a film by Bruce LaBruce
2008 | 95 mins | Germany
›› Otto; or Up With Dead People
a porno political parody of the zombie genre
Otto; or Up With Dead People by Bruce LaBruce For those expecting the standard horror flick, then you're in for a rude awakening, given and as somewhat to be expected in the hands of Bruce LaBruce blood and zombie gore mix counter-culture style with politics and raw sex in a work that is guaranteed to shock some, delight others and if anything leave many wondering - well, just wondering.

And it all revolves around Otto; a disillusioned zombie who finds himself wandering aimlessly around the streets of Berlin, unsure of his past, present or future. That is, until he comes into contact with Medea Yarn; an aspiring director who is soon to cast him as the lead in her forthcoming zombie political satire Up With Dead People. Only this dead person is filled with flashbacks of a prior relationship with boyfriend Rudolf and a man who he now seeks out in the hope of discovering not so much of who he was, but more of who he still is. But is there an answer to be found?

Clearly not in the traditional sense. What can be found however is LaBruce's trademark social and political commentary. For here he takes delight in the zombie genre; gays as outsiders, fearing for their existence from a world that takes exception to the homosexual undead through physical assault and death. Only in typical LaBruce fashion, political pointers soon give way to in-your-face sex, one penetration scene of which notably breaks the skin of cinematic convention. Yet laced between such, LaBruce cranks up his political engine by way of a lecture on the environment, courtesy of having Yarn film Otto in the middle of industrial waste, that of mankind's own undead.

Otto; or Up With Dead People by Bruce LaBruce In short, this movie within a movie is a celluloid pic 'n' mix of styles, one that like all of LaBruce's previous works cannot be taken too seriously, if seriously at all, a fact not lost on the cast. To that end, Jey Crisfar as Otto and Katharina Klewinghaus as Medea Yarn provide the political meat of the piece, leaving others free to inject some romance into the proceedings. And perhaps that's the real surprise here, for inspite of all the porno political horror to be had, LaBruce equally delivers some quite tender moments of gay affection, along the way letting rip his custom acidic wit, hereby contrasting Otto's desire for flesh with prior memories of life - as a vegetarian? For whatever he be, he's certainly a lost soul doing his best to survive in a film overflowing with provocative and at times, extreme imagery. Need more be said?

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - sexually explicit. 
Overall - file under ... 2+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue: 12.July.2010 / UK.
screened as part of the 22nd London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 2008.
starring: Jey Crisfar, Katharina Klewinghaus, Susanne Sachsse, Marcel Schlutt,
Guido Sommer, Christophe Chemin and Gio Black Peter.
Copyright 2008 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #126
›› previous page | back to top | print me ‹‹
click for gay celluloid - home