A Movie A Day #108: Against The Wall (1994, directed by John Frankenheimer)


The year is 1971 and Malcolm Smith (Kyle MacLachlan) has just started working as a prison guard at Attica Correctional Facility.  Even though his father (Harry Dean Stanton) was a prison guard, Malcolm does not fit in with the other guards at Attica.  Malcolm is younger than them and is disgusted by the inhumane treatment of the prisoners.  If not for his wife (Anne Heche) and the child that they are expecting, Malcolm would just quit but he needs the money.  He fears that he is going to eventually turn into just another sadistic guard.

When a prison riot breaks out, Malcolm is one of the guards taken hostage.  While the psychotic Chaka (Clarence Williams III) wants to kill all of the guards, Jamaal X (Samuel L. Jackson) realizes that killing the hostages will sacrifice what little leverage that prisoners have.  If the guards are killed, Jamaal X reasons, the state police will have no reason not to storm the prison and violently restore order.  Over the course of the four-day riot, Jamaal and Malcolm become unlikely friends and allies but it turns out that, even with the guards being held hostage, the government has no interest in negotiating with the prisoners.

This moving, thought-provoking, and well-acted docudrama originally aired on HBO and it won John Frankenheimer a well-deserved Emmy.  Samuel L. Jackson is powerful as Jamaal X and this is one of the few times that Kyle MacLachlan got to play a thoroughly normal person with no dark secrets or weird quirks.  Malcolm Smith is just a regular everyman who finds himself in the middle of a history-making event.

For fans of Twin Peaks, Against the Wall features three alumni of the show.  Kyle MacLachlan, of course, starred as Dale Cooper while Clarence Williams III appeared in one episode as Roger Hardy.  Finally, Harry Dean Stanton, a longtime favorite of David Lynch, appeared in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter)


twin-peaks-sign

My apologies for the delay on this everyone.

“The Condemned Woman” refers to Josie Packard (Joan Chen), who has just about the worst day of her life in her episode.

It all begins with the items left by Windom Earle on Sheriff Truman’s (Michael Ontkean) desk. After listening to the tape recording, Truman notes that he’s not going to let Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) out of his sight. Cooper lets Truman know that if Windom really wanted him dead, it would have happened already. Looking over the chess board, they give a call to Lucy, to have Pete Martell (Jack Nance) come by the sheriff’s office as soon as they can. When he’s done with the phone, he finds Cooper gazing longingly at the face mask on the table.

“She was the love of my life, Harry.” Cooper says, speaking of Caroline Earle (Brenda Mathers).

We find Pete on the phone with Lucy, letting her know that he’ll be right over to the precinct as soon as he can. He then serves breakfast to Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie) and Andrew Packard (Dan O’Herlihy), who is surprised any the arrangement of his breakfast into a face. As the two have a good chuckle, Catherine interrupts by asking Pete to get the salt and paper. Pete does so, wishes them well, and then heads out. Over breakfast, Catherine asks about Ghostwood. Andrew informs her that everything’s set and she should be leaving for Paris the next day.

The door opens and Josie walks in, so shocked to find Andrew alive that she passes out on the floor. Not a good start for Josie in this episode.

In Truman’s office, Hawk (Michael Horse) brings in Hank (Chris Mulkey) who is arrested for the attempted murder of Leo Johnson (Eric Da Re). Hank says he’s not there, but Truman mentions he has a witness saying he’s there. Hank offers to be a witness regarding the murder for Andrew Packard, and points the finger at Josie. This causes Hawk to react and kick the crutches out from under Hank, making him collapse on the table before taking him out of the room. Truman has a moment of brief anger after Hank is escorted out.

In an adjacent office, Al Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) lays it all out. The bullets from a recently deceased individual match the ones pulled from Cooper’s torso, all leading to Josie Packard. Cooper asks Rosenfeld to hold off, as he’s going to speak with Josie and ask her to turn herself in.

Back at the Great Northern, Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) receives an envelope before taking over the Concierge desk as part of her training. A young man (Billy Zane, Titanic), approaches the desk and asks to have his luggage brought in. He recognizes her and mentions he has a photo of her in a dress and pigtails, with fond memories. He remembers her playing as Heidi. She recalls the memory as well, though she was 10 at the time. Why is he holding on to that picture? Before she can say anything about it, he’s already left the table and is moving on. Going back to the envelope, she finds the right side of a torn paper with parts of messages. It contains words such as:

High heaven…

One another;

Be forgiven

Brother;

The earth

Kiss the sea:

Work worth

Me?

It also contains a message to meet at the Roadhouse at 9:30. Strange stuff, indeed.

We’re at Ed (Everett McGill) and Nadine’s (Wendy Robie).  He’s fixed the damage to the shelves when Nadine arrives to inform him that she and Mike are in love. They had a wonderful time at their wrestling trip. At first, Ed is a little upset, but she reminds him that he and Norma (Peggy Lipton) are together, so why not? Nadine informs Ed it’s time to break up.

In the next scene, Cooper and Josie are talking about what they found. He tells her she has to come by the Precinct later today or he’s going to come hunting for her. When he leaves, Catherine (who’s been listening in the entire time) comes in and asks what’s wrong, pointing out all of the ways that Josie’s in trouble. Between Eckhardt coming after her and the police, she’s in a corner. It’s Piper Laurie playing the wicked role to a “T”, and she’s great in this scene. In the book-case, Catherine takes a pair of keys, leaving behind the Walter PPK, which Josie cradles. She may need that later on.

