Thursday, October 18, 2012

'Airplane!' Meets 'Un Chien Andalou': "There's a Caterpillar in My Bok Choy" (2003)

Plot? Well, Delila is being stalked by Bill. Plot done.

Katharine Leis takes a silly concept, some silly actors, and creates a silly film. Leis is Delila, a bored young lady who has an obvious stalker, Bill, played by Gustavo Flores, who bears more than a passing resemblance to John Leguizamo. As Delila watches TV, and Bill watches Delila, she fantasizes about what she sees.

The audience goes inside her head, and gets some funny stuff. I laughed at "Playtime With Puppy" as much as the cute hostess did. The Rick Steele lawyer ad was good, so was the Ab-Doo-Doo. Putting duct tape on all the products in the film to avoid getting permission from the companies involved is a stroke of genius. Dude and Pitts, the cops called in on the stalking case, could warrant their own video, arguing over who gets to wear a plastic fireman's hat. On the other hand, the scenes with Bill's mother, and a flat ghost chase near the beginning of the film, should have been tightened.

Leis makes no bones about the fact that this is a cheap production. Producer's disclaimers permeate the film, the off camera crew often appear on camera, rendering the outtakes reel on the DVD obsolete. I even liked the couple of songs by the band Agent 99.

Make no mistake about it, "There's a Caterpillar in My Bok Choy" held little promise when I first started it. But it grew on me. Leis filmed an essentially hour and a half inside joke, but she let the audience in on it. Oz is right, the women here are all cute (including Leis). They are not "unattainable Hollywood model" cute, they are "she would make a cool girlfriend" cute. Leis herself has some facial expressions and droll looks at the camera that had me laughing out loud.

I look forward to whatever Leis will do next. She is definitely entertaining, and the film never resorts to the "Jackass"-Farrelly Brothers gross out joke for the cheap laugh. If anything, the video keeps an edge but contains less than half a dozen mild curse words and no nudity or sex!

Until Leis does something else, I can still enroll in Dorsk Academy, put on my Ab-Doo-Doo, and wonder what happened to gorgeous Katharine Kissingford half way through the film. If you want your cheap video productions surreal, this film is your cup of bug contaminated vegetable soup. (* * *) out of five stars.