Cake Boy [DVD]
Kung Fu Films
Cake Boy is the third movie done by Kung Fu Films – the section of Kung Fu Records that takes care of all the label’s DVD needs; and haven never seen the previous two (That Darn Punk and Fear Of A Punk Planet), I had no idea what to expect. Quite frankly, my expectations weren’t high. Although I’ve seen the work Joe Escalante (bassist of The Vandals and co-owner of Kung Fu) had done in the past with directing, they had always been live DVDs, not real movies; and then the main character of the movie, Selwyn Hillis, is played by Warren Fitzgerald (guitarist of The Vandals and the other co-owner of Kung Fu Records) who also wrote the movie. So here we have two people, who main area of expertise are immature pop-punk songs doing the three most important parts in a movie.But really, they pulled it off quite well.
The story follows Hillis as he suffers through a abusive relationship and struggles to remain entertained in his pathetic erotic cake store as all his cooking talents are going to waste. Finally, he breaks under the pressure and decides to change his life, and the story of Cake Boy begins. Getting a job from his neighbor, Selwyn soon finds himself being the roadie for none other then No Use For A Name where he learns a completely different meaning of abuse. When he can no longer take the teasing and laughter, he yells at the band, only to find himself stranded in the middle of the highway without his shoes.
So there he is, in a new town, with tons of new opportunities. He quickly finds himself a little place to live, a nice job and is introduced to his boss’ cousin and his life is completely turned around. Encouraged by his hot new handicapped girlfriend, he decides to put his cooking skills to use and goes for the baking gold in a head on head TV competition against the Master Bake of France, Pierre Kiniche; and even runs into his cooking mentor Carl Betting.So here he is, with a new life, a new girlfriend, and new confidence that he had never had before. The story, albeit simple, is inventive and innovative. It isn’t full of gratuitous sex or giant explosions, but rather follows a beaten down baker through all his triumphs and tribulations.
Fitzgerald showed he knew how to write a good script, not just a good pop-punk tune; and he didn’t want to stop there. His acting, although it isn’t great, it is better then a lot of the actors Hollywood spits out. You also get some cameos from people like Escalante, Patton Oswalt of King Of Queens, Brian Posehn of Just Shoot Me and even Bob Odenkirk and Scott Aukerman of Mr Show.
The filming is clearly independent as it seems to be a bit wobbly at times and uneven. The first few minutes, you notice the graininess of the 16mm and 35mm film on the multiple wobbly close ups and you start to wonder if you could stand the entire movie with filming like that. But it soon becomes the past as you become use to the older and independent filming style and even appreciate it a bit more.
The movie won’t win an Oscar, but its not meant to be. Its a simplistic movie about a baker filmed on free nights here and there that doesn’t rely on blood, gore and sex to keep the viewer entertained; the story does that by itself. And plus, the soundtrack that comes along with it has some of the best names in the punk industry at the moment.