The Absurd Mystery of the Strange Forces of Existence
June 10, 2024 9:45 AM   Subscribe

A detective searches for a mysterious second dimension, with his ability to stand on one leg being his one asset in the quest. The only thing standing in his way is the “Donut Men”, a group who stalks our hero and poses their electric-wielding power as a threat. Simultaneously, a rock star needs to be plugged into an electrical supply so he can garner the power to create powerful music with the occasional destruction. David Lynch attempted to make Ronnie Rocket, or The Absurd Mystery of the Strange Forces of Existence his second film. Or his third. Or his fourth. Or his fifth. He never found the funding. Far Out magazine looks into the story of David Lynch's abandoned sci-fi opus. You can check out the screenplay here or listen to a reading on YouTube. posted by DirtyOldTown (11 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Interesting topic, but that article has some really poorly written sentences. Like, what the heck does this mean: "All Lynch fans to visualise this perplexing project is the confirmation that Dexter Fletcher was attached as a star at one point, as was Michael J. Anderson for the rock star role."

Or this awkward clunker: "Furthermore, Lynch was met with a rocketing number of projects to immerse himself in, heading into the 1990s and 2000s with features he would become an untouchable household name, such as Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive." It's like 1/3 of the sentences were put in an AI blender.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:06 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]

That summary above reads like a plot for a Doom Patrol show or comic.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 10:18 AM on June 10 [6 favorites]

It is a weirdly-worded article, but I honestly just wanted to give people who didn't have time to read an entire screenplay or watch a three hour long YT vid a chance to see what the deal was/is.

Lynch spent the latter part of spring hyping an announcement he was going to make last week and it only turned out to be a music video he's collaborating on, not a new film or show. Not like I expected this to come back from the dead, but still: a bummer.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:36 AM on June 10 [7 favorites]

Much appreciated, DOT, didn't mean to dismiss the post out of hand -- consider my interest piqued, and I may have to print out and read the screenplay.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of hope that we'll see much more Lynch output in the future, beyond stuff like music videos or his visual art. I'd love another TV series, a film, something substantial, but I don't know how likely it is. The dude seems pretty jaded about the industry.

OK, I gotta point out one more real clunker of a phrase in the article: "the disappearance of the natural industrial smokestack landscape"

Industrial smokestacks are... natural? A natural part of the landscape? Eesh. I skimmed a couple other articles attributed to the same author, and they weren't nearly as poorly written. Maybe the author was recovering from the flu or something, who knows.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:46 AM on June 10

I also linked this particular article because the quote about cheap storm windows and grafitti making period filming unnecessarily complicated was interesting.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:54 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]

If I limited my understanding of Lynch to only that which I have absorbed from seeing the playful homages other people have made of his works, I'd say this sounds pretty cool and bonkers and wacky. But I've learned that it's probably not as wacky as it sounds.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:58 AM on June 10

I had not actually seen Blue Velvet in 25+ years, so when I sat down to watch it last weekend, I invited our budding film nerd teen to watch with me. He had been to a sleepover the night before and dozed off maybe 15 minutes in, which ended being the universe protecting us both, because holy shit is that movie more traumatizing than I remembered.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:04 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]

I read the screenplay for Ronnie Rocket. It was one of his first screenplays, and much of the tone and setting is in an Eraserhead-type world. It's good! Like most Lynch things, it doesn't make a lot of sense much of the time, but it definitely puts you in a different headspace.
posted by zardoz at 1:27 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

I'm gonna have to read this! I read the Ronnie Rocket screenplay in the '90s, most likely on Lynchnet. Every vanishing now and then some weird little detail of it oozes into my conscious mind, which is fun.

The unrealized Lynch project I always pined for was Woodcutters From Fiery Ships, which you can read about at the bottom of this page.
posted by heteronym at 3:26 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]

Isn't that basically the plot of the first season of Dirk Gently's Wholistic Detective Agency on Netflix?
posted by sneebler at 8:24 AM on June 11

That is some real grade A ChoadGPT text in that article. I have a family member that I thought would be interested but after skimming it, and reading deeper in disbelief, I am not forwarding a link. It seems to hover somewhere in the area of making sense, then it darts into ungrammatical nonsense. Wow.

Thanks for posting it, though. Seriously, I’m afraid it was a glimpse of the future of the internet.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 4:20 PM on June 11

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