We’re at the Great Northern, and Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) is in wonderful spirits after his recovery tied to the Civil War re-enactment Dr. Jacoby helped with. Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), Audrey and Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) are on hand. As they talk the young man Audrey met earlier enters the office and is introduced as John Justice Wheeler.

Twin Peaks - Meeting with Ben Horne

The Horne’s (with a Brigg) gather for a meeting.

At the sit down, Ben explains that Horne Industries is in a bad way. The lands once owned by them are now owned by the Martells. His plan includes a Pine Weasel, indigenous to Twin Peaks, but almost extinct. They plan to fight the Ghostwood Development with this, and if that works out, perhaps he’ll run for the Senate. If that storyline works out, it would be interesting if it’s referenced in the Revival next month. I’ll admit that I like this version of Ben Horne. He’s less of a weasel (for want of a better word) than what he was up until now.

At the RR Cafe, a man pays his tab and leaves. On the table where he sat is an envelope for Shelly (Madchen Amick). Norma is on the phone with her sister, and explains to Shelly that her sister Annie will be visiting her from a local convent. They both discover the envelope and Shelly opens it, revealing another part of the letter that was given to Audrey earlier. Shelly’s has the following:

Waves clasp…

Flower wo…

Ordained it’s….

Sunlight…

The moon beams…

TwinPeaks - Ed-Norma.jpg

A long lost love, found at last.

Along with this is the same notification to meet at the Roadhouse at 9:30. As they think about it, Ed comes into the cafe with a deeply focused look. He walks right up to Norma and tells her that he’s loved her for years and this is their time now. Ed gives Norma a sweet embrace, a sweeter kiss, and Shelly leaves them be with a smile. Nice one, Ed.

We’re outside somewhere, and Leo (Eric Da Re) is whittling a piece of wood into Arrows, though he doesn’t speak. The man we saw at the diner (Kenneth Welsh) talks to Leo while examining some arrowheads. They have something planned for Twin Peaks, though what that is, we’re not sure.

In prison, Norma visits Hank, who’s still bruised from getting beat up by Nadine.. Hank asks her to vouch for her to help get out, but she’s not having any of it. She’s leaving him, and that’s that. He tells her to give him an alibi and he’ll give her a divorce. She still won’t cave in, and to this, Hank calls her a whore.

Norma’s response made me laugh, given that Billy Zane is also in this episode. She uses a line that James Cameron would also use later on in his film Titanic (said to Billy Zane’s Character):

“I’d rather be his whore than your wife.”

That makes me wonder if Cameron was a fan of Twin Peaks. Anyway, Norma leaves a screaming Hank behind, heading off to her new life with Ed.

We’re at the conference room in the precinct, with Pete, Truman and Cooper mulling over a Chess board. Pete, after much deliberation, makes a move and states that it will take Windom Earle some time to counter that one in a way that would remove a chess piece and lead to another killing.

In walks Rosenfield, with some more news on the forensics report. He steps out into the hallway with Cooper, explaining that they matched the gunpowder on Josie’s gloves with the bullets from before, and they have a witness who saw her leave the location of the recently deceased. Though Cooper states he handles it, an upset Truman steps into the hall, staring at both men.

He knows. Truman leaves, heading for Josie’s.

We find Josie working on her makeup when Andrew walks into the room and offers her a drink. As they sit down and talk, it’s revealed that Andrew truly loved Josie very much, but the same couldn’t be said of Josie. When she asks for him to help her, Andrew tells her what Catherine said earlier, that she should speak with Eckhardt. On the way out, she calls to him. He tells her “We won’t speak again.”

This would have been a perfect time for Dan O’Herlihy to almost close the door, stop in reflection and then say to Josie “Oh, and Happy Halloween.” before leaving.

James (James Marshall) and Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) are reunited after the escape from Evelyn’s. They’re at a picnic, and Donna wishes James well, though he has to leave Twin Peaks. They have a brief kiss and it’s a nice goodbye for James if he’s actually leaving.

Truman arrives at the Martell’s, looking for Josie. Pete and Catherine tell him that she’s off to the Great Northern, after everything that’s gone on with Eckhardt. Truman rushes off to find her.

The next scene is a great one between two veteran actors. Thomas Eckhardt (David Warner, Tron, The Omen, Time Bandits, Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze) and Andrew Packard, have a small talk in the elevator after revealing that Andrew is alive and well. The conversation is about Josie, making her sound like some sort of concubine. Andrew goes on to say that Josie loses her heart often, as she’s caught up with Sheriff Truman. Eckhardt mentions he’s taken care of that. But how, we’re left to wonder. Andrew warns Eckhardt that Josie is going to come back to him, and that’s a dangerous thing. He doesn’t get off of the elevator with Eckhardt, as he’s still considered dead to many.

Before Eckhardt leaves, Andrew calls out to him from the elevator, causing both men to pause.

“Happy Halloween.” I say, smiling, hoping O’Herlihy will say the same.

“Bye!!!” he simply says. Dammit.

Dan O'Herlihy- Happy Halloween

Though it has nothing to do with the episode, I’d have loved to have heard Dan O’Herlihy say this.

In the main lounge of the Great Northern, Audrey, Ben and John Justice Wheeler are seated at a table. Ben asks John to be his teacher, as he’ll be the open book “upon whose virgin pages you shall scribe.” This causes Audrey to choke a little, given what she’s seen of her father. The new Ben is environmentally aware, lighting up a cigar and then putting it out at the realization. Before they can go into great detail, Ben is called away. This gives John (wishing to be called Jack) and Audrey some time to themselves. She’s a little defensive when it comes to Horne Industries and his help. Audrey asks him what he did, when he wasn’t saving the world. He states he was traveling all around, but that it’s good to be home, looking at her with a lifted brow.

