Monday, May 26, 2008

OTIS (2007) d. Tony Krantz

Reviewed by Tracy Hook

If you like black comedy than Otis will satisfy. The film is not only funny but raises several questions about human nature and how certain individuals manage their primal urges. In fact, Lord of the Flies is referenced throughout the movie.

In the beginning of the film we find a serial killer's (Otis') den. The victim, a teenage girl, has been chained and tortured for several weeks and she's not going to take it anymore. The victim attacks her "keeper" and a struggle insues. The girl dies accidentally. I'm spoiling some of this, but trust me it was an accident. We also find that Otis (the keeper) has eleborate plans for his victim. He wants to go to Prom with her. Ahhh! That's cute!

Someone didn't tell him Prom isn't that great. Decking the school gym with tissue paper is like putting a bow on a turd and calling it a teddy bear. The decoration committee wasn't fooling me! What the hell was that $30 for? You can get tissue paper at the dollar store! Prom 1992 was a total waste of money! Especially with a theme song of Metallica's "On Through the Never". The Prom Queen and King couldn't dance to that at all!

Enough about my high school horrors, back to the film. Otis needs to find a new prom date and the viewer has already assumed that it's a lovely girl named Riley. Riley is captured on her way to school. As you can guess Riley's parents are distressed when she doesn't come home and the police are called. But, the police are ridiculously unsympathetic and placing rules on the family for dealing with the madman that has their baby girl. Woo. . . I was right on board with Riley's mom. TIME TO KICK SOME PEDOPHILE ASS! Where's my powerdrill?

When the family finds the location of the serial killer they decide to take the law into their own hands. I had to be constantly reminded by my husband that this was a comedy not just a revenge film. Which I love! I like to cozy up to a big bowl of popcorn and watch down right nasty villains getting their just desserts, like in the vein of "Vigilante" and "Last House on the Left".

"Otis" on the other hand, is funny and has lots of twists and turns. Unlike those grindhouse films mentioned above it makes you think (which is hard to do with extra crunchy popcorn). It questions vigilante justice and media depictions of that gray area we call reality. (I guess I should put away my powerdrill and let the pedophiles get their salads tossed in jail.) I expected a straight revenge film, but found a well thought out story.

Special Features include: Commentary by Director Tony Krantz and Writer Erik Jendresen, Alternative ending, a featurette titled "The Twisted World of Otis", additional scene, and trailers for other Raw Feed titles.

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1 comment:

Saturday Fright Special said...

OTIS was a lot of fun. The contrast between his ludicrous behavior and brutality and that of the supposedly "normal" suburban family was the most humorous aspect of the film. There were some very good performances and for being "filmed" on video, it was a surprisingly well-shot movie. The soundtrack was incredible, sometimes almost too good. It was nice to see a decent, successful horror/comedy ala VERY BAD THINGS. That doesn't happen too often.