Otto; or, Up with Dead People

"Bad"

Otto; or, Up with Dead People Review


It's almost impossible not to put "Bruce LaBruce" and "transgressive" in the same sentence. See what I mean? The cracked Canadian has a small but memorable body of work, a series of films that reveal his fascination with gay hustlers, amputees, skinheads, and gay skinhead amputee hustlers. Also gay terrorists. In Otto; or Up with Dead People he adds a new ingredient to his salacious stew: zombies. The result is total confusion... with a German accent.

Set in a scenic and admittedly well-shot Berlin, a promising locale for gay skinhead hustlers both dead and undead, Otto tracks the mostly aimless meanderings of Otto (Jey Crisfar), a young zombie in a hoodie who emerges from his grave and tries to recapture lost memories of his human existence. After what feels like way too much time passing, he encounters underground filmmaker Medea Yarn (Katharina Klewinghaus), who alongside her girlfriend, Hella Bent (Suzanne Sachsse), who appears in black and white like a silent film star, and her brother Adolf (Guido Sommer), is filming a movie about the zombie lifestyle (called "Up with Dead People"). Otto would be a perfect addition to her cast.

That's about as much as I understood, other than the part where Otto crosses paths with his human ex-boyfriend Rudolf (Gio Black Peter), who tells Otto he likes his new goth look but he should probably bathe because he smells like a dead mouse.

The rest of the film consists mainly of other zombies, or zombie-like humans, running into each other, making out, eating each other's faces off, or having bloody zombie sex, which usually involves removing and devouring (or making love to) the entrails of one's partner. Intercut with all this are scenes of butchers chopping up raw meat. LaBruce clearly has a fascination with flesh. In fact, Flesh is the name of a bar that Otto visits.

Throughout my viewing of Otto I harbored a suspicion that it wouldn't end until there was some kind of zombie orgy to wrap things up. Sure enough, with about 15 minutes to go, LaBruce treats his viewers to a hardcore, gay zombie fleshfest in which the eight participants put pretty much anything and everything into their mouths, including the raw meat which has been strewn around the set. I think I died a little while I watched it.

LaBruce has styled Otto pretentiously, as if he expects it to be screened and discussed at the Museum of Modern Art. (The German accents throughout only heighten the effect.) I don't think that's going to happen. Sadly, this is one of those moments where I have to scan my reviewer's list of dismissive nouns to come up with the perfect word to describe this mess. Ah, yes, here it is: claptrap.

Lunch is served.



Otto; or, Up with Dead People

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 18th September 2008

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Bruce LaBruce

Producer: Jürgen Brüning, Bruce LaBruce, Jörn Hartmann, , Michael Huber

Starring: Jey Crisfar as Otto, Marcel Schlutt as Fritz Fritze, Nicholas Fox Ricciardi as Young Man in Hooded Sweatshirt/Passerby, Susanne Sachße as Hella Bent, Katharina Klewinghaus as Medea Yarn, Guido Sommer as Adolf, Gio Black Peter as Rudolf

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.