Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (1992/2014) review

Both season 1 and season 2 of Twin Peaks and the film Fire Walk With Me may have already been reviewed on That Was A Bit Mental, but Twin Peaks week isn’t over yet! Today I look at the recently released deleted scenes The Missing Pieces before finishing on Friday with a review of the international pilot.

twinpeaks_themissingpieces_posterDirector: David Lynch

Starring: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Moira Kelly, Chris Isaak, Keifer Sutherland, Kyle MacLachlan, Dana Ashbrook, Phoebe Augustine, Pamela Gidley, James Marshall, David Lynch, David Bowie, Madchen Amick, Michael J Anderson, Frank Silva, Walter Olkewicz

“Is it future, or is it past?” (Man From Another Place, Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces)

The shooting script for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me came in at around five hours long. Naturally, nobody in their right mind would find that acceptable, so after shooting all the footage David Lynch got to work cutting loads of it out.

As a result, Fire Walk With Me was released with a runtime of two hours and 15 minutes: still fairly long, but with more than half of its content relegated to the cutting room floor.

For over 20 years Twin Peaks fans have discussed these mythical deleted scenes, with only the shooting script and the occasional mention of them in cast and crew interviews as indication that they did indeed exist. Continue reading “Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (1992/2014) review”

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) review

It’s day three of Twin Peaks week on That Was A Bit Mental! Having already reviewed season 1 and season 2, today I look at the controversial movie Fire Walk With Me. Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing the recently released deleted scenes The Missing Pieces before finishing on Friday with a review of the international pilot.

twinpeaksfirewalkwithme_posterDirector: David Lynch

Starring: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Moira Kelly, Chris Isaak, Keifer Sutherland, Kyle MacLachlan, Dana Ashbrook, Phoebe Augustine, Pamela Gidley, James Marshall, David Lynch, David Bowie, Madchen Amick, Michael J Anderson, Frank Silva, Walter Olkewicz

“When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first, and the wind rises, and then all goodness is in jeopardy.” (Log Lady, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me)

After the second and final season of Twin Peaks ended in June 1991, fans still had a bumload of questions.

Two queries in particular were most pressing. What was Laura Palmer really like before she died? And just what did the show’s ending really mean, especially regarding Agent Cooper?

They wouldn’t have to wait long for reassurances that answers were coming. Only a month after the show was cancelled, David Lynch announced he was making the first of three Twin Peaks movies that would fill in the missing gaps and explain what was really going on.

Ultimately however this first film – entitled Fire Walk With Me – was the only one released, following a massively negative reception from critics and fans alike. The result is a movie that answers a lot of questions, but also raises a lot of new ones that may have eventually been answered had the other two films been made. Continue reading “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) review”

Twin Peaks season 2 (1990-91) review

Twin Peaks week continues on That Was A Bit Mental with the review of the second season of David Lynch’s cult ’90s TV drama. If you missed the season 1 review then you can catch up here. Tomorrow it’ll be a review of the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, then recently released deleted scenes The Missing Pieces and finally the European pilot of the show, which featured a different killer.

twinpeaks_s2_posterDirectors: David Lynch, Lesli Linka Glatter, Todd Holland, Graeme Clifford, Caleb Deschanel, Tim Hunter, Tina Rathbone, Duwayne Dunham, Uli Edel, Diane Keaton, James Foley, Jonathan Sanger, Stephen Gyllenhaal

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle, Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Peggy Lipton, James Marshall, Eric DaRe, Everett McGill, Joan Chen, Piper Laurie, Ray Wise, Sheryl Lee, David Duchovny, David Lynch, Heather Graham, Billy Zane, Kenneth Welsh

JUDGE: “Mr. Cooper, how do you find our little corner of this world?”

COOPER: “Heaven, sir.”

JUDGE: “Well, this week, heaven includes arson, multiple homicides, and an attempt on the life of a federal agent.”

COOPER: “Heaven is a large and interesting place, sir.”

The first season of Twin Peaks was such an enormous success it was a no-brainer that TV network ABC would give David Lynch and Mark Frost the green light to do a second.

This time, however, ABC wanted an assurance that the main talking point of season one, the death of Laura Palmer, would finally be resolved in season two.

After all, viewers were less than pleased that the show, incredible though it was, had ended its initial run without revealing the identity of Laura’s killer.

