By Mike Tofin
Michael Dowse’s follow up to FUBAR (2002) is on the next fuckin’ level. The Film follows headbanger’s Dean (Paul J. Spence) and Terry (David Lawrence) up to Fort Mac, in their search for work and more beer money following an eviction from their home in Calgary.
They decide to throw an eviction party which, without revealing too much, features a chainsaw, some fire and a mad LSD trip. These scenes call for a much larger film budget and clearly unabashed entertainment value without completely suffocating old jokes. Oh yeah, and did I mention breasts? There are lots of breasts in this film.
It’s all business as usually in the ‘banger subculture.
Lawrence fine-tuned his skills as a banger impersonator during his tenure with Calgary’s Loose Moose Theatre Co. and, along with his best friend Paul J. Spence, created the original Fubar with director Michael Dowse. In the original film, Terry and Dean figure out ways to shotgun beers and “keep on givin’ ‘er,” despite signs that times have changed since the heyday of headbangin’ 1980s. The film features long lost friend Tron, who Terry and Dean revile through most of the film. Tron has renounced his ‘banger ways and settled down and become entwined with a controlling girlfriend.
In the original film, the headbanger subculture is presented in a Pilsner and weed haze and recounts stories about life on the streets, bus stops, C-Trains and properties of Calgary that could other wise be described as the location of a conservative, materialist, conformist mentality. This mentality breeds contempt for the very subjects of Dowse’s film, which adds to the relentlessly ironic humor laden throughout this film.
The plot thickens throughout the sequel as we see a multi-linear premise based around industrial life in northern Alberta. The narrative in this film is chilling, and light-hearted humour and laughs are abundant throughout. The film also reveals a dark side to the drug and alcohol crazed lifestyles of Dean, Terry, and Tron. Suicide-pacts and struggles with personal demons create a real undercurrent in this usually light satirical comedy. These new themes are integrated with the usual ‘banger plot elements to create a new mind-blowing story arc that sees the duo successfully progress the series rather than just rehashing the same old shit.
Fubar 2 will leave with you some laughs, or at least, a satirical but accurate depiction of a subculture all of its own, the headbanger.