Although financed by television, this - the first episode of a 30-episode serial, with a specially taken ending tacked on - was shot on film, allowing Lynch free rein to work in the partly surreal, partly expressionist style that has suffused his work to date. Set in the eponymous small lumber town in the Pacific Northwest, it begins with the discovery of a girl's corpse on a lakeside beach. Her parents are devastated, and when another girl is found wandering into town, dazed and speechless after having suffered unthinkably horrific torture, the local sheriff (Ontkean) calls in the FBI to help investigate the case. Already the spiritual unease and corruption of the community has been signalled, but when agent Dale Cooper (MacLachlan) drives into town, entranced by the Douglas firs, conversing endlessly with a cassette recorder, and grinning like a madman, the inimitable Lynch vision begins to grip like a strangler. Nightmare merges with comedy, and normality flies out the window. The result, like a soap reimagined by a Bosch or Magritte, is more genuinely cinematic than many a big screen thriller. See it, and shudder.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Mark Frost, David Lynch|