TIFF: Beaver Dam/Fubar II
Last Saturday afternoon, I treated myself with a short called Legend of the Beaver Dam, a horror comedy musical. It’s nice to see national treasure Sean Cullen play the worst, most potty mouthed camp counselor to a nerdy kid with amazing vocal pipes, bullying twins, a few Asian girls and the nerd’s blond love interest with braces. There’s also post-production work so seamless I had to learn they used CGI in the credits.
Now on to our feature Fubar II, the sequel to the mostly improvised mockumentary of eight years ago or something. As director, Michael Dowse said on the Q&A, the willing suspension of disbelief is somehow broken by the first film, which means this time we get a film with a more fictional glaze and with one or two fantasy scenes.
Nonetheless, Dean, Terry, Tron and Trish aren’t people I wanna be stuck in a house with, as we clearly see in the first few minutes of the film. The gang celebrates Dean’s health with a party where Terry and Tron demolish the house while Dean, high on acid, accidentally sets his room on fire. This party foreshadows the tests both on Terry and Dean’s friendship as well as Dean’s health.
Like men, they have to get jobs. The gang then heads to Fort McMurray to work on the pipelines. Antics ensue. Did anyone expect a documentary about the Harper era worker exploitation? The movie does touch on those issues, but its Terry and Dean’s oblivious resilience despite their circumstances that has made the audience laugh with them and not at them.
Despite of their redeeming qualities and how immersed the cast is with their work, the Catholic boy within me just can’t love these guys. I’m thinking about exceptions to my ‘I hate crass male characters’ rule, and I came out dry. I gave this a 3/5, but there’s a little part of me that thinks I should have given it a 4.