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'Twin Peaks' gets a damn fine retro at BAM

Take time out of binge-watching the classic show to see films starring its eclectic cat.
Twin Peaks
See Sheryl Lee play an alive Laura Palmer in the secretly good prequel movie "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me," playing this Friday at BAMcinematek. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

If you’re like us, you’ve been speed-bingeing through “Twin Peaks.” There’s 30 hours of classic television to bang through, and the show’s May 21 premiere date is fast approaching. Perhaps you too have fallen back in love with the damn fine people of Twin Peaks. Horse. Deputy Andy. Lucy. Audrey Horne. MIKE, the One-Armed Man.

If you need a break from staring at a TV screen but don’t want to stray too far from the show, then nip into BAM’s “Peak Performances,” a series devoted to films featuring members of its eclectic cast. And they are quite eclectic — forgotten movie stars, future almost-stars, aging Oscar winners and whatever other amazing weirdos Lynch was able to find on his travels through one weird industry.

See Jack Nance (Pete Martell) in his signature, hair-raising role in “Eraserhead,” from “Peaks” co-creator David Lynch. Witness Kyle MacLachlan with a very funny coiffure in Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.” Behold Richard Beymer (Ben Horne) and Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby) when they were young, singing and strutting and snapping their way through “West Side Story.”

The motley crew Lynch assembled contain multitudes, their films spanning from “Carrie” (with Piper Laurie, aka Catherine Martell) to “Slap Shot” (with Michael Ontkean, aka Sheriff Harry S. Truman) and “The Warriors” (all but stolen by David Patrick Kelly, who’d periodically steal "Twin Peaks," too, as weird brie-and-butter sandwich enthusiast Johnny Horne).

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And of course, no “Peaks” cram session is complete without the prequel movie “Fire Walk with Me,” which kicks the series off with a monstrous bang on Friday. Once hated, now semi-reclaimed, it’s a harrowing horrorshow that reveals just how messed-up Sheryl Lee’s Laura Palmer was before she was wrapped in plastic. And if you don’t come to love it, at least you’ll agree it’s preferable to that part of Season 2 where the show went horribly, horribly wrong.

"Peak Performances" runs from May 12 through May 24 at BAMcinematek, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn. Visit their site for showtimes and tickets.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge