A Movie A Day #88: Where The Day Takes You (1992, directed by Marc Rocco)


This month, since the site is currently reviewing every episode of Twin Peaks, each entry in Move A Day is going to have a Twin Peaks connection.  Where The Day Takes You is a movie that has not just one but two connections to Twin Peaks.

Where The Day Takes You is an episodic film about young runaways living on the streets of Los Angeles.  Led by 22 year-old King (Dermot Mulroney), who ran away from home when he was 16, the runaways form a surrogate family.  While being constantly harassed by both the police and well-meaning social workers, some of the runaways get addicted to drugs while others turn to prostitution in order to survive.  Some find love.  Some find death.  They all go where the day takes you.  (Not sure if that was the movie’s tag line but it should have been.)

Where The Day Takes You is a gritty and often tough film, though it’s effectiveness is undercut by a predictable ending and the presence of too many familiar faces in the cast.  The runaways are made up of a who’s who of prominent young actors from the 1990s.  Balthazar Getty plays King’s second-in-command.  Sean Astin plays an obviously doomed drug addict.  Alyssa Milano and David Arquette play prostitutes.  Ricki Lake and James Le Gros play comedic relief.  Will Smith, in his film debut, plays a wheelchair-bound runaway.  Christian Slater and Laura San Giacomo show up as social workers while the police are represented by Rachel Ticotin and Adam Baldwin.  Everyone gives a good performance but the film would have worked better with unknown actors or even real runaways.  No matter how good a performance Sean Astin gives as a heroin addict, he is always going to be Sean Astin and it is always going to be difficult to look at him without saying, “I might not be able to carry the ring but I can carry you!”

The movie’s first Twin Peaks connection is that Lara Flynn Boyle, who played innocent Donna Hayward on Twin Peaks, plays innocent runaway Heather in Where The Day Takes You.  The role is cliché but Boyle shows the same charm that she showed while playing Donna.

The movie’s second Twin Peaks connection is more unexpected.  Kyle MacLachlan is effectively cast against type as Ted, the drug dealer who keeps most of the runaways hooked on heroin and who is perfectly willing to leave an overdosed junkie in a garbage bin.  Ted is about as far from Dale Cooper as you can get.

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TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone)


David Lynch loves Dreams.

Whether it’s the nightmare of losing a loved one in Lost Highway, the dreams of being more than what you are in Dune, or the waking nightmare waiting around the corner of a diner  in Mulholland Drive, Lynch has always managed to have a dream sequence be a story driving medium. So, with Episode 3’s fantastic ending, we’re left with some major clues to the truth if they can be deciphered. Imagine living in an age before cell phones and Twitter. An episode like that comes on and the moment you arrive at your workplace (or school), the first conversation on everyone’s lips is “What the heck was that?!” While I don’t quite recall how big the impact was, Twin Peaks was a highly talked about show for its time. A cliffhanger like that was pretty daring, particularly for being only the third episode.

Episode Four, “Rest in Pain” opens at the lodge, with Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) waiting for Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) to make an appearance.  She obviously has a crush on him, and he asks her to join him for breakfast. Though she’s unable to stay for long, Audrey explains that she was the one who left the “Jack with One Eye” note under Cooper’s door. Telling him that Jack’s is something like a brothel (“Men go there….women work there.”), they’re able to piece together that both Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine) worked for Audrey’s dad at the perfume counter of his store. Is there a connection between the two locales?  Before they can elaborate any further, Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean) and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) enter the dining hall, causing Audrey to excuse herself at Cooper’s suggestion.

Cooper welcomes his companions and gleefully orders a short stack of griddle cakes, which sounds really good. Now comes the question that has everyone leaning forward in their seats with anticipation. When asked who killed Laura Palmer, Cooper goes over the dream from the night before – of Mike and Bob with the “Fire…Walk With Me” tattoo, the backwards speaking midget (Michael Anderson, Carnivale) and his cousin who looks a lot like Laura. This red room dream sequence may be extra important to the Revival, as it takes 25 years into the future. The cousin mentions she’s filled with secrets and that sometimes, her arms bend back. Additionally, where she’s from, the birds sing a pretty song and there’s always music in the air. The woman whispers the name of Laura’s killer….but Cooper is unable to remember what she said to him.

