Billy’s Dad Is A Fudge-Packer!

This mock 1950s-styled educational film chronicles a phase in the life a school aged boy, Billy, whose thoughts turn to what he wants to be when he grows up, as career day is approaching at school. Not knowing what he wants to do, he wishes he had it as easy as his sister, who only has to attract a man to become his wife. Billy has as role models his father, mother, and neighbor Betty Henderson whose double entendre activities demonstrate that Billy can be and do whatever and whoever he wants when he grows up.

5.0/5.0

My Rating

7.2/10

IMDB Rating

5.0/5.0

My Rating

7.2/10

IMDB Rating

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Do you enjoy sexual innuendos? How about a parody of 1950’s education films? Black & white films? All of these things can be found in “Billy’s Dad Is A Fudge-Packer!” In her first non-acting effort, writer/director Jamie Donahue parodies the 1950’s “Jimmy Goes To School” educational films to create this hysterical queer short film. But not everyone views it with such adoration. Is it dated? Misogynist? A bit “over the top”? Absolutely – and that’s why it’s so enjoyable to watch! But let’s break it down a bit, shall we?

 

 

Still from "Billy's Dad Is A Fudge-Packer" - Billy laments his career choice on the walk home from school Still from "Billy's Dad Is A Fudge-Packer" - Sister opens wide to swallow a hot dog, while her boyfriend eagerly watches

 

 

Synopsis of “Billy’s Dad Is A Fudge-Packer”

 

Career day is coming up for young Billy (Spencer Daniels) at school. But Billy is not quite sure what he wants to be when he gets older. While walking home, he passes his Sister on a date with a local boy. Billy laments that Sister (Gina Rodgers) only has to find a man to marry while worrying about being pretty, being social, and being a good mother someday. But Billy knows that he’ll have to work harder than a girl – because that’s how things are and how they should be!

 

Back at home, he ponders his future more when Billy’s Dad (Robert Gant) arrives home. Our narrator notes that Billy’s dad is a fudgepacker… at the local candy factory! Father needs to relax when he gets home, so Mother (Cady Huffman) helps him loosen up with hot tea. But dad likes to do his own teabagging! But wait – there’s a knock at the backdoor. Father is always ready to accept visitors at the backdoor, but Mother reminds him that he is done for the day so she’ll take care of it. The visit turns out to be Betty Henderson (Alex Borstein), the grocer’s wife who always knows what Mother needs! As an independent woman, Betty delivers her goods to all the wives in the neighbourhood – you know, eggs, avocados, melons, baguettes, and more; the groceries. Betty even helps Mother finish basting the bird. Before Betty leaves though, she gives Mother an extra set of green stamps to get Sister a pearl necklace for her birthday, and how close Mother is to the final goal.

 

They finally are ready to sit down for dinner. No matter how long and hard a day Dad had while fudge-packing, he always energy to toss the salad. Over dinner, Billy asks Dad for some help with his assignment. Dad admits that when he was Billy’s age he had considered many careers from policeman, to cowboy, maybe a construction worker, or even an Indian. But he later realised fudge-packing was the ideal career. But Billy doesn’t really know what Dad does at work – so Dad explains. Rising at the crack of dawn, he comes early to work where he was several men under him. But he knows that while he tries to be friendly with his workers, he must be rigid, reminding Sanchez to ensure the tools aren’t dirty. Afterwards Billy asks his dad: “Is fudge packing for me?” They all chuckle while Dad tells him that it’s too soon to tell!

 

But wait – during the credits we get a glimpse of the other promotional films we can watch such as “Thalidomide: Wonder Drug of the Future”, “Why Do We Have Colored People”, and There’s No Room for THAT Kind of Thinking in a Free Country!”.

