there, maybe a little too well-funded.

    Outside of films, Highlander jumped to the small screen, Batman got animated, Larry Sanders arguably made HBO HBO, Mortal Kombat debuted in arcades and Kirby sucked up his first victim on the Game Boy. In Europe we finally got the SNES and Super Mario World which got me hooked on the plumbers (as hooked as you could be without any Nintendo consoles at least), until Sonic 2-sday split my allegiance.

    For me, a hip hop ignoramus who isn’t really into grunge, I will say it’s not really a key year for me music wise. I really do like TUBULAR BELLS II, that wasn’t a joke, but a lot of my other favourites were taking a year off. Maybe I need to listen to it again, but LOVE SYMBOL doesn’t seem like one of the great Prince joints in my memory. There are probably quite a few great dance singles that year, and The Shamen’s BOSS DRUM was certainly a childhood favourite. Ride’s GOING BLANK AGAIN is an album I either liked or tried to convince myself I liked.

    1992 was the year before the Internet as we know it was (kinda/sorta) born. Maybe there’s something in that?

    Oh, and Cartoon Network launched.

    Cartoon Network Presentation Pitch

    The following is a program made by Turner Entertainment to promote their then-newest creation, a 24 hour cartoon channel known as Cartoon Network. This progr...

  33. You’re not the only one. That was one of the happiest times in my life. A lot of movies I saw in 92 were primarily from 91 though because we had 2nd run Dollar theater. People Under The Stairs, Last Boy Scout, Awakenings etc. Good times.

  34. Pacman reminds me of Lawnmower Man as well. Not proud I saw it in the theater but I did.

  35. It’s funny because I was kind of feeling the opposite. I felt like this should be a big year for me because it’s the year I graduated high school but I wasn’t feeling much nostalgia with this series. I guess I was too busy with real life things like saying goodbye to some good friends that I knew I wouldn’t see again because they were moving away or wasn’t sure if I’d see them again because life was in flux but I knew for sure things would be different, to make nostalgic memories for very many movies. Or maybe my nostalgic memories are just tied to different movies.

  36. Well, the equivalent summer for me was 2005, and I don’t think I would be overcome with nostalgia during a Summer of 2005 retrospective (I doubt it would qualify as a Weird Summer), and that wasn’t because I was too busy with my social life to pay attention to films, believe you me! I don’t feel much connection with any of the big hits, they’re either films I honestly think are kind of bad (SIN CITY, WEDDING CRASHERS and although I kind of liked it at the time HITCHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY) or downright terrible (MR. & MRS SMITH), or are “it’s good, buuuuutttt…”s (BATMAN BEGINS, 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN) or “good but no great personal attachment (REVENGE OF THE SITH, WAR OF THE WORLDS), with a lot of CHARLIE AND THE CHOLOCATE Shrugs. Looking through it, I don’t see much in the way of smaller hidden gems, or films I have particular personal connections to. I did see BEAUTY SHOP in the cinema for some reason, I guess that’s a mildly fond memory, along with xXx2. But mostly I think the second half of the 2000s is too tied in to my very mixed feelings about my life in that time, a time where I see a lot of missed opportunities, both to be smart and to be stupid. It’s also wasn’t really a great time for the world or for pop culture in my opinion (although, in some ways, compared to now, there were some things I wish I’d known to appreciate while they lasted), but even going a year earlier to 2004 it conjures quite a different feeling for me, and it’s not as if the culture changed substantially that year, so I think it’s rooted in those personal experiences.

    I’m more nostalgic for my mid-20s and my early days of entering the workforce than I am my late teens, even though on paper that’s a little too recent for an adult to be nostalgic about (early-mid 2010s). Mind you, given the last couple of years, I’m sometimes nostalgic for 2019

    Wait a second, MINDHUNTERS was a Summer 05 joint? Disregard everything I just said.

  37. Thank you Pac-Man, Andy and Maggie for continuing my discussion. Pac, I can’t be sure when exactly Mindhunters finally came out since it moved so much. But I think you’re onto something about pre-Internet. I wouldn’t really get online til college in 1995 but any year free of cell phones and social media is inherently treasured to me now.

    And just comparing the list of films from 1992 to 2005 makes a world of difference. Weird summer and weird year is full of interesting efforts as opposed to shrugs.

    Maybe it just comes down to 1992 is still a piece of the 90s so even an off brand year is still interesting. And it being weird makes it revisitable in a way that big years can sort of exist in the memory of how monumental they are. 1992 still feels a little unknowable after all these years. Still nothing will ever top 1994 for me.

  38. You’re welcome Fred :)

    MINDHUNTERS had been released in most other countries by the time it hit the US; seems it was classified for release in the UK 2004, but only came out, Direct to DVD, a few months after it hit the US. So pretty generous of me to give it to 2005, but I will. And that was the summer I discovered a (pre-talkback!) OutlawVern.com too. So two good things.

  39. Compound that by the fact that they screened it for me at one point then delayed it again so I can’t even remember when I watched it.

  40. A minor correction Vern that I never said. The woman being beaten on in the movie is Shelly. Not Donna. Donna lived with loving parents. Leo was apart of the murder and also later in the series became a slave of sorts.

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