Dammit, Cooper. You’re an FBI agent, how could you forget something as important as that?!

This, of course, is a good thing, because we really can’t have the mystery solved that quickly, can we?

The next scene is one of my favorites in this episode. It has Dr. Hayward and Al Rosenfeld (Miguel Ferrer) fighting over Laura Palmer’s body. Hayward needs to make preparations for the funeral, yet Rosenfeld is determined to perform an autopsy. It doesn’t help that Rosenfeld has a quip for everyone he runs into, clearly displaying his animosity for the small town life and it’s inhabitants. Ferrer was known for playing that guy you just wanted to pop in the mouth, particularly in his roles for Robocop and the really awful Deep Star Six. It wasn’t until TV’s Crossing Jordan that I saw Ferrer could be more of a good guy. It was a treat seeing him here on the show and in researching the Twin Peaks Revival, I found out he was part of the cast before his passing. Film fans will also make the connection to David Lynch’s Dune here, as Lynch worked with Miguel’s father, Jose in that film. The scene ends with Rosenfeld opening his mouth a little too much and getting socked for his troubles by Truman. Cooper intervenes, giving control of Laura’s body to Dr. Hayward but asking Rosenfeld to make his tests quick and with little damage. For a scene that deals with a dead body in the room, it has just enough comedy in it to lighten the mood without turning into something akin to the Naked Gun series.

Back at the Palmer home, Leland (Ray Wise, also in Robocop) is still grieving over Laura when he’s surprised by a visit from Laura’s cousin Maddy (Sheryl Lee). He can’t help but stare at her in disbelief, possibly because of how much of a resemblance she bears to his daughter. We can’t help staring because of the connection to the dream. Is this the “cousin” the midget was referring to? I liked Wise’s reaction of disbelief here. Either way, it was nice small scene.

If there’s one storyline in Twin Peaks that I could care less about, it’s Norma (Peggy Lipton) and Hank (Chris Mulkey, from Michael Crichton’s Runaway). Hank’s parole officer, Mr. Mooney stops by the Double R, and explains that her husband is being released soon and into her care. Having been a model prisoner, the early release brings him back into Norma’s life, who clearly doesn’t want to have him around. She could have moved on after his imprisonment, but her dating life wouldn’t work out with a homicidally jealous ex popping around the shop now and then. It helps to set the tone for Hank’s introduction to the shop, if nothing else.

Cooper and Truman visit the house of Leo Johnson, to ask him about Laura Palmer. He initially states that he doesn’t know her, and then confesses that the heard of her. After Cooper reads him his rap sheet, Leo states that he was on the road and called his wife Shelley (Madchen Amick) from Butte, Montana. Granted that she can support his alibi, that takes him off the suspect list. Damn, I kind of thought he could be the one up to that point, particularly with the football incident in the previous episode.

At Bobby Briggs’ (Dana Ashbrook) house, his father (Don Davis) has a conversation regarding the upcoming funeral, where he tells his son to not be afraid of it. Bobby has other plans for the funeral, which he barks about. “Afraid!! I’m gonna turn it upside down!!!” Truly, I’ve never seen anyone so excited about attending a funeral since Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers. He could have yelled at his mother for some meatloaf and it would have fit perfectly here.

Cooper and Truman meet up with Rosenfeld, who gives them the breakdown of what he found on Laura. Cocaine was found in Laura’s diary, along with two different kinds of twine. Rosenfeld reveals that the twine used on Laura’s wrists were also the same used on Ronette, and it appears to have come from a railroad car. Laura was apparently tied in two places on her arm. When Rosenfeld demonstrates this, Cooper mutters a line from his dream..”Sometimes my arms bend back.”  Again, an element from the Dream makes an appearance, which lends a great deal of credibility to Agent Cooper’s prowess. Most FBI agents would have relied on extreme forensics work and motives, but here we have an individual whose dreams are possibly taking him in the right direction so far. Rosenfeld mentions he also found industrial strength soap, suggesting that the killer washed his hands on site. Additional clues include what appeared to be bite or claw marks on her shoulder, and a chip of plastic taken from her stomach with the letter “J” on it. There’s that letter “J” again, for Jack’s, perhaps?

