Sundance Review: Otto; or Up with Dead People

January 21, 2008

  • US Release Date: Sundance Film Festival 2008
  • Genre: Horror, Comedy
  • Running Time: 95 minutes
  • Directed by: Bruce LaBruce
  • on IMDb
  •    0/10

Otto; or Up with Dead People is plain and simple a gay zombie porn movie. Maybe if you like gay zombies, maybe if you like zombie porn, maybe if you like gay porn, you could end up liking Otto, but that's it. I was not entertained, I was not intrigued, and not a single thing about this thing fascinated me. I think the biggest question on my mind was who in the hell would watch this crap? And that's when I realized - the director has a built-in cult following.

But what kind of cult exactly? All I know is I can tell you that the entirety of the cult was in the theater. They were the people who remained after everyone quickly raced out when the first gay zombie porn scene hit. Sure there were a few spotted individuals who were either too brave or too shocked to stand up and leave, but every last one of Bruce LaBruce's followers were in that theater.

I have nothing more to say on Otto; or Up with Dead People, but I'll leave you with a "cute" little haiku review from


Pretentious Garbage
Penises, Lots of Colors
Didn’t Get the Joke

Thanks Brad, you couldn't have summed it up any better!

Otto; or Up with Dead People review

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  • Stephen
    Sounds pretty terrible.
  • Alex, I would love to hear your response on why you would have even decided to see it judging by its description.
  • brian
    Where's the Sleep Dealer review? Have been following this one and would love to see what you thought.
  • Nick
    #2's comment reminds me of the time I went to see Blade in the theater. Every time a scene got a little bit gory, this guy 3 rows in front of me would duck his head down behind the seat in front of him. I had to wonder exactly what he was expecting from a vampire movie called Blade? Roses and chocolates? You get what you pay for when you go to a gay zombie porn movie...
  • Sleep Dealer is done and will be up on the site soon... And Ryan, it's because I love catching random small indie cult flicks and saw this and thought, gay zombies, why the hell not? I wasn't alone, I know other journalists who "wanted" to go see it. For all I know it could have been the next big cult zombie movie, but I guess I didn't do enough research on Bruce LaBruce.
  • Reg
    Hey, man! I wasn't in the theatre that night. This movie is brilliant and I'm a straight zombie.
  • roont
    " I was not entertained, I was not intrigued, and not a single thing about this thing fascinated me" i could not have said it better myself
  • daniel clements
    can u buy it in the uk
  • Mike
    reg, you're still a zombie... i agree totally with alex, just watched with a few friends here in the Bangkok International Film Festival, and wished i'd read this review before going. same thoughts here, gay zombies, why not, i didnt know it was gay porn. i thought it would be like will and grace plus the zombies. Bruce La Bruce, never forgetting that name. its locked in my avoid at all times section now.
  • Jason
    Like with any explicit sex in a film, I found the sex embarrassing but waded through it to see the film. But I don't know that 5+ minutes of explicit sex in a 90 minute film makes it a porn film. So how is it you guys were happy to go see a gay zombie film, but ran screaming the minute 'gay' involved sex?
  • Guest
    Jason, i agree completely- particularly with your ending point. images become "explicit" when people are uncomfortable with them somehow. people can watch hundreds of heterosexual intercourse scenes and speak nothing of them in the context of most individual movies *lest they be somehow felt unconventional (i.e. BDSM, male being penetrated, etc.) this perceived deviance is what makes label movies like Otto "porn". aside from the parody-of-shortbus [john cameron mitchell] swansong zombie bacchanal scene, which was intentionally/inherently/purposefully/satirically excessive, this was certainly no porno movie.
  • Charles Ellmaker
    Wow. This is not a porn flick, it just happens to have a few minutes of sex in it. Let's call it Canadian with a heavy dose of German frank behavior. It's not even much a gay flick, or even a zombie flick. it's a pretty interesting tale of societal decay and individual confusion, with lots of meat. I give it 7/10.




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