“I’m only 18.” She responds with a swallow in her throat. Both Jack and I have the same reaction to this. “What does that have to do with the price of eggs?” He wasn’t coming on to her (at least, I didn’t take what was being said as such). Audrey recalls the envelope meeting and tells Jack she has to go, but that she’d be seeing him again.

I hope so, too. They seem like they’d make an interesting couple, if she can’t be with Cooper.

Twin Peaks - Girls at the Bar

Someone’s leaving the women of Twin Peaks a love note, but who? And Why?

Donna finds Shelly at the bar. They make their greetings and Shelly asks Donna why she’s there. She mentions she received an envelope with part of a letter, which she lays down on the bar top. Shelly notices her letter and produces hers, laying it side by side. Audrey then appears and produces her own now. They’re able to read the complete letter:

See the mountains kiss high heaven
  And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
   If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
   And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
   If thou kiss not me?”

It’s from Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Love’s Philosophy”, but none of the girls get the reason behind why it was sent. At the end of the bar, the man who was talking with Leo earlier watches them….watches them close.

Cooper gets a phone call in his room while learning how to Fly Fish. It’s cute how well he’s adjusting to Twin Peaks life. It’s Catherine, from the way the call sounds. Cooper says he’s going to come back there to retrieve Josie, but he’s told that Josie’s there at the Great Northern, in Thomas Eckhardt’s suite.

Cooper hangs up and grabs his gun. It’s go time.

As he walks through the hallway, he hears screaming, followed by a gunshot. Cooper bursts into the room, his gun drawn. Two figures can be seen laying in bed. One rises, revealing himself as Thomas Eckhardt, a gunshot wound in his torso. Eckhardt chuckles softly, takes a few steps and then drops to the floor, dead.

Josie is kneeled on the bed, her pistol trained on Cooper. When asked why she shot Cooper, Josie admits it was because he came to Twin Peaks and it would come to this day. Harry Truman enters the room. She then turns the pistol on him. She asks Harry to forgive him, and that she never meant to hurt him. Josie has something similar to a seizure and collapses on the bed, where Truman rushes to her aid.

It’s too late. Josie Packard, murderer of Thomas Eckhardt, shooter of Agent Cooper, and Truman’s love, loses her life. A bad day indeed.

Now here is where things get weird than they normally do on Twin Peaks. A bright light envelops the bed, and Cooper stares as BOB appears, asking “Coop!! What happened to Josie!?” in a roar. His figure is replaced by the Man From Another Place (Michael Anderson), who dances on the bed.

The light fades. Cooper’s left to wonder what he’s seen. The camera tilts to a nearby dresser, where we can see Josie or (Josie’s Soul) screaming, her face pushing through the woodwork of a dresser knob. Could the Great Northern be the Black Lodge Hawk was talking about? Why is Cooper seeing BOB after they got rid of him through Leland Palmer?

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Josie Packard, meeting her fate.

Goodness, this show is so strange. It’s a better one than it deserves to be, and happily closes some of the loops, tightening up the story. No more James, No more Josie. Hopefully, the last six episodes made for a sharper tale.

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
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman

A Movie A Day #107: The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981, directed by William A. Fraker)


Long before he found fame playing Deputy Hawk on Twin Peaks, Michael Horse made his film debut in one of the most notorious box office flops of all time, The Legend of the Lone Ranger.  

Michael Horse played Tonto, the young Comanche who rescues his childhood friend, John Reid (Klinton Spilsbury), and nurses him back to health after Reid has been attacked and left for dead by the notorious outlaw, Butch Cavendish (Christopher Lloyd).  Reid was a civilian, accompanying a group of Texas Rangers led by his older brother, Dan (John Bennett Perry).  When Cavendish attacked, John was the only survivor.  John wants to avenge his brother’s death but first, Tonto is going to have to teach him how to shoot a six-shooter and how to ride his new horse, Silver.  Finally, John is ready to don the mask and becomes the Lone Ranger.  It’s just in time, because Cavendish has kidnapped President Grant (Jason Robards).

An even bigger flop than the more recent Lone Ranger film starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp, The Legend of the Lone Ranger failed for several reasons.  For one thing, the film has a major identity crisis.  The violence is not for kids but most of the dialogue and the performances are.  For another thing, it takes forever for John Reid to actually put on the mask and become the Lone Ranger.  By the time the William Tell Overture is heard, the movie is nearly over.

It was made to capitalize on the same type of nostalgia that previously made Superman a hit and, just as Superman introduced the world to Christopher Reeve, The Legend of the Lone Ranger introduced the world to a football player turned actor, named Klinton Spilsbury.  Unfortunately, the world did not want to meet Klinton Spilsbury, whose blank-faced performance was so bad that James Keach was brought in to dub over all of his dialogue.   Spilsbury did not help himself by reportedly acting like a diva during the shooting, demanding constant rewrites, and getting into bar brawls offset.  Of the two actors who made their screen debuts in The Legend of the Lone Ranger, Michael Horse has worked again.  Klinton Spilsbury has not.

When The Legend of the Lone Ranger went into production, the film’s producers made the incredibly boneheaded move of getting a court injunction barring Clayton Moore (who had played the role on TV) from wearing his Lone Ranger uniform is public.  Since the semi-retired Moore was living off of the money that he made appearing as the Lone Ranger at country fairs and children’s hospitals, this move was a public relations disaster.  (For his part, Moore filed a counter suit and continued to make appearances, now wearing wrap-around sunglasses instead of his mask.)  Moore refused to appear in a cameo and spent much of 1981 speaking out against the film.

