ByAlexandra Ekstein-Kon, writer at Creators.co
Editor at MP. Twin Peaks, classics, a bit of this, a bit of that. Email me at [email protected]
Alexandra Ekstein-Kon

As the excruciating 27-year wait for Season 3 of Twin Peaks draws to a close (with premiere scheduled for May 21), some of you might be thinking, "how can I best mentally and spiritually prepare to reenter this wonderful and strange world?" While rewatching is always a good idea, delving into the back catalog of the series director and co-creator, the enigmatic , is also a surefire way to get your head in the right place to receive the most from your deep dive into Twin Peaks once again. So open your heart, don't let BOB in, and put on a bemused smile, because by the time you work through all of the movies on this list, you'll either be the most confused you've ever been, or you'll simply accept that the owls are not what they seem.

7. 'Wild At Heart'

What's it about?

Two lovers, Sailor Ripley and Lula Fortune (played by Nicolas Cage and , respectively) reunite after Sailor gets out of jail for killing a man in self-defense. But Lula's mother doesn't want her daughter anywhere near that riff raff — y'know, because he killed a guy — so she hires a deranged hitman (Willem Dafoe) to kill him. But believe it or not, that's hardly the most pressing of the young couple's worries.

How will it help me prepare for Twin Peaks?

In some ways, this is the movie David Lynch cheated on Twin Peaks with. After he and Mark Frost were pressured by ABC to reveal Laura Palmer's killer, Lynch increasingly left Twin Peaks to its own devices (until the final episode). But he wasn't just disgruntled by the studio's insistence — he and Frost originally had no intention of revealing the killer — he took time away to work on his film , which was released just a month before Twin Peaks Season 2 aired.

Actors also appearing in Twin Peaks Season 3:

  • Laura Dern - Unknown
  • Harry Dean Stanton - Carl Rodd
  • Grace Zabriskie - Sarah Palmer
  • Sherilyn Fenn - Audrey Horne
  • Sheryl Lee - Laura Palmer
  • David Patrick Kelly - Jeremy Horne
  • Jack Nance - Only in Twin Peaks Seasons 1 and 2. He sadly passed away in 1996.

6. 'Meditation, Creativity, Peace'

What's it about?

This documentary follows director David Lynch on a journey around the world, discussing meditation and the benefits of its continued practice. As the title suggests, he also contemplates the role meditation plays in his creative process. The official David Lynch Foundation YouTube channel has even kindly posted the whole thing for free, so you can watch it in full above.

How will it help me prepare for Twin Peaks?

Although not a strictly Lynch film, Meditation, Creativity, Peace provides further insight into the mind and process of the mysterious director. One thing that's consistently overlooked about Twin Peaks is the role spirituality plays in the flow of the plot and the way that the characters interact *cue Cooper's Tibetan Method clip*. To both Lynch and Agent Cooper (whom Frost based on Lynch), spirituality, mediation and the creative process are life-long journeys. In order to understand Lynch, you have to understand his beliefs, which makes this documentary a must-see.

Actors also appearing in Twin Peaks Season 3:

  • David Lynch - Gordon Cole

5. 'Inland Empire'

What's it about?

Nikki Grace (Laura Dern) and Devon Berk (Justin Theroux) are cast as the leads in the remake of a film that was never completed due to the murders of the two main stars. Add a creepy, prophetic Polish neighbor, a jealous husband, and the increasingly blurred line between reality and the film their working on, and you've got the Lynchian equivalent of primordial soup.

See also:

How will it help me prepare for Twin Peaks?

What to say about ? It's weird as shit. Basically, all of it takes place in a Black Lodge state, so if you're hoping for a Mulholland Drive-style slow descent into madness, you'll find no such training wheels here. Inland Empire dives right into the madness and never looks back. Enjoy at your own peril.

Actors also appearing in Twin Peaks Season 3:

  • Grace Zabriskie - Sarah Palmer
  • Harry Dean Stanton - Sheriff Frank Truman
  • Scott Coffey - Unknown

4. 'Mulholland Drive'

What's it about?