 

 

Still from "Billy's Dad Is A Fudge-Packer" - Mother bends over to close the oven door while Mrs Henderson holds a baguette behind her Still from "Billy's Dad Is A Fudge-Packer" - a worker is on his knees in front of Billy's dad at the fudge factory

 

 

The Critique

 

I absolutely LOVE this Queer Short Film! While I’m a bit too old to have watched these videos when they aired, I am quite familiar with the educational film Jamie Donahue is parodying here. And she does an excellent job of capturing their essence, while adding quite a hysterically queer twist! “Billy’s Dad Is A Fudge-Packer” utilises all aspects of filmmaking perfectly to create a final short that will have you laughing in your chairs.

 

To start, the script is chock full of sexual innuendos – I actually think if you added them all up, there would be twice as many innuendos as non-sexual lines in the entire short! Now, I do have to concede that a few of them are a bit too obvious with the setup but let’s face it – subtlety is not the goal here. Using homonyms to queer terminology, we get wonderful things like pearl necklaces, tea bagging, and of course the most obvious: Billy’s dad IS a fudge-packer!

 

But the script would not work if not handled wisely by both a talented cast and a director who is able to properly set up each and every innuendo. Everyone does exactly that, though there is one person who actually doesn’t get ANY screen time yet is the most crucial person in the short: D.C. Douglas as the Narrator! With a soothing voice that guides us along Billy’s search for the ideal career, Douglas perfectly captures that narrating style of these educational films. But the rest of the cast play their pasts well. Spencer Daniels is believable as the young, and naive Billy. Cady Huffman is charming in her portraying the subservient 1950’s housewife while Alex Borstein portrays a very butch, independent woman as Betty Henderson. But it’s Robert Gant as Billy’s Dad who really makes this short stand out – after all, could you get through this script without cracking a grin? I have a feeling they had a LOT of comedic outtakes!

 

The last crucial element at play here is the cinematography elements. The music score is a fitting homage to the period education films and chimes in at just the right moments. (Although a few critics have remarked that the credits & music are longer than the actual short film!) Being set in the 1950’s style, the costumes and set needed to be detailed and specific. While an eagle-eyed viewer might spot a few anachronisms in the background, they have really done an excellent job to capture the period feel. When it all is brought together, “Billy’s Dad Is A Fudge-Packer” is pure magic – and a barrel of laughs!

 

 

Still from "Billy's Dad Is A Fudge-Packer" - Billy and his family pose for a family portrait together

 

 

Unless you are a prude or film on being politically correct, you will absolutely love “Billy’s Dad Is A Fudge-Packer”! Balancing a witty script full of sexual innuendos, I can guarantee that you will be laughing before the film is over. But hey, don’t take my word for it (even though I’m usually good at telling you what’s worth watching!) Go find yourself a copy of this Queer Short film today – you can find it on YouTube. I honestly would be shocked if you don’t love it too!

Queer Relevance of "Billy’s Dad Is A Fudge-Packer!":

Tea bagging, pearl necklace, tossing the salad, dirty Sanchez, pushing in stools, and SO many other Queer innuendos truly make this short film Queer. And if it’s not spoken in the voiceover narrative, then the innuendo’s are made blatantly clear by the cast’s actions (let’s not forget about Sister swallowing the hot dog… or the popsicle!) There’s even a subtle reference to YMCA and the Village People. But you cannot get any queerer than the shorts title: “Billy’s Dad Is A Fudge-Packer” Yup – it’s definitely a Queer film!

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1
Plot & Script
1
Casting & Acting
1
Directing & Editing
1
Cinematography
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USA

English

7 November, 2004

10m

Jamie Donahue

Jamie Donahue

D.C. Douglas, Robert Gant, Cady Huffman, Spencer Daniels

Movie Keywords:

"Billy’s Dad Is A Fudge-Packer" film poster

Genre:

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November, 2004

Duration:

10m

Directors:

Jamie Donahue

Writers:

Jamie Donahue

Awards:

1 Nomination

Stars:

D.C. Douglas, Robert Gant, Cady Huffman, Spencer Daniels

Websites:

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