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Otto; Or, Up With Dead People (2009)

A 2009 film directed by Bruce LaBruce about a gay zombie.

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Bruce LaBruce's Gay Zombie

  • Oct 31, 2008
Rating:
+5
"Otto: Or Up With Dead People"

Bruce Labruce's Gay Zombie

Amos Lassen

There is something about Bruce LaBruce's films--they are semi-porn, they are, in many cases. overlong, and they have a certain charm. "Otto: Or Up With Dead People" fits those characteristics. "Otto" is also fun and highly original--it shocks, it makes you laugh, it has sex and it is movie you will not so forget.
Otto is German and a handsome and sensitive guy with an identity crisis. He is a Goth zombie who wanders the streets of the city, never sleeping. One day he finds himself on a remote highway and has no idea of where he came from or where he is going. He manages to hitch a ride to Berlin and settles in an abandoned amusement park. He begins to explore Berlin is discovered by Medea Yam, an underground filmmaker. Medea wants to make a documentary about Otto and enlists her girlfriend, Hella Bent, and his brother, Adolph to help. Medea believes that Otto represents the personification of the effects of consumerism on modern society. "Up with Dead People" is to be an epic political-porn-zombie movie starring Fritz Fritze whom she convinces to allow Otto to stay in his guest bedroom. Otto suddenly discovers that he has a wallet that contains information about his past before he was dead and became a zombie and he begins to remember facts about his ex-boyfriend, Rudolf, whom he agrees to meet but the results are devastating.
Bruce Labruce is, by no means, an average film maker. "Otto" is an unusual movie and should not be taken seriously. Labruce makes fun of everything in the film and he ridiculers consumerism. He manages to give us porn and violence at the same time but neither is overdone. In fact the sex scenes are quite funny. I have heard that the film was meant to horrify the audience but it amuses and is someone moving instead. The plot is interesting in that it is both linear and convoluted; it is a movie within a movie and therefore standard plot development is not here.
There are a lot of politics here.
Gays seem to love zombies and I can't help but wonder why it has taken so long to have a gay zombie movie. Labruce claims that his inspiration for the movie came from a former boyfriend, a Shia Muslim. It seems that Shias are obsessed with death and they mourn the dead for the first six weeks of each new year and Labruce's boyfriend remarked that he felt that he was already dead.
Labruce wanted his zombie to be sympathetic and so he created Otto as a rebel and outsider who has legitimacy. Labruce's filming technique is often referred to as shoddy and the movie does wander. There are graphic and titillating sex scenes. "Otto" is an interesting look at a new genre in film making.

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More Otto; or, Up with Dead People reviews
review by . October 24, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Dead?
   If you know nothing about Bruce LaBruce's style of film-making, you should know this. Generally speaking, they all have their distinct charm but often are overly homoerotic & usually intend to shock even their potential audiences. LaBruce is well-known amongst underground circles for creating satirical independent, low-budget features which are held together by "meat 'n potatoes". When I say "meat 'n potatoes", his films often feature hardcore …
review by . January 03, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
"Otto: Or Up With Dead People"    Bruce Labruce's Gay Zombie    Amos Lassen    There is something about Bruce LaBruce's films--they are semi-porn, they are, in many cases. overlong, and they have a certain charm. "Otto: Or Up With Dead People" fits those characteristics. "Otto" is also fun and highly original--it shocks, it makes you laugh, it has sex and it is movie you will not so forget.   Otto is German and a handsome and …
About the reviewer
Amos Lassen ()
Ranked #210
I am an academic who reivews movies and books of interest to the GLBT and Jewish communities.   I came to Arkansas after having been relocated here due to Hurricane Katrina. I was living in … more
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Wiki

Bruce LaBruce’s feature Otto; Or, Up With Dead People will either thrill or repulse, as it is tailored to the rather specific sexual tastes that this art film director has spent his career elucidating.Otto does, however, vary from pornographic past LaBruce fetish films such as TheRaspberry Reich and Skin Gang in that Otto will appeal to camp horror experts and those interested in conceptual links between abjection, fashion, and desire. As LaBruce fans may suspect,Otto; Or, Up With Dead Peoplehas a far-fetched plot that exists seemingly to provide framework for his visual explorations of homosexual identity. In it, a young, sexy zombie, Otto (Jey Crisfar), wanders Berlin streets until filmmaker Medea Yarn (Katharina Klewinghaus), whose name is Maya Deren with a twist, casts Otto in her upcoming zombie flick. Paired with actor Fritz Fritze (Marcel Schlutt), the viewer wonders throughout if Otto is a true zombie or another actor amongst the several he is filmed with. In this, there is the constant meta-film, an external narrative that asks the viewer to assess one’s own willingness to believe in monsters. With the help of her brother/DP, Adolf (Guido Sommer), and her girlfriend, Hella Bent (Susanne Sachse), who appears only in vintage looking, black and white footage as if she’s a ghost transmitting from the past, Medea directs Otto in various insalubrious settings, such as the Berlin dump. The effect is humorous and extremely odd. Not until Otto dials up ...
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Details

Director: Bruce LaBruce
Genre: Comedy, Gay & Lesbian, Horror
MPAA Rating: NC-17
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009
Runtime: 94 minutes
Studio: Strand Releasing, Force Video
First to Review
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