Twin Peaks Merch Makers, I’m Begging You, Stop Releasing Plastic Models Of Laura Palmer’s Dead Body
The problem with Twin Peaks is that it's too cool. The music, fashion, aesthetic, setting—all just impossibly stylish, beautiful, and beguiling. I mean, that's obviously a good thing about it, but also something of a curse. People understandably latch onto the quirkier aspects of the show, but this often gets in the way of the fact that, deep down, it's a shocking horror story about sexual violence, incest, and a town complicit in the abuse and brutal killing of a schoolgirl. Which makes it bizarre to discover that, at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, yet another plastic model of the abused, murdered girl in question's corpse has been revealed alongside Star Wars and Marvel figures.
The image of Laura Palmer's pale, lifeless body wrapped in plastic is one of the most iconic, haunting images in the show. When it's discovered on that fog-shrouded beach, one of the investigating officers is so traumatised by it that he breaks down in tears. It's supposed to disturb you, linger in your mind, and make you feel uncomfortable. It's purposefully hard to look at, but evidently not for the people at Funko. They decided that this harrowing scene should be turned into one of its big-headed Pop vinyl figures. Yes, you read that right: there really is a Funko Pop of Laura Palmer's dead, frozen body that you can display on a shelf next to your Ghostbusters figures.
I have nothing against collectibles. I have Boba Fett and Dallas from Alien posed on my bookshelf. But I'd never dream of accompanying them with the plastic effigy of a dead homecoming queen. That's just weird. At Comic-Con, a new Dale Cooper figure has been revealed and it's pretty good. But did they really have to include a plastic-wrapped Laura Palmer as a macabre accessory? It's in spectacularly poor taste, and not to get all Comic Book Guy about it, but Cooper wasn't even in Twin Peaks when Laura was bound up like that. There's just something very tacky and perverse about it, and it makes me wonder if the people who designed this model even understand the show at all.
Imagine watching the nightmarish Twin Peaks prequel movie Fire Walk With Me, which documents Laura Palmer's final days in horrifying detail, and thinking: "I want a model of that dead girl's body to display on my desk!" It's incredibly disappointing seeing a show like Twin Peaks reduced to tacky merchandise. I'm probably being an overprotective fan here, but it's hard not to be when you see stuff like this. What's next? A Funko Pop of Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland's drowned daughter from Don't Look Now? Whoever makes these things, I'm begging you: stop releasing models of dead Laura Palmers. This is the third one in as many years and it's just getting out of hand now.
I'm glad Twin Peaks is popular again. I weathered two decades of no one giving a shit about it, and now we have a sensational third season, great spin-off books from co-creator Mark Frost, and vinyl re-releases of the soundtracks. There are even tantalising rumours that David Lynch might be returning to the Pacific Northwest for a new, possibly related project. But the downside of this unexpected resurgence is that the pop culture industrial complex has decided that multiple models of deceased sexual abuse victims is a surefire way to make a buck. I dunno about you, but if I walked into someone's house and they had one on show, I'd be eager to leave.
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