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quietearth [Celluloid 08.17.08] zombies movie review comedy

Year: 2008
Release date: Unknown
Director: Bruce La Bruce
Writers: Bruce La Bruce
IMDB: link
Trailer: link (NSFW)
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Yes, it's a gay zombie black comedy with hints of existential meandering, and you know what? It was GREAT. Even a gay orgy (yeah I covered my eyes) couldn't bring down the genius clamoring to escape from all four corners of the screen. There was a rotten stench floating in the theater, but this was no smell-o-vision. Otto is a carefully planned and perfectly orchestrated breakout from cult gay director Bruce La Bruce, right into the indie mainstream. I will admit, this film is not for everyone, but if you have the same taste in film as most of us do here at Quiet Earth, I would highly recommend this artistic fusion of genre and style. Oh and one last thing before we get onto the story, there are real zombies in the movie, and the gore is great!

The introduction of Otto emerging from a grave and shambling along the highway coupled with his heavily (German) accented narration of his own situation more then kicked off the eccentric adventure. As you can now guess, Otto is undead and he's also the main character. The Up With Dead People refers to a film within the film, one where pretentious avant-garde lesbian filmmaker Medea uses Otto in her "opus" to make some rambling political statement which is ultimately a vehicle for mockery. In fact the entire film seemed to mock everything it could get it's hands on, including it's own gayness.

With the film within a film, Medea casts Otto as her centerpiece and at one point crowns him king of the zombies in a garbage dump, all the while believing he is delusional and ultimately, human. Early in the film, she forces him to watch some of her previous work which run along the lines of ridiculous silent dance numbers in empty warehouses. Yup, garbage, just like the dump where Otto was crowned king. It could be symbolic, or it could be a mockery of symbolism.

For the heavy hitting moments in the film, some very appropriately sung tune was used for the background, but for the rest, random sinister sounds with heavy industrial tones were used. At some points, these sounds were used to show Otto's mental confusion, as being a freshly raised zombie, he still didn't have all his marbles. There was also a mixture of film styles, including silent B&W film which Medea's lesbian lover was encased in. This ran right alongside color shots and sometimes just surrounded her in a rectangle.

I haven't really given up much on the film, we really don't like to do spoilers. And while I loved it, my girl thought it was boring at many points. Otto; or, Up with Dead People is certainly deviant, but definitely a good time for those who love seriously aberrant indie experiments. Check it out, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Anonymous (14 years ago) Reply

You're reviewing gay porn now?

Too bad, you HAD such a promising site. You WERE a great alternative to AICN, /Film, Twitch, etc.

Alas, all good things must come to an end.

It was fun while it lasted.

Nice knowing you.


Anonymous (14 years ago) Reply

Interesting review. Unlike some, I believe that great film is less about subject matter and more about execution. Gay zombie? Sure, I'll give it a shot.


AB (14 years ago) Reply

Isn't it great that some Homophobics are even afraid of words that could penetrate their virgin asses? Thx @ Anonymus # 1 you made my day! *g*


Anonymous (14 years ago) Reply

Hey, AB, it's me, the homophobe.

Could you please quote where I referred to my "virgin ass".

How do you know it's "virgin"?

And please outline where I wrote anything derogatory or disparaging towards homosexuals that would lead you to suggest that I am homophobic in any way.

It seems you're the one with insecurity issues regarding the words GAY and PORN.

I guess by your rational everyone must be a fan and think only happy happy thoughts when the issue of Gay Porn zombie films is in question.

I'm guilty of not being clearer in my first post, agreed - but my point is that this site is now reviewing PORN. Be it gay porn or any other kind of porn is irrelevant. The fact is that OTTO is a PORN film. With zombies, a narrative structure and good make up does not change that fact that it's porn.

I don't come to this site for porn. Gay or otherwise. I come here for news on smaller genre films that other, more mainstream sites don't cover. If I want to read about porn, I wouldn't come to Quiet Earth as there are a number of "alternative" sites that are very dedicated and much more qualified to review films such as OTTO. Like...a gay porn site for example.

If you'd like, I can link a few...if you're into that sort of thing.


AB, are you that guy voting for Obama (me too!) who calls everyone who isn't a racist?

Careful when hunting monsters.


AB (14 years ago) Reply

O.k. this made it a bit clearer. You should have complain about porn in general then it would be no problem at all. So I apologize for getting your post in the wrong hole. ;)

I don't vote Obama nor McCain cuz i'm not american. But I hope you make a better choice this time. *g*


soma (14 years ago) Reply

I say top marks to quiet earth for reviewing this. Admittedly It's not my cup of tea. But at least now I know not to pick it up at the video shop!!