So where does this leave us? If the killer washed their hands, they were methodical. The chances they’d leave any other evidence behind other than what was found on the body doesn’t likely. That could also possibly rule out the still missing One Armed Man suspect Hawk is searching for. Additionally, Laura’s clues bring more questions than answers.

On the way out, Rosenfeld pulls Cooper aside and asks him to assist in having assault files brought up on Sheriff Truman. Cooper refuses, letting Rosenfeld know that during his time at Twin Peaks, all he’s seen has been peace and goodwill. Personally, I’m surprised Cooper didn’t hit Rosenfeld at that point, but the forensic scientist leaves empty-handed. Cooper makes a recording note to maybe buy some property in the town of Twin Peaks.

When I originally joined on this project, I started with the episode I was assigned, but it was the next scene that made me jump back to the beginning of the series and continue through it’s conclusion. We have Ed (Everett McGill, Dune), who returns home and receives a hug from his wife Nadine (Wendy Robie). At this point, I stared in shock and then started laughing. I wasn’t aware the two actors were even in this show together. I know the pair from Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs, so seeing them in this context (they were a sibling pair in the film) was just weird. I have to go back to that movie at some point to see the chemistry there again.

Anyway, Nadine gushes about her love for Ed, and how she used to watch him in high school with Norma. Ed’s eyes are a bit jaded here, as if his mind is more on Norma than on Nadine, but they’re both interrupted with the arrival of James. Ed informs him that they have to get ready for the funeral, but James tells them they can’t and leaves. It seems Laura’s passing has struck a nerve with everyone in town, but wouldn’t the person who carried half of his sweetheart’s necklace want to be at her funeral to pay his last respects? Unless of course, either the guilt of being with Donna gotten to him, or he has secrets of his own to hide.

Back at The Great Northern, we find Audrey dressed for the funeral. She sneaks into one of the special cubbyholes and peeks in on an adjoining room. She finds Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tambyn, West Side Story) helping to put Johnny (Robert Bauer) in something more suitable for a funeral. She closes the peeking hole and we move along.

The next scene opens with the swaying of trees. We are all gathered for the funeral of Laura Palmer, and the best scene in the entire episode. The priest gives a small sermon, with everyone close to Laura surrounding her coffin, save for Dr. Jacoby. Cooper, his guard always up, takes notice of Bobby’s disgust at the sudden appearance of James at the funeral. We cut between the major players with the priest’s reflection on Laura, who he also loved in a way “reserved for the headstrong and bold”. Donna seems a little pained at the thought, while Audrey still can’t keep her eyes off of Cooper. They exchange the smallest of smiles before Johnny exclaims an Amen to the crowd. It’s here that Bobby steps up with an even louder “Amen”, ready to actually turn things upside down as he promised. He blames everyone present for Laura’s death, stating that they were all aware she was in trouble, but no one came to her aid. The entire town failed her in his mind, and this causes a brief fight between Bobby and James. The two have to be restrained by separate parties.

It’s here that something magically weird occurs, because it just wouldn’t be Twin Peaks without something strange. To even think about it makes me laugh, but in the context of the story, I suppose it makes sense. In the middle of the altercation, Leland is so overcome with grief that he throws his arms open and flings himself on top of Laura’s coffin, the result of which damages the hydraulics. The coffin goes down into the hole and rises again slowly, repeating the action. Sarah (Grace Zabriskie) admonishes Leland for his actions. “Don’t ruin this too!”. It takes something somber and totally spins it on its ear. I laugh every time I see it.