Finally, the main reason that Legend of The Lone Ranger flopped was because it opened on the same Friday as a little film called Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The rest is history.

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (dir by Diane Keaton)


“Get a life, punk!”

— Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) in Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters”

Well, it had to happen some time.

We have reached the “Slave and Masters” episode of Twin Peaks.  Judging from what I’ve read online, most fans seem feel that this episoode was the worst in the show’s history.  Myself, I don’t know whether it is or isn’t.  I’m writing this introduction before watching the episode.  I guess I’ll know soon enough.

Interestingly enough, this episode was directed by actress Diane Keaton.  When I first saw Keaton’s name listed as director, I assumes that she must have been a fan of the show and that she lobbied for the chance to direct an episode.  However, according to Relections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks by Brad Dukes, the opposite was true.  While the cast all liked and respected Keaton as a director, there was also a feeling that she didn’t seem to actually know much about the show.  Considering that the show had suffered a severe ratings decline during the 2nd season, it seems probable that Keaton was hired to direct in an attempt to generate some new interest in the once hot show.

If that was the plan, it didn’t work.  Apparently, the ratings for this episode were so low that Twin Peaks was put on hiatus a week after it aired.  It was only due to a letter-writing campaign that ABC decided to air the last six episodes of the season.  In short, it can be argued that this episode was truly the beginning of the end for Twin Peaks‘s original network run.

So, with all that in mind, let’s take a look at the 23rd episode of Twin Peaks, “Slaves and Masters.”

As always, we begin with the haunting opening credits and Angelo Badalamenti’s lushly romantic (yet ominously threatening) score.  The mood has been set.  We have returned to the world of Twin Peaks.

After the credits, we immediately cut to a close-up of a chess board.  In slow motion, the camera glides over all of the pieces.  The Queen, The pawns, the King, the Bishop, the little horsey guy.  (I don’t know much about chess, sorry.)

Suddenly, we’re no longer looking at chess pieces.  Instead, the camera is panning up the legs of Evelyn Marsh (Annette McCarthy), who is dressed in black and even wearing a black veil and — OH MY GOD, HAS THIS STORYLINE NOT BEEN RESOLVED YET!?  Seriously, when people talk about Season 2 not being as inspired as Season 1, they’re talking about this half-assed film noir rip-off that James (James Marshall) rode into after he hopped on his motorcycle and left Twin Peaks.  From the minute that Evelyn first showed up, I knew exactly what was going to happen with her, James, and her husband.  Much like the whole Audrey kidnapping subplot, the Evelyn Marsh subplot should not have lasted any longer than an episode and a half.  Instead, it’s still going on!

Anyway, the cops are talking to Evelyn and Malcolm (Nicholas Love) about how someone might have killed her husband.  Malcolm is quick to blame James but Evelyn seems a little bit more conflicted about it.  There is a funny moment when Malcolm says that James was hired to fix the Jaguar and the cop can’t figure out how to spell Jaguar.  That made me laugh but, otherwise, this whole scene felt predictable and unnecessary.

Meanwhile, at Wallie’s Bar, a dozen cops are sitting at the bar, smoking cigars and listening to opera music.  (Weird image is weird but it’s just weirdness for the sake of weirdness.)  James and Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) are in a corner of the bar.  Donna says that they need to get help but James is all like, “I don’t need nobody!”  He says that Malcolm framed him and that he just needs to talk to Evelyn.

Donna goes to call Ed but ends up having to talk to Nadine instead.  Though we only hear Donna’s side of the conversation, it sounds like Nadine is talking about her new boyfriend.  If her new boyfriend is Mike (Gary Hershberger) than that means that Nadine is now dating Donna’s ex and yet, Donna seems to be remarkably okay with that.

Back at the Sheriff’s station, Harry (Michael Ontkean) and Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) are interrogating Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) and Shelly (Madchen Amick).  Bobby wants to know why Harry and Cooper aren’t making more of an effort to track down Leo.  Cooper asks Bobby about the night that the mill burned down.  Bobby lies and says that Hank Jennings shot Leo.

Harry says that he’ll have some deputies watch the house.  Bobby claims that he’s all the protection that Shelly needs.  (For some reason, Bobby is acting like a methhead in this scene.)  When Bobby and Shelly leave, they pass Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer), who takes one look at Bobby and shouts, “Get a life, punk!”

(We love you, Albert!)

After giving Harry an out-of-character bear hug (but that’s okay because I like it when dudes hug it out), Albert explains that he’s been sent to Twin Peaks by Gordon Cole.  He has brought with him a picture of Windom Earle, in which Windom looks like an extra in a 1930s gangster movie.  He also brings the news that Windom has been mailing different pieces of clothing to police agencies across the country.

Windom has mailed:

1. A white veil

2. A garter

3. A pair of white slippers

4. A peal necklace

5. A wedding dress

Oh my God, I said as Albert listed the items, Windom Earle is marrying Pippa Middleton!

Cooper says that the clothing belonged to Windom’s dead wife (and Cooper’s ex-lover), Caroline.  Albert says that Windom is definitely making his move and then says that Cooper looks good in the muted earth tones of a flannel shirt.  That was nice of Albert.

