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Review: Otto; or, Up With Dead People

Plods at an undead pace
By SHAULA CLARK  |  May 6, 2009
2.0 2.0 Stars

VIDEO: The trailer for Otto; or Up With Dead People

I told a friend I'd be watching a movie about gay zombies and he replied: "Wow, I just got a mental flash of thousands of zombies jumping over a shark." Okay, fair enough — but I'm still down with what Canadian director (and gay porn star) Bruce La Bruce so charmingly dubs "the purple peril" in this curious queer horror flick. It's a film-within-a-film that tells the story of Otto, a young zombie (or is he just a mixed-up kid who believes he's a zombie?) who finds himself cast in an epic indie masterwork by German director Medea Yarn (Katharina Klewinghaus) about a "gay Che Guevara of the undead." It's meta, it's moody, it's necro-erotic, and it's a mess. The WTF-level weirdness (e.g., random interludes of animation, shots of crumbling dinosaur statues in a decaying amusement park) and stomach-turning zombie gang bangs keep things lively, but Otto ends up plodding along at a glacial, undead pace.

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