• Unrated, 1 hr. 35 min.
  • Drama, Horror, Comedy
  • Directed By:    Bruce La Bruce
  • In Theaters:    Jan 19, 2008 Wide
  • On DVD:    Feb 10, 2009
  • Strand Releasing

Otto; or Up with Dead People Reviews

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_kelly .
Super Reviewer
½ September 11, 2009
This film does a terrific job at eliminating audience members - weeding out the weak. Do not watch this film if you can't handle: gratuitous gore of the intestine eating sort, explicit gay sex (between zombies using fresh improvised gashes as sexual orifices), frequent cross-cutting of "reality" and "film", and dedicating major segments of the film to an art house indie director criticizing art house and non-mainstream film.

But if you're a weirdo like me and think all of that sounds like a hella good time, you will or will not be disappointed ;)

Some things that are truly outstanding here: the director character's lover is constantly encapsulated in a bubble of silent film; the lengths to which this director goes to be "avant garde" and the heights to which those attempts accidentally succeed and the hilarious depths to which they intentionally fail. Otto, the main zombie character, is constantly battling for a sense of identity, and his story juxtaposed and interweaving with this director's vision (Up With Dead People is the title of her film) makes the titling very apt (which the title itself is a wink-wink nudge-nudge satirical jab at fringe cinema).

Ultimately, this is not so much a film about zombies as it is a film about film; the zombie aspect is merely used as fuel for probing the subject of identity in both the personal and social arena.

Hot Gay Sex notes: for those looking to avoid poorly done zombie sex and see hardcore human/human (in appearance) gay male sex in the context of narrative feature, around 1:20:00 is the best example; beyond that you're on your own and in for some zombie/zombie, zombie/human combos
vieras e
Super Reviewer
June 29, 2009
More than anything else, I think this film spoofs pretentious film directors who only like to make artsy-fartsy documentaries where they deal with more or less deep subject matters (being a zombie) through what they consider to be really thought-provoking means (gay porn).

Don't despair during the first half an hour, the film becomes much clearer towards the end.
Nicki M
Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2009
I actually thought this could have been a really, really good film if it was minus a few bits and pieces. I loved all the black and white shots, then all the saturated colour, the voice overs, and Jey Crisfar makes an appealing zombie (what this says about me, I don't want to go too far into. LOL). I was fine with the gay stuff, but I really thought the soft core porn aspect to it let the whole film down. And the gore, well, I the blood I could handle, the stringing out bits of guts could have done without. Minus those few elements, I thought this could have been quite an arty, good little film similar in tone to Nadja (but obviously about a zombie rather than a vampire!).
Daniel P
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2008
Stupid, annoying, "knowingly" pretentious, but also playful, sexy, clever and sometimes moving. Bruce La Bruce's messy film has lofty intentions that it simply doesn't come close to achieving (it especially falls short in trying to use the persecution of gay zombies as a metaphor for homophobia). However, there are some game performances (Jey Crisfar, as Otto, is actually quite subdued but very watchable, whilst everyone else is campy or hammy), some interesting technical bits and pieces (including a mute character perpetually seen in scratchy black and white footage with inter-titles, for no apparent good reason other than to comment on how pretentious film can be), lots of laughs and some occasionally good, though overdone, doses of irony. The bleak false ending and the almost as bleak actual ending are striking, the gore flows, the sex is hot and/or disturbing (including one guy fucking his undead boyfriend through his chest cavity). Prudes and/or homophobes - i.e. anyone who doesn't want to see a cock in another man's mouth, even if in context - should not watch.
Patrick D
Super Reviewer
½ March 12, 2009
I don't know. It's seems to be a satire (or even lampooning) of "counter culture" and the underground art that results from it, but you could definitely file this flick under counter-culture art-film. So it is what it's making fun of, in a way. That's not to say that's a bad thing, just I guess a funny thing. Speaking of funny, this film is heavily peppered with some great comedy, that's not so much laugh-out-loud, but the kind you think in your head "this is fucking hilarious". Plus, under the surface and even under the under-surface there's something going on with this flick, and all three levels keep the film interesting.
Warning, however, this ain't for everyone. You're not getting a stable narrative and this is only going to hurt the average horror fans brains, or piss them the hell off. So do some research prior to watching the film about the director.
samanthablakealpert samanthablakealpert ½ July 10, 2010
im confused. i dont want to see it again.made me re-think movie production in contemporary society.i guess it would be post post modern.i liked it and i didnt like it. p.s dont see it
RicC RicC ½ August 6, 2009
Official acquired taste. (Looks at popcorn and tomato meters) Something about this film is just hard to dislike, whether it be the homo gorno, or the new genre it opens up to imitate. It's an ineffable experience, quite heavy on the indie, art and romantic bleakness. If you're just not into experimental or taboo material, steer clear.
AdriŠn M ½ January 13, 2013
One of the most brilliant, daring, inventive and fresh movie's I've seen a very long time !Visually marvelous, top plot, great actors ... this queer, dramatic, bloody yet touching film has become one of my all time favorites, no matter how stupid or disturbing it may seem !Awesome ! You've never seen anything quite like this !
Mark K October 19, 2012
a strange and defiantly offensive zombie flick that i thoroughly enjoyed.
Sergel C October 12, 2011
This film is so sick!
Jorge G November 7, 2010
Esperaba un poco más, pero no me desagradó,es la segunda que veo de Bruce la Bruce, y creo que es un director medio excà (C)ntrico y no del gusto de muchos, pero con cosillas interesantes.
Steven R. Steven R. July 23, 2010
Crap. First 5 mins I thought it was gonna be cool. However just got more and more boring.

