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Otto; Or, Up With Dead People (2008)

DVD Cover (Strand Releasing)
Genres:
Gay & Lesbian Films, Horror, Mockumentary, Sex Horror, Zombie Film
Director:
Bruce La Bruce Bruce La Bruce
Starring:
Jey Crisfar Jey Crisfar
Marcel Schlutt Marcel Schlutt
Nicholas Fox Ricciardi Nicholas Fox Ricciardi
Keith Böhm Keith Böhm
Olivia Barth Olivia Barth
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5.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Otto is a handsome, sensitive, neo-Goth zombie with an identity crisis wandering the streets of the city, until one day he auditions for a zombie film... --IMDb
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: November 13, 2008
There is very little you can do with a zombie film these days that can be considered original. It's just one of those genres that has basically been tapped out creatively. But leave it to the Germans to prove me wrong. "Otto; or Up with Dead People" is a zombie film with a different slant -- it's aimed at homosexual audiences. Strand Releasing has just dumped the film into a few markets and will then usher a swift DVD release.

The film centers around Otto (Jey Crisfar), a gay zombie having somewhat of an identity crisis. Throughout the film -- some of which is told in documentary format, and other parts in short film flashbacks -- we learn about the new 'gay zombie' movement. The character of Otto is really an empathetic character and the crux of the film deals with his inability to be accepted by his own kind, even though they are zombies. Some of the scenes are very sexual and very graphic and some of the people I saw it with found it difficult to watch.

What makes "Otto" such a unique experience is that it prevails with this overriding sense of humor and whimsy that you don't expect. The film is one-parts comedy, one-parts horror and one-parts character study. You really do see the character of Otto developed fully, so much so that you start rooting for him, even when he's doing something you don't approve of necessarily. "Otto" struck me as one of those arthouse films that wants to prove a point but realizes it has to package itself a certain way in order to do so. But the film is shot just beautifully. The music is fantastic, especially the utilization of the band CocoRosie.

I don't think this film is necessarily for everyone. It's intended for fans of gay subject matter and it's intended for individuals who can handle the 'supposed' German sense of humor. Think "Sprockets" on acid. But "Otto" is one of the most original and engaging zombie films likely ever made and it really does prove that you can do more with the genre if you just alter your audience base a little. Be warned -- there's plenty of nudity and gay sexuality and more blood and guts than you would imagine. But it's a fine film. Weird, but fine. 8/10.
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Chad #1: Chad - added 07/16/2009, 01:53 PM
This was actually a great film, but I agree that it's not for everyone. Some will be put off by the strong arthouse vibe that drives things along while others will be turned away by the graphic (and I do mean graphic) sex scenes, but those who stick with it will find a damned fine storyline here. I also enjoyed the way that the storyline wasn't quite what it appeared to be on the surface, and though I won't spoil it, it was certainly a fresh way to handle the traditional zombie film. Great movie. 9/10, and I'm only docking a point because it got a little too arty for its own good in certain parts.
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