2017-01-18 / Front Page

An Interview With Filmmaker Teemu Niukkanen: Director of F*!%ing Bunnies

By Nicollette Barsamian and Jon Headlee
1) Was this inspired by any real life roommates?

Haha. Luckily no. The film is based on an observation how each of us have limits to our open-mindedness. There's prejudice in everyone but we're not willing to admit it.

2) What is the significance of the film’s title?

The original Finnish title is "Saatanan kanit" which has a dual meaning. It translates to both "Bunnies of Satan" and "Goddamn Bunnies". However we thought "F*!#ing Bunnies" is more striking as an English title because it characterizes the film better – the Satan worshipping sex cult "does it" a lot and the cult leader eats loads of carrots in the film.

3) Did you research any real cults in preparation for the film?

No we did not. I wanted the cult to be something else we've seen before in the world of cults. The film's cult lacks in being mysterious and ominous. They are pretty mundane and nice folks, actually. They just happen to torture people and worship Satan because that's an important part of their culture.

4) Is squash a symbolic game for this story?

Squash is symbol of the main character Raimo's loneliness. He has a regular slot for himself and is seeking for a partner. For his unpleasant surprise the cult leader happens to be the only one interested in playing with him. So squash acts as a driving force for comedy as well.

5) Is there any Finnish culture lost in translation?

There are some references to Finnish pop culture and word plays, which don't translate at all. Finland is also still in its early years of being a versatile and culturally diverse society so the "not in my backyard" way of thinking is just getting in bloom in here and that's why I think the film might be a bit more topical in Finland than somewhere else. However I believe that the theme, setting and comedy of the film are universal. 

6) Did you have any alternate endings or were some scenes cut?

We cut out a scene where Raimo and the cult leader meet at a town office where Raimo has gone to make a complaint about "the town office's mistake of excepting the cult's residence". In that scene the cult leader positions himself into same sector with " the unemployed and the outcasts." The scene was actually really funny but it somehow disrupted the film's rhythm so we cut it out. Film's ending however has always been the same.

7) What is the significance of carrots?

Let's just say that they're an essential part of the cult leader's diet.

8) What would you like viewers to take away from the film?

I want them to shake their heads and giggle with amazement. After all it's just a comedy flick.

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