Meanwhile, in his cabin, Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) plays a flute while Leo (Eric Da Re) lies on the floor.  (I have to be honest that these cabin scenes between Windom and Leo made me think about Peter Boyle burning down Gene Hackman’s hut in Young Frankenstein.)  Once Leo wakes up, Windom — who was previously described as having a mind like a diamond, cold and precise — starts acting like a Satanic little wood sprite.  He jumps around the cabin.  He says a lot of evil quips.  He beats Leo with a flute and then reveals that he’s placed a collar around Leo’s neck.  Windom can electrocute Leo whenever he feels like it.  Windom forces Leo to eat gruel while Windom pretends to be a kitty cat.  “Purrrr,” he says.

(Windom’s a genius so why is he acting like a sadistic towel manager?)

We cut to Ed (Everett McGill) laying in bed with Norma (Peggy Lipton) and talking about how it’s been twenty years since they first fell in love.  They agree that it’s sucked not being together.  Suddenly, they hear Nadine (Wendy Robie) arriving home.  Norma starts to leave but Ed says, “No, no.  We may as well talk to her now.”  Sure, Ed — have this conversation with Nadine while you and Norma are laying in bed in your underwear.  That’ll really avoid any hurt feelings.

Suddenly, Nadine rips the bedroom door off of its hinges.  She comes into the room, carrying a wrestling trophy, and then jumps into bed with Ed and Norma.  Nadine apologizes for beating up Hank and then says that she knows about the two of them.  Nadine says it’s okay because she’s in love with Mike now.

Cut to the Martell house, where Harry and Cooper are talking to Josie (Joan Chen) about what happened to her in Seattle.  Josie says she doesn’t know who killed Jonathan.  Harry begs Josie to tell him the truth.  Out of nowhere, a surprisingly cheerful Cooper announces, “I think I’ll get another cup of Joe!”

(Somewhere, Joe Biden looks up and says, “Oh my God, they’re talking about me in an old episode of Twin Peaks!”  No, Joe, they’re not.  Sorry.  Maybe later.)

While Cooper’s getting more coffee, Pete (Jack Nance) stumbles in.  He has picked up the dry cleaning and can barely see above all of the clothes that he’s holding.  He and Cooper do that thing where, instead of being smart and putting the clothes somewhere first, they stand around and attempt to have a conversation, despite the fact that Pete is about fall over backwards.  When the phone rings, Pete gives the clothes to Cooper and now its Cooper’s turn to struggle to remain standing.  Eventually, Cooper puts the clothes on a chair (was that so hard!?) and then picks one thread off of a jacket.

Speaking of Josie, the phone call was for her.  It turns out that the call is from Thomas Eckhardt (David Warner) and he is wondering if he and Josie could get together.  Thomas reveals that he is responsible for Jonathan’s death.

After hanging up the phone, Thomas and his assistant, Jones (Brenda Strong), stare at a black trunk.

Meanwhile, Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) is apparently still convinced that he’s a Civil War general because he’s talking to Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) about Stonewall Jackson.  Much like all that stuff with Evelyn Marsh, this is a plotline that should have been resolved after an episode and a half.  Instead, it’s been dragged out way past the point of being amusing.  The Ben-Goes-Crazy storyline is the epitome of how Season 2 abandoned surrealism in favor of just being weird for the sake of being weird.

It turns out that Ben and Jacoby have an audience.  Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) and Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) are listening.  Johnny Horne (Robert Bauer) is rocking back and forth while wearing a Native American headdress.  And there’s a few members of the Hotel Staff, who have been transformed into some sort of marching band.

While Ben rants in his really crummy Southern accent, Jerry and Audrey leave the office.  Audrey is worried about her father but Jerry seems to be fairly indifferent.  (Needless to say, this goes against everything that we’ve previously seen about Jerry and his relationship with Ben.)  Audrey points out that, conveniently enough, she is set to inherit the entire Horne business empire if anything happens to Ben and that Jerry better do what she says or she’ll cut him off.

Audrey returns to Ben’s office, where Dr. Jacoby looks perplexed.  Audrey walks up to him and says she wants her father to turn back to normal. Jacoby says that he’s got it all taken care of.  Bobby shows up, dressed like a Confederate soldier.  Ben sings Dixie.  Can this storyline just end, please!?

Meanwhile, at Walli’s, Evelyn is still dressed in black.  Though the bar appears to be closed (there are chairs on the tables and everything), Evelyn is drinking.  Suddenly, Donna walks up to her.  Why is Donna still there?  How much school can you miss in Twin Peaks?  Why are Evelyn and Donna both hanging out in a bar that appears to be closed?

Suddenly, the bartender wanders by, lingering just long enough for Evelyn to order Donna a drink, “one that has a little umbrella in it.”  Okay, is this bar closed or open?  If it’s open, why are the tables covered in chairs?  This stuff is confusing, especially for a non-drinker like me.

Anyway, Donna gets mad when Evelyn says that she won’t help James.  Evelyn explains that life is crap.  (Her words.)  Suddenly, Malcolm (Nicholas Love) shows up and tells Evelyn to go home.  He then threatens Donna and Donna reacts by yelling and then crying.

Back at the station, Albert reveals that the thread that Cooper found was from the carpet outside of Cooper’s hotel room.  Apparently, this proves that it was Josie who shot Cooper at the end of Season 1.  Bad Josie!

After swearing Albert to secrecy, Cooper heads to Harry’s office, where Harry is playing darts.  Harry tells Cooper that the dead vagrant has been identified as being Eric Powell, a former member of the Merchant Marines.

“Powell was Caroline’s maiden name!” Cooper says.

Cooper says that this is all a big chess game to Windom.  Harry says that, if Cooper needs a chess expert, they have one of the best right in town.  And his name is Pete Martell!

