City’s cult classic Fubar turns 15 DeTAilS
Anniversary screening at Underground Film Festival
Fifteen years ago, three Calgary boys really had to giv’er to make Fubar happen.
The cult-classic film is celebrating the anniversary with a showing at this year’s Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF).
It was filmed on a shoestring budget by a bunch of improvisers, and production threatened to fall apart multiple times.
There’s a notable scene in the film in which the main character Dean (Paul Spence) drunkenly yells at a storm. The crew ended up frying their only camera.
“That was in the middle of the production,” recalled actor David Lawrence, who played Terry. “We had such a low budget, we thought we were done. But we were shooting in the rain, so what do you expect to happen?”
They managed to cobble together a bit of money for a new camera to finish the shoot.
Without any lighting equipment or a big crew, some residents of High River (who found their way into Fubar) didn’t know they were shooting a movie.
“A year later, we had to go find them and try to get permissions,” laughed Lawrence. “They were cool. They all remembered us. That part was really exciting.”
Fubar has gained cult status because of its over-the-top, headbanger characters, which led to a sequel and might even launch a TV series.
Lawrence was training at Calgary’s famed Loose Moose improv theatre when artistic director Dennis Cahill mentioned there was once a troupe that exclusively played head-bangers. It inspired Lawrence to come up with the character of Terry.
“It was always fun improvising, because we weren’t very good at it,” he said. “Bangers don’t really know how to say yes and agree. The fundamentals of improv don’t make sense for them.”
Lawrence continued to play the role in a stage variety show called Hotdogs and Popcorn, where Terry was essentially the technician for the show who constantly chimed in.
Before the movie began filming, Lawrence and Spence put The anniversary screening takes place April 20 with Lawrence, Spence and Dowse. Afterward, Lawrence (as Terry) will host Heavy Metal Karaoke at the Ship & Anchor.
For more info, visit calgaryundergroundfilm.org. on a show called Terry and My Buddy Dean.
“We only did four shows, and they weren’t really good, but we got into character,” Lawrence said, laughing.
“What we most love to celebrate is Canadian and local film,” said Cameron Macgowan with CUFF. “We’re really stoked to bring (director) Michael Dowse back to town to celebrate Fubar.”