Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me | 1992
If you’re not familiar with the groundbreaking TV series, which brought David Lynch’s brand of non-realism into mainstream TV, you can still wallow in the pall of dreamy malevolence.
Fire Walk With Me, which covers the seven days preceding the events of the series, was much longer than the released version. Even a re-edited version clocking in at 220 minutes was chopped down to a paltry 134 minutes, losing many of the familiar characters. Frustratingly, there’s still no sign of a Director’s Cut.
Like the TV show, the film was made in Washington State, largely in the area east of Seattle, around Snoqualmie on Route 202; North Bend, a couple of miles to the south; and Fall City to the northwest.
Investigating the suspicious death of drifter Teresa Banks, agents Desmond (Chris Isaak), Cole (David Lynch) and Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) touch down at Fall City Airport, 4731 354th Ave SE, a small private airfield in Fall City, where they receive cryptic clues from sour-faced, red-dressed dancer, Lil.
The river in which the plastic-wrapped body is discovered is in Olallie State Park, four miles east of North Bend. Known for the scenic beauty of its two waterfalls, the park is on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, where an 80-foot bridge connects the park’s two main attractions: the Weeks Falls and the spectacular Twin Falls.
Olallie’s Park Ranger’s house becomes ‘Deer Meadow Sheriff Station’, in which agents Desmond and Stanley get plenty of attitude but precious little cooperation from local law enforcement.
After examining the body, Desmond and Stanley head to ‘Hap's Diner’, in search of information, and of course, coffee. In 1992 this was the Fall City Grill, now all swanked up to become Fall City Bistro, 4046 Fall City Carnation Road SE in Fall City.
The investigation leads them to Banks’ digs at the ‘Fat Trout Trailer Park’, owned by a more cooperative, but no more useful, Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton). The trailer park, which has now gone, stood on Park Street, a small connecting road between SE 2nd Street and Meadowbrook Way in the town of Snoqualmie itself.
Ignore the shot of the Liberty Bell – the FBI headquarters in ‘Philadelphia’, where Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) worries about his dreams as long-lost Agent Jeffries (David Bowie) – possibly – turns up, was in Seattle. The Cabrini Hospital stood at 901 Boren Avenue on the corner of Madison Street. Closed since 1990, it was demolished in 1995 to be replaced by the Cabrini First Hill Apartments, an affordable housing project.
‘One year later’, and Angelo Badalamenti’s familiar haunting score alerts us that we’ve finally arrived at ‘Twin Peaks’ proper. The establishing shot of the ‘Welcome To Twin Peaks’ sign dominated by the impressive Mount Si, which opened every episode, is on SE Reinig Road, between SE 81st Street and 428th Avenue SE, just east of Snoqualmie.
The neighbourhood of friends Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and Donna Hayward (Moira Kelly, taking over from Lara Flynn Boyle, who played the role in the TV series) is Everett, on I-5 about 20 miles north of Seattle.
Laura picks up Donna from her home at 3316 Grand Avenue in Everett. Just as there was a different actor, Donna’s house in the TV series used a property in the city of Monrovia, east of Los Angeles and more convenient for the studios.
The Palmer house, in which Laura is haunted by the truly disturbing Bob, is 708 33rd Street. The house from the pilot and series, by the way, was 534 South Lewis Street in Monroe, south east of Everett.
Between Everett and Monroe is the town of Snohomish, where there’s a new ‘Twin Peaks High School’. Snohomish High School, 1316 5th Street, replaces Mount Si High School, used for the TV show.
But just as it always had been, the famous ‘RR Diner’ was famously the Mar T Café in North Bend. It was gutted by fire a few years ago and, although the exterior looks the same, the interior has been completely revamped. It’s now Twede's Café, 137 West North Bend Way at North Bend Boulevard. It retains illuminated lights on the ceiling and, most importantly, still serves 'Twin Peaks Cherry Pie'.
Donna gets into all sorts of trouble when her drink is spiked after unwisely following Laura to the sleazy ‘Bang Bang Bar’, the exterior of which is the Fall City Roadhouse, 4200 Preston-Fall City Road SE in Fall City.
The interior was a Seattle gay bar called the Timberline Spirits, which now lives on as the Raisbeck Performance Hall of Cornish College for the Arts, 2015 Boren Avenue, Seattle.
The following day, Laura is picked up from Donna’s by her dad, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), and the pair are harangued by a furious one-armed man, Mike, while driving along Reinig Road in Snoqualmie (passing under the bridge which is crossed by the dazed Ronette after witnessing Laura’s murder at the beginning of the pilot episode).
‘Mo’s Motors’, the garage at which a shaken Leland Palmer pulls over, is a derelict building on the junction of Meadowbrook Way and SE Park Street, – across from the site of the trailer park where Teresa Banks lived.
The ‘Blue Diamond Motel’, to which Palmer takes Teresa Banks in a pre-murder flashback, is the Mount Si Motel, 43200 SE North Bend Way in North Bend.
One location back in California is the cabin of barman Jacques, where Leland spies on his daughter Laura and Ronette, which is deep in the woods in the Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles. It’s still there, but now in a state of serious disrepair.
Laura's body wrapped, like Teresa’s, in plastic is pushed into the same river used for the opening scene in Olallie State Park.
One location sadly missing from the movie but heavily featured in the TV show, is the ‘Great Northern Hotel’, at the head of the spectacular falls. If you’re visiting the area, where else would you want to stay? It’s the Salish Lodge & Spa, 37807 SE Snoqualmie Falls Road, Snoqualmie.
• Many thanks to Lindsey Bowden and In Twin Peaks for help with this section.