When a majority of audience appeal of a film relies on a large, blue, mascot suit, albeit undeniably cute, there are going to be some issues.
Kabluey starred it’s writer-director Scott Prendergast as Salmon, jobless and awkward, brother-in-law to Leslie (Lisa Kudrow) with whom he goes to live with as an inept babysitter for her two diabolical sons while his brother is overseas in Iraq.
While Salmon has no personal life, Leslie’s is falling apart, and Salmon is forced to take a job as a mascot for the failing corporation Leslie is the secretary for. Salmon stands on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, trying to hand out fliers to the occasional driver.
After being abandoned by his driver Cathleen (Conchata Ferrell), he walks back to the company building only to stumble on his sister-in-law in a compromising situation. The rest of the film was a series of small unfortunate comedies that led to an inevitably feel-good ending.
The ending, though, was abrupt and indicative perhaps of a dwindling budget, and the series of comedic events weren’t that funny. Salmon ending up on the side of the road composes both the most adorable and aesthetically pleasing montage of the film, as he and his suit are shown from every angle, abandoned in the beautiful countryside of Texas.
Unfortunately, the pleasing visual is broken by some juvenile bathroom humor, as Salmon must (for some reason, which must have been that he couldn’t take the head piece off, which also didn’t make any sense) reach through the bottom back end of his costume to both relieve himself and grab a drink from some kids that come by. Running naked across the lawn after chasing one of his nephews and, especially, Cathleen mistaking his name for Trout seemed a huge dumbing down of an otherwise promising story for widest mass appeal.
For Prendergast’s first attempt at the big-screen, Kabluey is not something to be totally ashamed of. The film fits into the misfit geek-comedy genre that seems to categorize films like Napolean Dynamite, 40-Year-Old-Virgin and Superbad, that all did well upon release. It isn’t suprising that SONY purchased Kabluey and will release the film to major box offices later this year. It should stir up some kind of following, with a fan base of people who thought the blue man was just too charming. The ideas and issues were there and had so much reliance not been left on the topical aspects, the film could’ve evolved into something really great.
Predergast is now working with Kudrow again on another movie script and a pilot for CBS. The television gig seems most fitting and maybe Predergast’s talents would be better suited in single episode format. Producer Jeff Balis, a Tampa native, is also working on a sequel for his mildly successful Waiting… which was released in 2005.
Kabluey/ Written and Directed by Scott Prendergast