When Rita stumbles into Betty's (an aspiring young actress) apartment after a car crash that renders her memoryless, the two women try to find out who Rita really is and what happened to her.

How will it help me prepare for Twin Peaks?

What is now widely hailed as the best movie of the 21st century thus far was originally conceived as the pilot for a Twin Peaks spin-off series about Audrey Horne going to seek fame and fortune in LA. But when Twin Peaks wasn't renewed for a third season, the idea was also dropped. However Lynch pitched it again a few years later, this time revamping everything except the title. The project eventually got funding and it blew everyone's minds when it premiered at Cannes in 2001.

Actors also appearing in Twin Peaks Season 3:

  • Naomi Watts - Unknown
  • Robert Forster - Sheriff Frank Truman

3. 'Lost Highway'

What's it about?

Lost Highway is the story of Fred, who winds up on death row after he may or may not have killed his wife Renée. The story is combined with that of a young man named Pete, who becomes involved with Alice, who happens to look exactly like Renée. Add in a BOB-like Mystery Man (check him out in the above clip) who films them and can be in at least two places at once, an even more mysterious switcheroo, and gangsters, and you've got yourself a royal mindfuck.

How will it help me prepare for Twin Peaks?

Although it's often written that Lynch stated that and Twin Peaks (and Mulholland Drive, for that matter) exist in the same universe, I could find no quote from him on the matter. The fan theory linking the three is compelling, and we know that Lynch does enjoy using the same actors, but it's Fred brushing by red curtains as he walks down a darkened hallway to madness that seals the deal for me.

Actors also appearing in Twin Peaks Season 3:

  • Balthazar Getty - Unknown
  • Jack Nance - Only in Seasons 1 and 2. He sadly passed away in 1996.

2. 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me'

What's it about?

is the prequel film to the Twin Peaks series. This is where you'll find important information on what happened to Laura Palmer in the time leading up to her murder, and get a peek at the inner workings at the FBI HQ, as well as previous cases leading to BOB.

How will it help me prepare for Twin Peaks?

If you want to make sure you know your Twin Peaks lore back to front, this is a must-see addition. Although the late, great David Bowie was not able to reprise his role from Fire Walk With Me in the new season, there are still plenty of beloved cast members returning for Season 3.

Actors also appearing in Twin Peaks Season 3:

  • Kyle McLachlan - Agent Cooper
  • Sheryl Lee - Laura Palmer
  • Ray Wise - Leland Palmer
  • Grace Zabriskie - Sarah Palmer
  • Dana Ashbrook - Bobby Briggs
  • Mädchen Amick - Shelly Johnson
  • Phoebe Augustine - Ronette Polaski
  • Miguel Ferrer - Albert Rosenfeld
  • Gary Hershberger - Mike Nelson
  • Peggy Lipton - Norma Jennings
  • David Lynch - Gordon Cole
  • James Marshall - James Hurley
  • Harry Dean Stanton - Carl Rodd
  • Al Strobel - the One Armed Man

1. 'Blue Velvet'

What's it about?

A young man (Kyle McLachlan) comes back from college to his quaint, quiet, seemly perfect small town. But when he finds a severed ear lying in a field, he begins to scratch beneath the surface of the perfect picture to find something a lot more sinister lurking just beneath.

How will it help me prepare for Twin Peaks?

is in many ways the precursor to Twin Peaks, both thematically and aesthetically. David Lynch has been vocal about his ever present fascination with small towns — having grown up in one — and what goes on just beneath their idyllic surfaces. Blue Velvet is a masterpiece that truly exposes the underbelly of sin, and makes you question the nature of reality in the same vain as Twin Peaks.

Actors also appearing in Twin Peaks Season 3:

  • - Agent Cooper
  • Laura Dern - Unknown
  • Jack Nance - Only in Seasons 1 and 2. He sadly passed away in 1996.

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