It wasn’t until several days after I saw this goofy near-miss from Tom Danon that I “got” the title. And that was only after staring at it, still in a half-asleep stupor, last Saturday morning as it peeked out from a pile of videotapes. To anyone who doesn’t speak Extreme Yankee — as opposed to my mere Midwest Yankee — “Cuppa Cabby, Piece O’ Pie” translates as, “Cup of coffee and a piece of pie.” That’s what Officer Clyve Pegg (Stephen Geller)charges Ray (Ray Duclos), owner of Ray’s Diner, to continue recounting his previous evening’s misadventures — an unprecedented glut of UFO sightings made by a rather motley collection of colorful individuals — to the proprietor and his bickering offspring staff. No doubt it would irk the daylights out of the cigar chomping New Englander if he knew the gregarious cop had been spinning his Tall Tale to a flock of birds earlier in the day while HE fed THEM.
While Officer Pegg’s UFO saga serves as the backbone for this tasty but highly disjointed film, it’s merely the most fleshed out of several subplots at play. Kæ and Stephen Geller’s oddball script also introduces us to Officer Pegg’s huckster twin brother Clyde (Geller again) and his baby sister Clove, who has a particularly disturbing fetish for a character named Jimmy Clothespin (both roles, as well as several others, played by Kæ Geller). There’s also the unnerving dynamic between Ray’s, um, abnormally closely-knit kids: his whiny son Ron (Jason Fisher) and his sexy, bickering twin daughters June and Myra (Christy and Sarah Boerckel).
“Cuppa Cabby, Piece O’ Pie” is one nearly half hour-long, stream of consciousness non sequitur. As one might expect, some segments work better than others. While the exceedingly strait-laced Officer Pegg interviewing the freakazoid UFO sighters is nearly always entertaining, for instance, the latter half segment involving Clyde breaks the film’s momentum just as it should be building. As for the Clove/Jimmy Clothespin portions, they’re as distasteful as they are bizarre.
This is a loud, colorful and truly strange short film. Is it any good? Well, I’ll tell ya…for another “cuppa cabby and a piece o’ pie.”