Where is Mothra when you need her?
A video of a giant mutant dog spider scaring the bejesus out of random Polish residents has found its legs — eight of them — after garnering more than 73 million views since its launch on Sept. 4. While some may feel that the prank is mean, pranks have always been a staple of YouTube videos, of course, but the creepy music, the mock horror-film setup and, best of all, the terrified reactions of the victims seems to have this one scuttling off with the International Thank-Goodness-That-Wasn’t-Me prize.
The surprise encounters in the dark streets make the screaming victims flee in horror, and, honestly, it’s one of the funniest pranks I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, I know, I’m a terrible person. When the guy got himself tangled up in the fake web and Spider Dog just ran past him as if she had better things to do, I had to pause the video because I was laughing so hard.
So funny it’s scary
But clearly I’m not alone: the prank video garnered more than 2 million views in the first 24 hours. And while the video will not be giving Alfred Hitchcock’s movies a run for their money, the creepiness of the shots and the Psycho-like music pulls you in. It’s the reactions of the “victims,” however, that make you laugh.
A couple, taking a romantic late-night stroll in a park, encounter a “web”-wrapped, dismembered body hanging from a tree. Spider Dog appears from the darkness and the man, who had tentatively ventured forward to get a closer look, bravely sprints in the opposite direction, with his date only a few steps ahead of him.
In another scene, two women, waiting for an elevator, shriek and flee when the door opens to reveal Spider Dog “feasting” on the body of one of its victims. If they had stayed, perhaps they would have seen a strategically placed hunk of food that was the real reason for Spider Dog’s interest.
With some careful analysis — and maybe watching it a few more times, strictly for the sake of research — it’s possible to theorize why Spider Dog has become such a big hit. For one thing, dialogue-free videos usually do better on YouTube because they can be enjoyed by people no matter what language they speak. That’s why music videos are among the most-watched, too.
And maybe we find it so darned funny because we are genuinely grateful that we are not the ones being tricked. The deliberate cheesiness of the setup is a relief as well.
Fortunately, the Polish tourism board need not worry about travelers avoiding their country for fear of giant, hideous mutant arachnids roaming its streets. The real story is definitely more human.
Spider Dog, it turns out, is the creation of video auteur Sylwester Wardega, a man so silly that he once had someone film him tricking the police into chasing him to see if they were really physically fit. He has been making these humorous videos for a couple of years.
His online mottos are “Insane people are the best” and “Don’t take life so seriously,” and if you take a look at his YouTube channel, he’s practically a one-man Punk’d.
So who is the Spider Dog?
The adorable Chica, a mixed-breed pup belonging to the videographer’s sister, makes her video debut in a costume that took a few tries to get just right.
“Preparation for the film began a few months ago: I found a cheap faux fur, and I carried it to the seamstress. I told her the idea, but the first results were not satisfactory,” Wardega explained to The Today Show. “We changed the costume three times and finally managed to create something light and good-looking.”
See? Not so scary after all:
In daylight. (SAWardega/YouTube)
Chica even has her own Facebook fan page, in which she looks much cuter, especially in the light of day when you’re not being chased down a dark alley.
Wardega reports that a new Spider Dog video is in the works, and we truly hope that in the time since she made her debut that she hasn’t become a diva, demanding Evian in her water bowl and showing up late for shoots. Divas are even scarier than dog spiders.