Joe Escalante's feature-length film starring Warren Fitzgerald and many other 'punk sceners'
'Cake Boy' is a film produced and directed by Kung Fu Records owner and Vandal's bassist Joe Escalante. The film evolves around Selwyn Hillis (played by Warren Fitzgerald), a talented baker who works in the erotic cake industry. Whilst at home, he is continually beaten up and abused by his frenetic girlfriend and grows so sick of her dominating ways, he skips town and becomes the 'clicker' for a band called No Use For a Name. Whilst on tour with a band, Selwyn is constantly threatened and abused by his ska obsessed manager and decides to work for a lay-by cafe. It is at this job that he meets the love of his life, a handicapped girl who encourages him to make the best of his baking talent. The film finishes at the end of a fight between Selwyn's ex girlfriend and himself.
Joe Escalante has also produced and directed film dramas such as 'That Darn Punk' and 'Fear of the Punk Planet', so you would think that he has had some experience in making amateur films. Released through Kung Fu Record's sister label/company Kung Fu Films, 'Cake Boy' and other films get similar distribution and advertisement as the bands that are on Kung Fu Records. 'Cake Boy' is one of the few amateur films that have recently been shot on a non-digital camera. As shown in the extras of the DVD, this does seem to complicate film-making but for what Escalante sees, he believes it is worth it.
Although the film promises to be as enjoyable as any other Escalante film and includes the same contagious humour as that of a Tom Green film, the poor acting and one liners really let the narrative down. Cameo appearances from numerous faces of the so-called punk scene don't save the film either, even though Derek Grant's narration and acting from Karl (of Tenacious D) do prove amusing. One of the biggest disappointments is the acting from Vandal's guitarist Warren Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is potentially one of the funniest people on stage, yet his antics aren't present in the film and his performance is nothing more than unadorned and run of the mill.
It's a little disappointing to think that a film so anticipated is not as good as it should be. I personally feel that the film could have been a great DIY feature-length amongst punk fans but due to the lack of laughs in 'Cake Boy' it's just not good enough. Hopefully Escalante's next film will be a slight improvement.