Los Angeles Times - 11/28/2008
"[V]isionary, allegorical....There's an aura of German decadence, and cinematographer James Carman's images have an Expressionist feel."
Cult Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce makes another splash with the homo-zombie comedy OTTO; OR, UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE. Fusing many elements of experimental cinema with the zombie genre, LaBruce's film tells the story of Otto (Jey Crisfar), an uninspired zombie wandering aimlessly in Berlin who is unable to recall what his life was like before he became one of the eternally undead. When politically charged filmmaker Medea Yarn (Katharina Klewinghaus) discovers Otto while casting her latest picture, she is convinced he has a pure zombie spirit. Otto plays along with the crazed woman, for he has nowhere else to go. As memories of the past return in brief flashes, Otto tries to make them last, giving purpose to his boring, lonely life.
Certainly not for the squeamish--there is enough blood and sexuality for two movies--this is an example of LaBruce at his most mischievous and provocative. He packs the film with wall-to-wall music (Antony and the Johnsons, CoCoRosie, and many more), as well as a never-ending onslaught of mixed formats and striking visual ideas (including one character who is living inside her very own silent film bubble), delivering a truly wild ride.
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