Otto: Up With Dead People

I love our trips to the Phoenix here in sunny Leicester as they always supply us with a cinematic treat we would not have seen other wise. This time our outing gave us ‘Otto: Up With Dead People‘ what can only be described as a gay zombie horror/comedy film with a dash of porn thrown in for good measure.

Now its very important that if you go and see this film that you know it is a comedy film, other wise the story of Otto the zombie finding his way to Berlin and then falling into the arms of art film producer Medea Yarn (Im pretty sure that there is a pun in her name) and her band of misfits, one being her 1920′s silent film girlfriend. Who then creates a documentary about him and his life as a zombie whilst at the same time producing a political gay-zombie-political thriller porn film will feel as though it is so self important that it will eventually crawl up its own ass and die.

Right now the story is out of the way my thoughts on this are. I think I might have loved it. The film could be considered a mess with many cinematic genre being thrust into one place, cartoon, silent cinema, black and white, hand held camera seem to jar at times. But my best way of explaining why it all works is that this is all a spoof in the vain of Scary Movie, Super Hero Movie, Epic Movie etc. Actually no that seems rather patronising to this film to say that because it was clever and if you aren’t film literate or get lost watching a programme with multiple strand story telling then you will probably hate it. The only problem I had with the film was the Rob Zombie approach to music, random sounds pumped up to 11 to make a creepy effect is not my cup of tea.

The premise of the film is described through narration, which generally is filled with pretenscious crap, but that is the character of Medea. However its important you don’t ignore it as the whole film is explained through two sentences hidden away in all the monologue one being ‘ all zombies are metaphors’ and another character describing Medea as using ‘Otto as an empty canvas to place her own political views. There are so many images thrown at you throughout this film for example an orgy that involves blood and organs being thrown about could be read as gay men only being animals, or an image of a man hiding in the shadows after dropping pills could be about the shame that people feel about HIV and the medication they have to take. But I feel that that is the beauty of this film that it has the pretensciousness of art house but knows that in the end it really means nothing other than it will get people talking.

I think I better wrap up now, well done if you followed me through my ramble. This is not a film to watch with parents as it does involve willys and a brief moment of side fucking. I also realise that this will not be every ones cup of tea but dont shout at me if you dont like it. Oh I forgot to mention that the costumes in this film are beautiful, well done who ever created/bought them. I look forward to more films by Bruce LaBruce and the team up of German and Canadian funding.