Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Barking Spider Christmas (1988)

December of '88 turned out to be a busy month for Barking Spiders – two shows at Diamond Lil's, playing for sick kids at North Shore Hospital, and lastly... A Barking Spider Christmas. A Barking Spider Christmas was our take on the old Andy Williams/Perry Como Christmas specials. We all wore sweaters, performed "Jingle Bells", exchanged gifts, sang Christmas carols with friends, and Santa even dropped by The Lovely Basement for a visit. It started with a loose script and was largely improvised as the camera rolled...which shows. And without access to editing equipment – this was 1988 after all – it was shot in sequence using only first-takes...which also shows. This was our first attempt at movie making...something we'd do more of in the future – which is why this blog exists.

A Barking Spider Christmas runs around 22 minutes so I had to post it to YouTube in 3 parts (due to their 10 minute rule). Here's part 1...

Part 1 details: (Barking Spider introductions, "Jingle Bells", Budweiser commercial starring Dirt from Meat, and a unique rendition of "The 12 Days Of Christmas".)

To clue you in on a couple of the inside jokes during part 1... The first is the faux Budweiser commercial starring Dirt from Meat (click here for Meat's story). The other inside joke is Kevo singing "...and a Fender amp that farts all day!" during "The 12 Days Of Christmas". Basically, Kevo's amp (actually Joe Kollar's amp...or should I now say Steve Zielinski's amp?) was on the fritz so it made farting noises...all day long...hence the line.

Here's Part 2 of A Barking Spider Christmas...

Part 2 details: (Barking Spiders exchange Christmas gifts, Kevo gets some coal, and Jim – in a solo spot – lip-syncs to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas".)

And here's Part 3 of A Barking Spider Christmas...

Part 3 details: (Friends arrive, lots of big hair, "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" is sung with some egg nog spillage, a drunk and frisky Santa arrives, "Frosty the Snowman" is sung with some confusion, and a "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" finale.)

And here's a documentary looking back on the making of A Barking Spider Christmas...some 15 years later...with the original cast, including Mr. Rice our high school teacher whose classroom the movie premiered in...

Here's some photos from A Barking Spider Christmas...

And here we are sitting down to watch A Barking Spider Christmas directly after filming it...

A Barking Spider Christmas


Jim Burns as Jim Bones
Frank Fusco as The Lovely Frank
Kevin Purcell as Kevo
John Hoffman as Johnny Stitches
Joe Kollar as Santa
Plus a cast of thousands

Directed by Joe Kollar & Frank Fusco

©1988 Bubjunior Productions

A Barking Spider Christmas also marked the beginning of Bubjunior Productions. It was our fake production company that Joe and I would use on several future videos. The name was another inside joke, this time from a wild weekend trip we took to Watkins Glen. For more on that click here.

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