Wednesday, October 15, 2008

OTIS (2008)

On the fifteenth day of Halloween, my boo love gave to me ... fifteen cans of Slim Fast for Serial Killers!


A pudgy cool duder without a life, Scorcese’s ex-squeeze, Macaulay Culkin’s former nemesis, A Dear John alum A-hole, Rool, and lots of obvious, painfully unfunny mutilation jokes.

More details here.


A young hot chickie (Ashley Johnson) is kidnapped by a tub-of-lard serial killer Otis (Bostin Christopher) obsessed with taking girls to his basement and acting out the prom night he never had in high school. Fatty calls all his victims “Kim”, bangs them, and tortures them for good measure before offing them. It's probably the only exercise this girthy wonder will ever get. The girl's empty-headed but concerned parents (Ileana Douglas and Daniel Stern) are distraught when the idiot detective assigned to the case (Jere Burns) is more interested in his hairdo than solving the case. The investigation spirals out of control, forcing the overzealous Mom and Dad team to take things into their own hands. Meanwhile Otis has a difficult time hiding his crimes from his jerk-wad brother (Kevin Pollack) and is starting to feel the heat from the parents' meddling in his dark affairs. Eventually, hilarity ensues when the parents mistake Otis' brother for the killer and kidnap, torture, and brutally murder him. It all gets really silly and insipid when the parent's discover their error and encounter the real Otis waiting for their next move. The ending is supposed to be ironic and shocking, setting up the stage for further hot chickie buffets for Tubby.


I watched this movie as part of the 2008 Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in L.A. last April with an enthusiastic audience cheering and cracking up for ninety minutes. I almost pierced my brain scratching my head trying to figure out what they were seeing and what I was missing. Too smug to be a stupid slasher and too dumb to be a black comedy, Otis deserves little scrutiny and more fast-forwarding through the boring parts, of which there are many. Just like his upper lip, Otis is a big sloppy mess. If I must say anything positive it's that the movie tries to say something about media hyper and victimization, and this would have been fine in a film that didn't irritate the living fuck out of you every five minutes with cheap jokes, inept pacing, and poor attempts at scares.

Bostin Christopher as Otis is a bumbling, stuttering, and grunting headache. Even stalwart vets Douglas, Stern, and Pollack can't surpass the material in this overwrought disaster. At times, Otis wants to develop into a slasher parody, but instead it wallows in painfully “ironic” character turnarounds and drowns itself in a bucketful of obviousness. There’s not much to like about Otis, despite the nostalgic tasteless humor and 80s-Pop soundtrack. Even in a room full of fellow horror geeks, it took concerted effort on my part not to leave the room. But I have to admit, I did leave ten minutes before the end (Ray Wise was speaking in the main room!). I got caught up on the ending and just threw my hands up in a spectacular “Meh”! The movie becomes another victim of the pitfall of horror comedy: keeping a balance between the funny and scary. Otis is about as consistent and reliable as his bulging, blubber-curdling waistline.

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