By the time you’re done feeling bad about Leland’s actions, we find ourselves at the Double R by night. Shelley is re-enacting the coffin sequence to some laughing patrons. We find Ed, Hawk (Michael Horse) and Truman waiting for Cooper to arrive. Ed is sure that Cooper’s not going to get what’s they’re planning, but Truman takes him up on the wager. After making his order – Huckleberry Pie and Ice Cream with Coffee – Cooper immediately catches the look between Norma and Ed. When he brings this to Ed’s attention, Ed can only sigh. Truman gives him the tab for the Pie and Ice Cream. Truman explains that they’ve been doing some detective work of their own, as some drugs have been smuggled into Twin Peaks. Truman also tells of a secret society that helps to protect Twin Peaks from darker forces for more than 20 years.

Cooper, Ed, Hawk and Truman head over to the Book House Boys, a quasi Dead Poets Society Club. Here they find Bernard Renault, the brother of Jacques Renault. Truman mentions that he was caught with cocaine and they ask him about his connections to his brother. While they’re questioning Bernard, Jacques is about to enter the Book House Boys club when he notices a flickering red light on the roof. This causes Jacques to run to the nearest pay phone (wow, pay phones), where he makes a call to Leo, asking him to get him out there. Leo agrees to meet him and leaves Shelley behind. The scene ends with Shelley removing her gun and hiding it behind a panel in a nearby dresser.

Josie Packard (Joan Chen) and Truman meet back at the lodge later that night. Truman releases that something’s up with her, but she’s not quite ready to share. After pressing the issue, Josie states that Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie, Carrie) and Ben Horne ( Richard Beymer, Free Grass) are out to hurt her. What she doesn’t realize is that Catherine is listing in on her conversation via the intercom system. Josie opens a vault to show Truman the two sets of ledgers that show their books are being cooked, but only one is there. We’re shown that Catherine has the other book under a desk panel in her room. Not much else is said about this, so we can only speculate that more of this will come to light in a later episode.

At the cemetery, we find Dr. Jacoby finally paying his respects. Cooper also makes an appearance. Dr. Jacoby describes the pain of losing Laura as she was the only person who made him feel anything, despite the time he spent listening to others’ issues. We come to find that even he is affected by the loss, and he hopes that she can forgive him for not making an appearance earlier that day.

Josie is fearful that what happened to Andrew may happen to her, and that Catherine and Ben are after the Mill. With the Mill and Josie gone, they’d have the land to do with as they please. Truman promises to protect her, and they have a passionate moment right there on the rug. In the back of my mind, I found myself thinking “Hey, stop that! Catherine can probably still hear all your moaning!”, but of course, they’re unaware of this.

The final scene of this episode brings us back to the Great Western, with Cooper asking Hawk about his belief in the Soul. Hawk mentions there are many souls. In particular, there is the Dream Soul that wanders the land of the dead and brings life to the mind and the body. On whether Laura may be one of these, Hawk assures him that “she’s in the ground”. They raise a toast to their name and drink. Leland, also present at the location, begs for anyone to dance with him while the music plays. To dance the way he did with Laura’s picture in his hands. Cooper offers to take him home, to which Leland concedes. This final part was a little weird to me. Leland’s dance compulsion seems a really quirky thing, but then again, it’s not every day one has to bury their daughter.

So, we have a few answers to the Dream sequence, but even more questions on top of that. We’ll have to see where it all goes.

Previous Entries in The TSL’s Look At Twin Peaks:

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman

Music Video of the Day: Thank You, Judge by BlueBOB (2001, dir. David Lynch)


What a mess it is trying to narrow down David Lynch music videos. If it isn’t undocumented, then it’s mis-credited to Lynch.

BlueBOB was a group composed of John Neff and David Lynch. The video has Naomi Watts, David Lynch, and John Neff in it. It also has Eli Roth. On that note, I’m not dignifying this with anymore than that. I will just include the remake of Cabin Fever if it were made by Dingo Pictures that Phelan Porteous and Allison Pregler put together for April Fools’ Day.