Didn't really get the gay stuff or the social commentary and didnt really care.
anthony a. anthony a. ½ February 9, 2010
quirky, fun, obscene, and out there but not for everyone. I wanted to see a gay zombie flick and this didn't disappoint. It wasn't what i thought it would be but I was ok with that. I found this to be a really good-bad movie filled with blood, gore, sex and gay eye candy. I stress not for everyone. I can see straight guys and good wholesome folk not liking it so much. It may just be the kind of flick for gay hardcore and punk kids but as a gay guy who's idea of a fun date is bad street eats, getting a tattoo, listening to Mastodon and watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre this movie was amazing. I'm going to buy a copy and keep it on hand for fun date nights-it's like a romance/drama/gore horror/comedy/porno all rolled into one. Just add pizza for a fun night!
Paul Celano Paul Celano December 2, 2009
Ok I want to first say that I did not rate this 1 star for the fact that it was about gay zombies. That stuff does not bother me. I gave it a bad rating because the film was just stupid. The only good thing about it was that Jey Crisfar played an interesting zombie. But that did not help this film. This movie was full of disturbing sexuality that it did not need. And again I am not talking about homosexuality. Just some really disturbing sexual scenes that could of easily been taken out. Most of the cast was just boring and the story really didn't seem to go anywhere. I was so bored that I almost turned it off, and that is hard with some of the scenes that they showed. This could of been done a lot better and more tasteful in my book. Some would agree and some disagree, but I guess that makes a movie.
Stereominate Stereominate ½ November 9, 2009

Enough has been said.
For someone who watches mainly hollywood blockbusters, this was totally lulz.
Naaz D Naaz D July 27, 2009
And the point of this movie is ??
Has some exceptionally cute guys in it though.
thirdman thirdman June 22, 2009
Last year Netflix introduced the ability to stream certain movies on your television using the Xbox 360 via a Gold Membership from Microsoft. I signed up for the membership, but not until recently have I utilized this feature. Looking for zombie movies to watch, I added a bunch of films to my queue. I guess I should have read descriptions a little better, because writer/director Bruce LaBruce's Otto; Or, Up With Dead People wasn't the sort of zombie movie I was expecting it to be.

After I was finished watching it, I did a little research on the film. Otto is described as a "political-porno-zombie movie." I found this a little funny, because I didn't get a lot of political themed messages from the film as much as I got porn. It isn't that I have anything against graphic sexual content, it's just that Otto; Or, Up with Dead People is one of the most confusing films when it comes to its sexual content.

It would have been interesting if the film was able to draw parallels between the treatment of homosexuals in real life and the fear that zombies cause in movies. But LaBruce never managed to create something deep or meaningful with his film. And at times, Otto felt like it was mocking what it was trying to stand up for. Medea Yarn (Katharina Klenwinghaus), a documentary film maker who is documenting the gay zombie epidemic that takes place in the film, came off as a parody of the artsy filmmaker type. Just seeing the way she carried herself, and the way she acted around people made it hard to like her and even harder to care about any positive outcomes she was trying to do with her filmmaking.

Otto (Jey Crisfar) was an interesting character to an extent, and I liked the way he looked in the film. When he is first introduced, the film is in black and white and it added an interesting dark element to the character. I wish the film would have stayed in black and white, since color took away from the film's grittiness. Also, the film only takes the character of Otto so far before it resorts back to its bizarre gimmicks and its graphic sexual content.

There is a lot of awkward, and sometimes rather disgusting scenes of sexuality in this film. At one point two male zombies are getting it on, and one has a huge gash in his side that the other inserts his manly parts into... and you can guess where that goes from there. Again, I don't have a problem with sexual content in a film, but the sexual content of Otto; Or, Up With Dead People always felt exploitative and never part of the story.

There are other things with this film that either confused me or annoyed me; there is one character who always appears to be in a silent film, even if the rest of the scene is in color and with sound. The idea of making a film that mixes zombies with homosexual themes could have worked, and a pretty decent film could have emerged from it. But Bruce LaBruce's film is more exploitative and less informative and moving like it could, and should, have been.
chrisald chrisald March 16, 2009
Otto; Or, Up with Dead People is a gay zombie love story from Bruce LaBruce. I like LaBruce's work and this film was very "out there" in terms of how the story was told, the visuals, and the music. Ultimately the viewer is asked to interpret Otto's psyche as he struggles to find his place in the world. It's a good film. Not for prudes as there is a fair amount of nudity and a sex scene involving a penis and a stomach wound. All in all, enjoyable.
chad z. chad z. November 10, 2008
this is a well constructed exploration of loneliness. also, the boys in it are pretty cute.
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