New To Blu: Twin Peaks - The Entire Mystery

Twin Peaks fan? Check out our review of The Entire Mystery, perhaps one of the best blu ray packages ever released. 

Check out my package.
David Lynch’s personally supervised Blu-ray treatment of his world famous and highly successful television show Twin Peaks may well be the best home video release of 2014.  Finally, fans have access to the long awaited deleted scenes from the ill-fated Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me film prequel as well as an ocean of materials never before seen and recently conducted retrospectives with the cast and crew of Lynch’s elaborate saga of surreal soap opera.  Mr. Lynch has been working on releasing his work to the high definition format for a long time, but never has a home video package this exquisite, detailed and ornate ever been released before, period.  From the creepy lifelike indentation of Sheryl Lee’s facial features on the cover of the box, to the treasure chest-like box of pages spanning 10 Blu-ray discs including a hidden Easter Egg inside the box itself, Lynch has pushed the potential of the Blu-ray box set as far as it can go, and then some.  Case in point, not to be immodest, but Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery is a David Lynch aficionado’s wet dream come true. It's a treasure trove of the world of Twin Peaks which represents the best home video release Mr. Lynch has ever created.

"Excuse my while I drink this
coffee and try to forget about Dune."
The Video (10/10)
Originally released on DVD by Artisan Entertainment before Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to the series and released both the first and second seasons, it goes without saying the 35mm film elements of the 1990 series and 1992 Fire Walk with Me prequel have been restored to an immaculate quality.  Transferred in 4K resolution under the personal supervision of David Lynch, with his fastidious attention to color timing and correction to tonal range, Seasons 1 and 2 have never looked this good.  Aired on standard definition television upon initial release, the footage has the depth of field and texture of a brand new theatrical print being unspooled for the very first time.  Twin Peaks’ deep red levels of the surreal Black Lodge are as lush as they must have looked through the viewfinder.  While Lynch previously released Blue Velvet on a remastered Blu-ray, this is the first time he has worked with the resolution capabilities of 4K and to say Lynch has finally reached the pinnacle of mastering his work for home video is selling the man short.  As a Blu-ray of source material well over 25 years old, this frankly pushes the capacity and promise of the format as far as it can go.

"Excuse me ma'am. Please stop
your crying. You finally got the
box set you wanted."
The Audio (10/10)
What would the world of a David Lynch film be without his wind tunnel sound design and otherworldly engineering, taking listeners deep down the rabbit hole of sonic possibilities film sound can offer?  I recall listening to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack to Lynch’s Lost Highway on laserdisc well before the Lynch-approved DVD hit the market, and it surpassed the technical merits of many DVDs released thereafter.  With the recent development of DTS-HD 7.1 surround sound in theaters both at the multiplex and home, Twin Peaks and Fire Walk with Me have been remastered from the initial 5.1 surround stems created for the DVD releases and taken them even further than before.  Immersive beyond words, Lynch’s soundscapes have always demonstrated the importance of the aural experience of a film as opposed to focusing purely on image alone.  Angelo Badalementi’s iconic score of jazz and atonal, industrial ambience sounds beautiful and terrifying uncompressed.  Whenever we find ourselves within the Black Lodge, the home theater comes alive as subtle dissonance in sound slowly builds up to a shriek.  As with the video, the audio is impeccable and inarguably the finest sounding home video release of Lynch’s work to date.

"Wanna smoke some of the
good stuff?"
The Extras (10/10)
Now here is where fans will find the cherry pie and damn good cup of coffee.  When Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me was first released on DVD by New Line Home Video, it was announced the legendary 2 hours of scenes deleted from the final cut of the film would be included as a bonus feature.  Unfortunately, New Line Home Video and the owner of the footage, mk2, couldn’t come to an agreement and the project died a quiet death as the film appeared on DVD.  One of the major critiques against Fire Walk with Me had to do with the absence of a majority of the characters in the show while leaving many questions opened by Season 2 unanswered.  Lynch shot enough footage to make a 4 hour film, and many of the scenes cut both flesh out the characters more fully and offer some of the scariest scenes to ever see the light of day…ever.  Much like the Blu-ray edition of Blue Velvet, Lynch remastered re-edited the scenes as vignettes that could have easily fit back into the film.  Fans pining for more Jack Nance finally get their chance and Lynch’s Black Lodge footage is downright spine tingling.  There’s a scene of Sheryl Lee staring at a ceiling fan as she becomes possessed by the demon Bob (Frank Silva), her face encompassing the frame as her terrified gaze slowly melts into a murderous grin that is so impossibly frightening, it will induce nightmares even in the most hardened of Lynch fans.  

Not stopping there, Lynch and the Twin Peaks gang, both in the show and film, have re-united for newly created interviews and documentaries including never before seen behind the scenes photos, including a much-discussed moment never shot involving a pig’s head.  And then there’s the package design itself.  Sheryl Lee’s face has been imprinted on the box in such a way that your fingertip can feel every contour of her nose, lips, and swollen eyeballs, quite an unnerving attention to detail.  The box itself is held open like a chest connected to a black ribbon, with each page printed on high quality paper with a plastic sheet printing of the details of each disc.  Inside some of the flaps housing the discs themselves are hidden easter eggs, including a reprinting of the bloody handwritten note ‘Fire Walk with Me’ seen in the show’s pilot. 

Overall, this is a cornucopia of a Blu-ray set in terms of presentation, content, and creative design, a boxed set to display with pride and show off to guests.  Not even the most popular recent television shows with several seasons have a collectible set with this much care put into it.  For both fans and newcomers to Lynch and the world of Twin Peaks, this is essential to home video libraries and demonstrates justd how far the technical facets of Blu-ray mastering and packaging can be pushed.  Buy this with confidence!

-Andrew Kotwicki