At the diner, Pete shows of his mad chess skills by playing and winning four games at once.  Cooper is impressed and invites Pete to help him play Windom’s chess game.  Pete better be good because, every time that Cooper loses a piece, Windom is going to kill an innocent person.

Shelly walks into the diner and asks Norma if she needs any help.  Norma hires her back.  Then Harry shows up and says that he needs to talk to Norma.  They slip into the kitchen where Harry explains that Hank is going away for a long time.  Norma’s okay with that but I’m not.  Hank may be a sociopath but he’s hella charming.

That night, Thomas shows up at the Martell house, where he is greeted by Catherine (Piper Laurie).  Thomas appears to be slightly surprised by the sight of Josie in her maid’s uniform.  Thomas and Catherine drink wine, eat dinner, and discuss art and killing.  It quickly becomes apparent that Thomas has shown up to take Josie and that Catherine is more than willing to allow him to do that, for a price.

Meanwhile, at the Marsh house, Evelyn is stunned when James shows up in the living room and demands to know why Evelyn killed her husband and attempted to frame him.  James says that it was hella lame to manipulate him with everything that he’s been going through.  Evelyn confesses to everything.  She says that she set James up.  She says she did it for the money and also just because she felt like doing it.

Suddenly, Malcolm barges into the room and knocks James out.  Malcolm says that they can now kill James and claim that it was self-defense.   And you know what?  He has a point.  Bye, James.

Meanwhile, Ben and the gang recreate another Civil War battle.  This whole Civil War subplot is so freaking stupid that I don’t even feel like talking about it anymore.  While pretending to be General U.S. Grant, Dr. Jacoby announces that he’s surrendering.  Having won the Civil War, Ben proceeds to faint.  When he wakes up, Ben says that he had the strangest dream about being a general during the Civil War.  He even does the whole “And you were there …. and you … and you!” thing.  Anyway, Ben appears to be back to normal.

At the cabin, Windom is putting on a disguise.  He continues to torment Leo with the electroshock collar.

At the Marsh mansion, James is still unconscious on the floor while Malcolm and Evelyn look down on him.  Donna watches from outside the window.  When Malcolm repeats that they can kill James and make it look like self-defense, Donna runs into the living room and screams, “NO!”

As Evelyn watches Donna cry over a motionless James, she stands up.  Uh-oh, she’s got a gun.  Evelyn shoots Malcolm and then says that she’ll frame Malcolm for her husband’s death though I don’t think it’ll be that difficult a frame-up because Malcolm is actually guilty.

At the Great Northern, Cooper walks down a hallway and stops in front of an elevator.  He looks at a picture of Caroline that he has in his wallet.  As he does this, a poorly disguised Windom Earle steps off the elevator.  Windom goes to the front desk an drops off a note for Audrey.  (Oh, goddamnit, is this going to be the start of yet another Audrey-gets-kidnapped storyline?)  He also notices several postcards that all feature owls.  “Owls,” he says.

Cooper arrives back at his room.  He finds a white mask on his bed.  Windom Earle has been there and he’s left a taunting message.  The episode ends with Windom’s line: “It’s your move.”

Agck!

As for this episode, it definitely felt a bit off.  The main problem is that it focused on two largely uninteresting subplots — Evelyn Marsh and the Civil War — and portrayed Windom Earle as so cartoonishly evil that it’s hard to believe that he could also be the villainous mastermind that Cooper’s spent the last few episodes describing.  It was a weak episode but at least it finished off the whole Evelyn Marsh thing.

Always look on the bright side of life.

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
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland

 

 

 

A Movie A Day #106: Out of Control (1985, directed by Allan Holzman)


Eight prep school students leaves their graduation party, board a small plane, and head off for a weekend to be held on a private island resort.  However, the plane hits a storm and crashes into the ocean.  Though their pilot dies, the students manage to make it to a nearby island.  At first, the island seems deserted but then Cowboy (Jim Youngs) comes across a backpack full of spam and vodka.

Waiting to be rescued, the students settle in for the night.  At first, they work well together and make the best of a bad situation.  But then a tribalistic game of spin the bottle goes terribly wrong.  Nerdy Elliot (Andrew J. Lederer) worries that he is going to die a virgin.  Rich boy Keith (Martin Hewitt) gets jealous over the fact that his girlfriend, Chrissie (Betsy Russell) used to go out with Cowboy.    Not even level-headed Katie (Sherilyn Fenn) and Gary (Richard Kantor) can keep the two of them from fighting.

The next day, the drug dealers who use the island as a base show up and the eight students have to work together just to survive.

Obviously, any film featuring both Betsy Russell and Sherilyn Fenn is going to be worth watching but, for a nearly forgotten B-movie from the 1980s, Out of Control is actually pretty good.  It starts out as a fairly interesting version of Lord of the Flies, just with older castaways and a lot more nudity.  Out of Control gets less interesting and more predictable once the drug dealers show up but it does lead to one of those endings that could only happen in the 80s.  Out of Control has never been released on DVD but it can currently be viewed (with Swedish subtitles) on YouTube.

Sherilyn Fenn got an “introducing” credit here, though, by the time Out of Control was released, she had already appeared in both The Wild Life and Just One Of The Guys.  She and Martin Hewitt later co-starred in Fenn’s best known pre-Twin Peaks film, Two Moon Junction.

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel)


Welcome back to Twin Peaks!

Last episode, Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) returned from the land of missing and brought with him a tale of the White Lodge.  Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) obsessed over the Civil War.  James Hurley (James Marshall) found himself trapped in a second-rate film noir.  Jean Reanult (Michael Parks) was finally killed but, when Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Harry (Michael Ontkean) returned to the sheriff’s station, they discovered that someone had left them a present: a dead man sitting in front of a chess board.