Most of the films on this site deal with subject matters I think most of the world may find hard to deal with. Death, Murder, torture, nazis, fear, depravity, the end of the world etc etc.

This one had zombies and covered gay themes. Was it a porno. I don't know. From the sounds of the review maybe not. We should though, be discussing this rather than hurling abuse around and slagging off the site.



agentorange (14 years ago) Reply

Ah, the ol' porno vs. art debate. From what I understand, this is about as much of a porno film as Virginie Despentes' "Baise-moi" is. Is it edgy? Yes. Does it push the boundaries. Yes. But is it porn? Well, I suppose that depends on how far you're willing to go.

Stellar review man.


Anonymous (14 years ago) Reply

Ken Park was "edgy".

Irreversible was "edgy".

This is porn. And that's fine if you like porn, gay or not but don't kid yourselves, this is porn.

There is a full on orgy - you know, blow jobs, anal sex, money shots, etc.

For anyone that's on the fence, I suggest you check out the filmmakers website or even just the titles on his imdb page and then decide if you think this film is merely "pushing the boundaries".

I myself think Bruce La Bruce is actually "pushing the boundaries"...of traditional porn.


agentorange (14 years ago) Reply

I find it very difficult to draw a line in sand on this one. Does Bruce La Bruce make Larry Clark's Ken Park look like The O.C.? Why is the depiction of violent subway rape (as in Irreversible) "edgy," while homosexuality is porn? These are big and ongoing questions and as far as I'm concerned, Quiet Earth is not required to answer them. We don't make the flicks, we just report on them.

If it was truly classless gay porno I guarantee we wouldn't have given it a second thought. But we do appreciate this discussion. Let's keep it up.


projectcyclops (14 years ago) Reply

I'm gay and I'm a zombie fan, but I don't think in a month of Sundays I'd ever find Otto a sexually stimulating experience. Just as I didn't a film like Shortbus, although I
a quick visit to it's 'imdb' message board will reveal a lot of people that do veiw it as pornography (and I'll admit that they have more basis for their argument than you do for this film).

For my money the argument can be settled by looking at the intent. Bruce wanted to make a trashy comedy zombie movie, not a gay porn film with zombies in it, something that would look and feel a lot different. besides someone might find the film Transformers pornographic for all I know... dig those sexy robots, does that make it porn?

And don't bash QE for covering this, that's just daft. We've been following Otto for months now. I'll let you know if anyone in the cinema is getting busy.


wolfeyes (14 years ago) Reply

quietearth writes, "there are real zombies in the movie".

REAL zombies!? Do you realise the implications of this!? It's finally happening!

::clutches loaded shotgun named Sweetness:: Don't worry, Sweetness, you'll taste my brains before they ever get to...


Anonymous (14 years ago) Reply

Do people read posts before they reply / critique?

Again, where did I say homosexuality was an issue?

Where did I say homosexuality = porn?


And no, BLB does not make Ken Park look like the OC. I was using that film as an example of feature films, given limited release or other, that have pushed the boundaries of contemporary cinema and, as a result, been labeled "edgy".

Shit, some people think Fight Club is edgy.

If people would READ and not automatically assume someone (me) is a raving homophobe merely because I pointed out that OTTO is what it is, a porn film - i.e. not a feature film as has been (up to this point) the main staple of this site.

I don't think there is a grey area here - it's not really a question of art or taste for that matter. Porn is porn. If you (the viewer) can see a dick in an ass, male or female, it is porn and weather we like it or not, that's the way the world sees it.

And again, I couldn't care less if it's gay, straight or animal porn. Just no sloths...way too slow.


soma (14 years ago) Reply

have you watched the film?


projectcyclops (14 years ago) Reply

I hate to flog this very dead horse man, but if Bruce were marketing it as pornography and selling it to pornography distributors, then it would be such (and it would be unsuccessful I'd guess). Instead he's giving it the film festival treatment and selling it as a feature. I go back to my argument of 'intent'. This film is not a porno. And nobody is saying that you're homophobic, there is no need to be defensive there, you've made that point. Self-righteousness shouldn't be equated with truth.


Pat (14 years ago) Reply


"real zombies"[/Quote]


no but for real. this is more of a trashy zombie movie with a lot of sexual content that happens to be gay. its not really porn thou it has a lot of hardcore sex scenes.
i enjoyed watching it, my flat mates...not so much.

they think im a sadist, homo freak now. ah well. life.

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