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Fubar (2002)

by on 2010/07/01

I first learned about Fubar in 2002 listening to an Ottawa alternative rock station on the way into work. Two guys were keying beers on live radio at 8:00 a.m. and giggling.

It was David Lawrence and Paul Spence promoting the low-budget Albertan film about two fictional head bangers Terry and Deaner. Their gurgled cries of “Give’r!” (long before Larry the Cable Guy) reminded me of my teenage years growing up in Northern Alberta.

I instantly knew these people. The language. Their homes with Rush banners as curtains, beer can collections and stained chesterfields. Their tendency to cook meals with gasoline. The bloody bar fights (the human teeth scattered around the parking lot at 3:00 a.m.). The beer, the beer, the beer.

Fubar stands for f**ked up beyond any repair …and it delivers. With pitch-perfect performances and settings, these filmmakers clearly did their research. I just read that the word “f**k” is said 274 times in the movie. Some Albertans use the word “f**ck” like others use the word “um.” And I say that with love.

Back to the movie. Directed by Michael Dowse, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, this mockumentary filmed in Calgary, was made with digital camcorders, and maxed out credit cards (and I assume, empties) as funding. It went on to receive critical acclaim and a cult following. There’s even talk of a Fubar II now.

The action revolves around an incredibly earnest film student and director Farrel Mitchner (Gordon Skilling) who is looking to capture the head bangers’ subculture on film. While Farrel tries desperately to maintain his distance from the pair of walking mullets, like a wildlife photographer in a duck blind, Farrel keeps getting pulled into the self-destructive duo’s lives.

Here’s a bit of the dialogue:

Dean Murdoch: As it stands, Plan B is to just keep on given’r.
Farrel Mitchener: Giving it to her?
Dean Murdoch: No given’r
Farrel Mitchener: Can you maybe explain given’r? What exactly does that mean?
Dean Murdoch: Give’r. You just go out and you give’r. You keep on working hard.
Farrel Mitchener: Is that a plan?
Dean Murdoch: Yeah that’s a plan right there.

It goes on like this. But in fairness, this isn’t a one-note gag. There’s a plot and moments of real poignancy in this film.

Their party patriarch, Troy “Tron” McRae (Andrew Sparacino) has turned his back on the life-long bangers because of a day job and disapproving girlfriend. Deaner has testicular cancer and is in raging denial about it. We get to watch Deaner’s continued devolution play out on grainy camcorder images until the mother of his child, Trixie, screeches him into treatment.

To celebrate his final few days with his right testicle, Terry takes Deaner and the film crew campin’ to enjoy gasoline hot dogs and alcohol poisoning. I still laugh and laugh and laugh at the scene where Farrel is found face down in a ditch after a night of beers with the boys.

I watched this deeply amusing movie again and it holds up. For proud Canadians like myself, I might venture to say Fubar is an important of part of our heritage (a part of us all, a part of us all, a part of us all). You should watch for reasons of patriotism and also anthropology. Yes.

Which is to say it is good, eh?

Now I can go campin’.

That’s it, that’s all. Happy Canada Day.

* * *

Rated R for language

76 minutes

  1. Hacker Renders permalink

    Wow. A truly breathtaking review of a truly breathtaking, er, film.

    I mean “film”.

    Who are you and what have you done with Grushenka?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Grushenka’s Favourite CanCon …So Far « Geek vs Goth
  2. Fubar II (2010) « Geek vs Goth
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  4. FUBAR (2002) « Geek vs Goth

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