Lynch grudgingly agreed that the second season would indeed identify the person responsible for her death, but the 22 episodes created would ultimately be memorable for much more than this. Continue reading “Twin Peaks season 2 (1990-91) review”

Twin Peaks season 1 (1990) review

It’s Twin Peaks week on That Was A Bit Mental! Over the course of the week I’ll be reviewing both seasons of David Lynch’s cult ’90s TV drama, as well as the movie Fire Walk With Me, the recently released deleted scenes The Missing Pieces and the European pilot of the show, which featured a different killer.

twinpeaks_s1_posterDirectors: David Lynch, Duwayne Dunham, Tina Rathbone, Tim Hunter, Lesli Linka Glatter, Caleb Deschanel, Mark Frost

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle, Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Peggy Lipton, James Marshall, Eric DaRe, Everett McGill, Joan Chen, Piper Laurie, Ray Wise, Sheryl Lee, Russ Tamblyn

“You know, this is – excuse me – a damn fine cup of coffee. I’ve had I can’t tell you how many cups of coffee in my life and this, this is one of the best. Now, I’d like two eggs over hard. I know, don’t tell me, it’s hard on the arteries, but old habits die hard, just about as hard as I want those eggs.” (Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks)

Recently Eastenders celebrated its 30th anniversary with a story based on the death of teenage character Lucy Beale. “Who killed Lucy Beale” was the question on the lips of numerous Brits for the past few weeks, and 9 million viewers tuned in to find out it was some kid nobody gives a seventeenth of a fuck about.

Now imagine a similar question being asked 25 years ago, in America, with nearly four times as many viewers and a brand new series nobody had heard of. And imagine the question had remained unanswered and much-discussed by the American public for almost an entire year. That’s Twin Peaks, innit. Continue reading “Twin Peaks season 1 (1990) review”

Lord Of Illusions (1995) review

Lord Of Illusions posterDirector: Clive Barker

Starring: Scott Bakula, Famke Janssen, Kevin J. O’Connor, Daniel Von Bargen, Joel Swetow

“You ever watched a man die? If you watch very closely, you can sometimes see the soul escaping. And if you’re very quick, you can catch it.” (Butterfield, Lord Of Illusions)

Liverpudlian horror author Clive Barker is perhaps best known for the film adaptations of some of his most popular books.

Hellraiser? That was him. Candyman? Yup, him too. Nightbreed? Okay, maybe that one’s not so famous but I’ve already reviewed it so fuck it, I’m mentioning it.

Lord Of Illusions is clearly less famous than other movies based on Barker’s work, but does that necessarily mean it’s any less memorable? Well, yes, frankly. Continue reading “Lord Of Illusions (1995) review”

Pet Sematary II (1992) review

Pet Sematary 2 posterDirector: Mary Lambert

Starring: Edward Furlong, Anthony Edwards, Jason McGuire, Clancy Brown, Jared Rushton

“You bury your own.” (Gus, Pet Sematary II)

The original Pet Sematary (disclaimer: one of my favourite horror films ever) revolved around the idea that if something has ceased to be it’s sometimes best to move on and not try to resurrect it.

Mary Lambert’s film showed that any attempt to revive dead children, animals and adults inevitably results in a disturbing aberration that may look similar, but is missing its soul. With Pet Sematary II, she shows how the same rule can apply to ‘dead’ movies too.

The film centers on Jeff Matthews, a young lad played by Edward Furlong, looking like he just stepped off the Terminator 2 set and walked straight in front of the camera.

Jeff’s mum is a big movie star, but a freak electrocution accident on set leads to her ending up a bit less alive than she’d probably like (i.e. not at all) so his dad decides it’s probably best for he and Jeff to leave Hollywood and its bad memories behind them and start a new life elsewhere. Continue reading “Pet Sematary II (1992) review”

The Taking Of Deborah Logan (2014) review

The Taking Of Deborah Logan posterDirector: Adam Robitel

Starring: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang, Ryan Cutrona

“I’m not interested in being exploited.” (Deborah, The Taking Of Deborah Logan)

It’s all well and good watching and writing about horror movies but there are some real-life horrors that are often far more terrifying than any creature that could be dreamed up by Hollywood.

