“Rabbits”: David Lynch’s surreal sitcom about three rabbits

By on April 16, 2017

We couldn’t think of a better way to passover Easter — see what we did there? — than to take note of David Lynch’s Rabbits, his surreal 9-episode, 50-minute “sitcom” (in Lynch’s own words) featuring three humanoid rabbits, played by Mulholland Drive cast members Scott Coffey, Laura Elena Harring and Naomi Watts.

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Initially released in 2002 on davidlynch.com, when it was still a subscription website, the short videos are now only available in re-edited form (and without episode 3) on DVD in the “Lime Green Set” collection of Lynch’s films, in a re-edited four-episode version.

Rabbits is presented with the tagline “In a nameless city deluged by a continuous rain… three rabbits live with a fearful mystery.” You can watch all of the episodes at the Welcome To Twin Peaks site.

Lynch filmed Rabbits in a set built in the garden of his house in the Hollywood Hills. Filming took place at night in order to control the lighting. Lynch says that filming Watts, Harring and Coffey with the set lit up by enormous lights was “a beautiful thing.”

However, the process generated a lot of noise that echoed from the surrounding hills and annoyed Lynch’s neighbors. The unique use of lighting to create shadows and set an uneasy atmosphere has been praised by critics. (h/t Wiki)

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As with most of David Lynch’s films, the original score was composed by Angelo Badalamenti. However, the Welcome To Twin Peaks site found an alternative, improvised soundtrack developed and performed at (but not endorsed by) The Banff Centre for the Arts November 2013, featuring Greg Samek on percussion, Alfonso Noriega on viola and Tilman Robinson taking care of processing/trombone. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Zach Miley.

By the way, Rabbits was used as a stimulus in a psychological experiment on the effects of acetaminophen on existential crisis.

The research, in a paper entitled “The Common Pain of Surrealism and Death” suggested that acetaminophen acted to suppress the effects of surrealism. Don’t believe us?

BONUS:
DAVID LYNCH'S RABBITS 7

David Lynch Signature Cup Coffee (Rabbit Blend)
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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, assistant editor for the When You Awake blog, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.