Things start with the station still in darkness.  Doctor Hayward (Warren Frost), Harry, and Cooper are looking over the dead man’s body.  The first thing that they discover is that a chess pawn has been stuffed in his mouth.  When Cooper correctly guesses that the dead man will have a stab wound in his chest, severing the aorta, Harry deduces that this is not the first time that Cooper has seen something like this.

Cooper says that he knows that his former partner, Windom Earle, is responsible.  He guesses that the victim was a vagrant who was offered a lift by Earle.  (In reality, the victim was played by Craig MacLachlan, brother of Kyle.)  Earle stabbed the man and then set off the explosion in the woods.  When everyone was distracted, Earle carried the body into the station.  “Windom Earle has been in this room,” Cooper says, “I can still feel his presence.”

At the Great Northern, Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) makes a deal with Bobby (Dana Ashrbook).  She wants Bobby to help her bring her father back from “limbo land.”  “From now on, Bobby,” Audrey says, “I’m the one you suck up to.”

“What about Shelly?” Bobby asks.

“What about Shelly?” Audrey replies.

Speaking of Shelly, she is in trouble because Leo (Eric Da Re) has suddenly woken up and now she’s trapped in a dark house, with no power and a very angry husband.  Fortunately, Bobby arrives home right when Leo is about to attack Shelly with an axe.  When Leo attacks Bobby instead, Shelly stabs Leo in the leg with a kitchen knife.  Like an unmasked Jason Voorhees, the wounded Leo staggers off into the woods while Bobby and Shelly embrace.

The next morning, back at the station, Cooper watches as the body is wheeled away.  Harry gives Cooper a cup of coffee and tells Cooper that, until he is reinstated in the FBI, he is still a deputy.  “If you want this case,” Harry says, “it’s yours.”

Out in the front lobby, Andy (Harry Goaz) tells Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) that he has to talk to her about Nicky.  Andy explains that he and Dick have been doing some detective work and they think that Nicky may have murdered his parents.

“He’s nine years old,” Lucy says.

“We know,” Andy nods, “we think he was six at the time of the crime.”

Lucy is not amused.

At the Marsh place, James is working on another one of classic cars when Jeffrey Marsh (John Apicella) walks up and introduces himself.  He says that he’s envious of James’s carefree lifestyle.  He says that he’d love to talk to James about the cars later in the day but James says that he should probably be moving on.  Evelyn (Annette McCarthy) walks up and says that she is sure that she can find all sorts of things for James to do around the house.  James walks back inside the garage and Jeffrey drives away in the car that James just finished working on.  As Evelyn looks off in the distance, there is the sound of screeching tires and a car crash.

At the diner, Ed (Everett McGill) is having a cup of coffee of Doctor Hayward.  Ed is worried because Nadine wants to start dating boys and, since she’s She-Hulk now, Ed worries that Nadine could kill them with her sex drive.  Doctor Hayward suggests that Ed tell her to be home by 9:00 on school nights.  I could be wrong but I don’t think Doctor Hayward is taking Nadine’s condition very seriously.

Doctor Hayward is actually more concerned about Donna, who took the van that morning to go see James.  Ed explains that Donna is taking James some money, presumably all twelve of the dollars that were in James’s bank account.

After the doctor leaves, Norma (Peggy Lipton) sits down across from Ed.  She says that Hank is in the hospital.  He says that a tree fell on him but Ed tells her that Nadine actually beat him up.  Norma is happy because, once Hank gets out of the hospital, he will be going back to prison for violating his parole.

At the sheriff’s station, Cooper and Harry are staring at the chess board that Windom Earle placed in front of the dead man.  Cooper explains that he and Earle played a game of chess every day for three years.  Earle thought that all the answers to life’s mysteries could be found in the game of chess.

Cooper explains that Windom Earle was his first partner.  Everything that he learned about the law and the bureau he learned from Windom Earle.  Cooper tells the story (the same one that he told Audrey earlier) of how, four years ago, he fell in love with a woman named Caroline who was a material witness to a federal crime and how, when she was attacked, Cooper was not prepared and could not save her life.  Cooper adds the detail that she was stabbed, in the same way as the vagrant.  Cooper also reveals that Caroline was Windom Earle’s wife.

Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) arrives at a bar called Wallies, looking for James.  James is not there but Evelyn is.  “You look like someone who needs help,” Evelyn says.  When Donna says she’s looking for James, Evelyn says that James did some work for her and then left for Mexico.  Donna leaves, presumably taking James’s twelve dollars with her.

At the Great Northern, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), Audrey, and Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) watch as Ben continues to play with his little army men.  Ben thinks that Jerry is General J.E.B. Stuart.  Ben assures everyone that they are marching forward and only God can stop them.  “The almighty is a Southerner,” Ben declares.  Dr. Jacoby explains that if Ben can reverse the defeat of the Confederacy then he will also reverse his own recent mental defeats.  Jacoby and Ben start to sing Dixie.

At the sheriff’s station, Major Briggs stumbles in, says that he needs to see Harry, and then collapses.

When he comes to, Major Briggs explains to Harry and Cooper that, when his superiors questioned him about his disappearance, they exhibited a degree of “intolerance and suspicion” that apparently left Briggs feeling traumatized.  Briggs goes on to explain that, during his disappearance, he believes that he was taken to the White Lodge.  Briggs goes on to say that there will be much trouble ahead.  “I will return,” Briggs says, “but until that time, I will be in the shadows if you need me.”