A powerful example is Alzheimer’s disease, a horrendous condition that slowly eats away at the sufferer’s brain, initially inflicting short-term memory loss and ending with behavioural issues, an inability to recognise family members and ultimately early death.

This is a disease that can tear apart families and turn previously docile people into aggressive, sometimes violent shells of their former selves. As horrible as it is to say it, then, it’s a condition ripe for study in horror film.

It’s the central theme, at least initially, surrounding The Taking Of Deborah Logan, a found-footage style mockumentary about a film crew studying a woman’s struggle with Alzheimer’s and their discovery of something even worse. Continue reading “The Taking Of Deborah Logan (2014) review”

Pet Sematary (1989) review

Pet Sematary posterDirector: Mary Lambert

Starring: Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby, Brad Greenquist, Miko Hughes

“I’m at Judd’s, daddy. Will you come over and play with me? First I played with Judd, then mommy came and I played with mommy. We played, daddy! We had an awful good time. Now I want to play with yoooooou.” (Gage, Pet Sematary)

Losing a loved one is always a harrowing process, one in which you’re often at your lowest possible ebb. But what if there was a way to undo the process?

Specifically, what if there was a way to bring back the recently deceased and have them back in your life again?

What if the consequence of said person becoming an ex-corpse is they don’t behave like they did before pegging it? Would you still want to see their body alive even if their mind and personality wasn’t the same?

These are the questions raised by Pet Sematary, the 1989 movie based on Stephen King’s book of the same name and, I should probably just come out and declare at this early stage in the review, one of my favourite horror films ever. Continue reading “Pet Sematary (1989) review”

The House Of Him (2014) review

The House Of Him posterDirector: Robert Florence

Starring: Richard Rankin, Louise Stewart, Kirsty Strain, Hope Florence, Amy E Watson

“I’m so stupid. I’m so stupid. I mean, Sophie and I, we could see the windows were boarded up from the outside… and we still went in with him. So stupid. Everything was wrong, and we still went inside with him.” (Anna, The House Of Him)

At the time of writing this review, my day job is being heavily scrutinised by a bunch of scrotes who claim to be trying to expose a lack of ‘ethics’ in video game journalism.

In reality it’s a front for something much more sinister, much darker and misogynist in nature. While this is actually fairly apt when talking about The House Of Him, it’s not why I bring it up.

Instead, it’s just a wanky way for me to bring up this full disclosure: I know Robert Florence, the lovely Glaswegian chap who wrote, directed and edited this film. I consider him a friend and I’d like to think the feeling is mutual.

Despite this friendship, and the fact I love most of the stuff he does, that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of criticising him. He wanted Scottish independence, I didn’t. He loves Dynasty Warriors games, I think they’re pish.

So I approached The House Of Him with a mixture of excitement and fear. Excitement because I love the vast majority of stuff Rab does – his sketch shows, his games writing, his vintage video game webshow Consolevania, which was fucking nailing it many years before the era of annoying YouTubers began.

The Changing Rooms reboot was deemed a little too dark for daytime ITV audiences
The Changing Rooms reboot was deemed a little too dark for daytime ITV audiences

But also fear, because should it turn out to be shite, I would be placed in the awkward position of reviewing a mate’s work and slapping a pishy wee single-star rating on it then hoping he didn’t notice.

After all, comedy writing and video games writing are one thing, but I would imagine making a horror film requires a completely different skillset.

Thankfully I can rest easy, because The House Of Him is not shite. Far from it, in fact. Continue reading “The House Of Him (2014) review”

The Amityville Asylum (2013) review

The Amityville Asylum posterDirector: Andrew Jones

Starring: Sophia Del Pizzo, Lee Bane, Andy Evason, Eileen Daly

LISA – “What’s that smell?”

DELANEY – “It always hangs in the air. No matter how much we bleach the floor, there is always that smell of death.”

In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz moved into 112 Ocean Avenue, a house in Amityville where thirteen months previously, a man had shot and killed six members of his family.

The Lutz family left the house after only a month, claiming they had been terrorised by evil paranormal forces living there. A book entitled The Amityville Horror was released two years later and the story went on to spawn a number of movies.

The Amityville Asylum is the eleventh movie to use the Amityville story as part of its plot, but in reality this review’s already discussed it more than the film does. Continue reading “The Amityville Asylum (2013) review”