One struggles to find the words to describe the unique brilliance of David Lynch and Mark Frosts short-lived TV series Twin Peaks. Cult classic springs to mind, and in some ways this is an understandable description, but Lynch himself has claimed that such a term is frustrating. Mystery crime thriller, whilst again applicable in certain ways, fails to adequately convey both the humour and the terror that emanates from the fictional town of Twin Peaks, and all of it’s larger than life characters. It’s absurd, it’s self-aware, it’s profoundly gripping, and for our money it’s one of the best TV series ever made.
As the saying goes, ‘All good things must come to an end’, and fans of Twin Peaks – both those who caught the episodes as they aired, and the later generations who hunted them down online or copped the definite box set – were met with that sense of emptiness as it slowly dawned upon us that we’d probably never see the rooms of The Great Northern, hear Angelo Badalamenti’s slow, haunting Jazz, or see the tears of James Hurley, ever again.
But then news came that David Lynch and Mark Frost would start filming a third season of Twin Peaks for release in 2016. And then even more news came – apparently showtime and Lynch had a disagreement over something and Lynch would not be returning to direct the series. But, then even more news came, and apparently it was all back on, with Lynch and Frost at the helm, and with 18 episodes planned for season 3. As it stands then, it’s looking like we will be seeing Laura Palmer again after 25 years.
Before Frost, Lynch or Showtime change their minds, we thought it would be cool to take a look at and celebrate some masterful ‘Lynchian’ moments. A Lynchian moment can be dark, brooding, macabre, surreal, and mundane all at once. It can take you out of your comfort zone, or lead you into one just to scare the shit out of you. It’s a moment that can be uncomfortably realistic, or fantastically surreal, it can ooze out of the entire film, or pop up at random intervals. As vague as you might think this description sounds, trust us, you’ll know when you see one… Have a look at the list below.
Twin Peaks and the Red Room
Probably the most famous location in the Twin Peaks series – the ‘Red Room’ has that otherworldly feeling. It’s not just the decor or the warped sense of time, nor is it just the backwards-talking, dancing dwarf (yeah…)or the cryptic chatter that goes on there. It’s all of these things and more. The Red Room is space that condenses all the weird, wonderful and straight up spooky stuff that Twin Peaks has to offer in one place. Get a taste below, or watch the whole thing here if you don’t care about slight spoilers.
Oh, You are sick!
Lynch’s first feature length, Eraserhead, is often described as a surrealist body-horror film. It is also most probably often described as ‘the weirdest shit i’ve ever seen’. Essentially in this scene, Henry Spencer (the big haired guy) is attempting to care for his grossly deformed child – but it’s that mixture of the darkly comic and the disgusting here that makes it a moment you can’t forget, even if you want to.
The Villain With The Gas Mask
Dennis Hopper brings to life Lynch’s most bewildering and terrifying Villain in the 1986 classic Blue Velvet. A Vintage pop sound track and that familiar sense of the perfect 50’s American Dream, is completely contrasted by the filth, death, decay and desire that lurks underneath the picket fences and cardigans. Watch in this scene as Lynch reveals Frank Booth’s (Dennis Hopper) strange fetish…
The Beginning Of Elephant Man
Elephant Man is considered to be one of Lynch’s tamer pieces of film, and many find it more accessible than his other works. You wouldn’t think so after watching the opening scenes however; Lynch bombards his audience with haunting images of a woman (who we assume to be Joseph Merrick’s mother) being attacked by a horde of Elephants.
Dinner in Eraserhead
Another clip from Eraserhead, and it’s arguably the weirdest dinner scene in the history of cinema. The Father invites Henry to carve the little chicken, and what follows is disgusting, but thoroughly absorbing – you just cant take your eyes away from it…
Lost Highway – Mystery Man at the party
About 30 minutes in to Lynch’s 1997 noirish thriller Lost Highway, we’re shown a surprisingly normal party scene. Given that every second prior to this scene has made for uncomfortable and tense viewing, Lynch allows his audience to lapse into a type of complacency. The reassuringly ‘average’ or mundane atmosphere, the generic party music, and the crowds of run-of-the-mill party-goers puts you at ease, partially offsetting creeping sense of terror that has been building since the opening credits. You think you’re safe, but then that deathly pale face appears amongst the crowds, the generic music fades away,time seems to stop, and you know you’re in for something weird.