As Briggs leaves, Andy enters the office and tells Cooper and Harry that he needs to show them something.  He leads them to the conference room, where Dr. Jacoby announces that he has spent the last few hours talking to Lana Milford (Robyn Lively) and he has found no evidence of her being crazy or cursed.  There is no way that Lana is responsible for Dougie’s death, Jacoby says.  Jacoby goes on to say that Lana has a heightened sexual drive and skills that few men could ever hope to experience.  Jacoby announces that he and Lana are going to go bowling but, as soon as they step out of the office, they run into Mayor Milford (John Boylan), who was a rifle and who demands that nobody move.

The Mayor wants blood but Cooper has a solution.  He takes the rifle and then locks Milford and Lana in the conference room together.  After a few minutes, Lana and the Mayor are in love and talking about adopting a child.

At the Martell house, Pete (Jack Nance) tells Catherine (Piper Laurie) that they forgot to pick up the hot dogs.  Catherine is more interested in telling Pete the true story of how she survived the fire and marshaled the resources to defeat Ben.  She reveals that her brother (and Josie’s husband), Andrew Packard (Dan O’Herlihy), is not actually dead and he’s sitting in the study.  Andrew explains that he and Catherine faked his death in a boating accident because a contract had been taken out on Andrew’s life by Andrew’s former business partner, Thomas Eckhardt.  Catherine also reveals that Josie works for Thomas Eckhardt and that Eckhardt will be returning to Twin Peaks to rescue her from having to work as Catherine’s maid.

At the exact same time, Thomas Eckhardt (DAVID WARNER!) and his assistant, Jones (Brenda Strong), are checking into the Great Northern.

At the sheriff’s station, Lucy is sick of both Andy and Dick (Ian Buchanan) so she brings Doctor Hayward in to talk to both of them.  Doctor Hayward explains that he called the orphanage and that Nicky is no murderer.  Nicky’s mother was a chamber maid at the Great Northern and his father was a man who fled back to Canada following the back alley assault that led to Nicky’s conception.  Hayward explains that Nicky’s mom died in childbirth.  Nicky was adopted by a loving couple who died in an icy car crash.  Six year-old Nicky heroically attempted to pull his adoptive parents to safety but failed.  Andy and Dick both start to cry.

Harry gets an alert from Seattle, telling him that the man who Josie left with, the one who Josie claims that she merely escaped from, has been found murdered.  Since Cooper is now a deputy, Harry orders Cooper to find out if Josie killed him.  For once, Harry gets to order Cooper around.

At the Marsh house, James is packing his stuff when Evelyn comes in and swears the she is in love with him.  Evelyn says that there’s been an accident and Jeffrey’s dead.  James immediately figures out that Evelyn killed her husband and set him up to take the fall.  Evelyn says that it was Malcolm’s idea and that Malcom isn’t really her brother.  As the police arrive outside, Evelyn tells James to run and go find “that young girl who loves you.”

As James tries to sneak out of the house without being spotted by the cops, he runs into Donna, who is hiding behind a tree.  They run off while Evelyn talks to the police.

In the woods, a dazed and confused Leo comes across a cabin.  Inside the cabin, a man (Kenneth Welsh) plays a flute and invites Leo to enter.  The man sits down in front of a chess board and introduces himself as Windom Earle.

End credits.

This episode shares the same flaws as a lot of season 2.  There are a lot of good scenes, like Leo menacing Shelly and Bobby or the introduction of Windom Earle, but there are also scenes that are just too cartoonish, like anything involving the Mayor and Lana.  This episode was the first and only episode to be directed by German director Uli Edel and he does a pretty good job, putting his own unique spin on the show’s signature style.

Tomorrow: “Slaves and Masters,” in which Cooper gets unexpected help in his chess game against Windom Earle.

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
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland

A Movie A Day #105: Patti Rocks (1988, directed by David Burton Morris)


Though Chris Mulkey may be best known for playing ex-con Hank Jennings on Twin Peaks, he is also a well-respected character actor who, since the start of his career in the 1970s, has appeared in over 200 different films and TV shows.  He has played a countless number of government agents and criminals and he was even one of the deputies who tried to track down Sylvester Stallone in First Blood.

But Mulkey’s best performance might be in a film that he co-wrote, Patti Rocks.

In Patti Rocks, Mulkey plays Billy Regis, a blue collar worker who spends his days ferrying people across the Mississippi river and his nights bragging about his success with women.  One night, he tracks down his old friend, Eddie (John Jenkins).  He tells Eddie that he has gotten his girlfriend, Patti Rocks, pregnant.  What Patti does not know is that Billy is already married and has two children.  Billy wants Eddie to drive with him to Wisconsin so he call tell Patti the truth.  Depressed over his recent divorce, Eddie agrees.

It is an all night drive, during which Billy and Eddie talk about their own lost dreams, work, and especially sex.  Billy claims to be a womanizer but even he secretly seems to understand how empty his boasts are.  When they meet a woman who is just as outspoken as Billy is, Billy gets quiet.  When they finally reach Patti’s apartment, Patti (Karen Landry) turns out to not be who Eddie was expecting.

Patti Rocks tells a simple, episodic story about two immature men in the throes of a mid-life crisis.  Not much happens but the dialogue rings true and everyone watching Patti Rocks will recognize Billy and Eddie as someone that they know and maybe even see some of themselves in the characters.

Chris Mulkey and John Jenkins first played the characters of Billy and Eddie in the 1976 independent feature, Loose Ends.  Though it never received a wide theatrical release, Loose Ends started Mulkey’s career as a busy character actor.