Knives and Skin Riffs on, Improves Twin Peaks [Review]

Jennifer Reeder’s Knives and Skin has frequently been compared to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. It’s a good comparison. Both focus on the waves of grief that ripple out through a small town community after the loss of a young woman. In Knives and Skin Carolyn Harper (Raven Whitley) goes missing. In Twin Peaks, Laura Palmer is murdered. Both the film and the TV show have a dreamlike quality and large casts filled with strange characters. The most impressive part of Reeder’s fourth feature-length film is the way it diverges from Twin Peaks.

Lynch’s TV masterpiece focuses on Laura Palmer because she’s beautiful and popular. Lynch has said the show is his emotional response to the death of Marilyn Monroe. Carolyn is weird and unpopular, nothing like Palmer or Monroe. The film first shows her in her full marching band regalia, with Andy Kitzmiller (Ty Olwin) at the quarry. It’s a familiar scene with the two teens kissing until Carolyn cuts his forehead and says, “Now I can find you in the dark if we get separated.” They kiss more before she decides, “I’m not kissing you on the mouth.” Later on, when everyone is talking about their friendship with her, another student calls out the hypocrisy, saying, “I ignored her just like everyone else.”

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Everything #4 Picks up the Pace [Comic Review]

Everything started rocky, but it’s finally hit its stride. More than anything, it’s because like issue 3, issue 4 has moved beyond hinting at questions and has started hinting at answers. The mysterious deaths are unquestionably linked to some kind of signal coming from the store and the people on the social fringes of the town are starting to notice.

Lori, our protagonist, goes on a sort of spiritual journey. She’s tripping, saying, “For almost 24 hours since I drank the paint, I have been able to see the universe—or some kind of universe—inside me.” She meets a strange old woman in a lighthouse.

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The Butcher of Paris #1 [Comic Review]

The Butcher of Paris #1 opens with a man being chased by Nazis through occupied Paris in 1944. He doesn’t make it very far before he’s captured, and told that, “By the end of the week, Dreyfus, you’ll be on a train to Germany, or… if God really hates you… Poland.” The scene also has the best line in the issue: “Innocent men don’t run and guilty men shouldn’t run so slowly.”

These particular Nazis are hunting for a “Resistance Network helping Jews escape to Argentina.” From there, series author Stephanie Phillips takes us to a meeting between two individuals begging Doctor Petiot to accept the money they have to get them out of France. But this Doctor, the focus of the series, isn’t the savior they think he is, which this issue reveals as he opens a drawer full of hypodermic needles, presumably to kill the desperate people in front of him.

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The Driver Crashes and Burns [DVD Review]

The Driver is a Mark Dacascos vehicle (pun intended) in which he plays an unnamed hitman trying to keep his daughter Bree (Mark’s real life daughter Noelani Dacascos) alive during the zombie apocalypse. The elder Dacascos is excellent in the role, bringing the same humor and warmth that he brings in all of his roles. Unfortunately, the rest of the film doesn’t make it up Dacascos’s level.

The Driver opens with Dacascos’s titular character and his partner Joe (Jeremy Stutes) driving a blue BMW with a soon-to-be exile in the trunk. The person bouncing around back there was caught stealing water in their community for the third and final time. When they release him, Joe gives the exile an option: they could put a bullet in his head or he could try his luck on the zombie-infested outside. The exile elects the latter, but Joe fires a few shots in the air before he and the driver swing the BMW back toward civilization. The zombies are quick to converge.

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