Otis
OTIS. 2008
Director: Tony Krantz

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Otis Otis (Boston Christopher), the titular uber-slob in Otis (2008), is a fat man without social skills who works out his sexual fantasies with a captive girl he keeps in a dungeon.

His current prisoner, who he has named Kim (Ellie Gerber), turns upon him, & he accidentally kills her. Oh well. Gotta catch a fresh Kim, after hacking up & disposing of this one.

There've been a series of these murders in town, & the police haven't a clue who the serial killer could be. Riley (Ashley Johnson) is his next target. Her brother Reed (Jared Kusnitz) is a jerkwad of the first order of a disgusting teen, but like warts, he grows on ya.

Soon Riley discovers she's the new Kim chained in a dungeon, watched on closed-circuit, threatened with burning heatlamps when disobediant. "There's no escape," says Otis over the telephone/intercom. "Just me. Just us."

OtisThe dialogue is kind of brilliant in its sick manner, & the film for the most part transcends sexist slasher fantasy for the would-be Otises in the audience. It parodies the worst of cinema without becoming what it lampoons.

This fat bald loser pervert demands they play innocent teen romance events like going to a drive-in movie trumped up indoors, or go to the prom.

He becomes raging violent when his "Kim" won't play as instructed. The real Kim, it is eventually revealed, is his brother's wife (Tarah Paige). His brother (Kevin Pollak) has no clue his crazy brother is this crazy.

When Riley's mom Kate (Illeana Douglas, with the stand-out comic performance in a cast uniformly brilliant) has her first contact with Otis over the telephone, when he calls up in the throes of delusion to ask permission to take her daughter to the prom. Kate goes batshit cursing him out, & her asshole teenage son suddenly has a new respect for his mom.

In the basement of horrors, Riley keeps a level head, playing out Otis's loony Prom Night fantasies, talking him down from his rages, doing what it takes to survive. Eventually her opportunity arises & she makes good her escape, staggers to a phone booth & calls home.

Otis[SPOILER ALERT!] Mom keeps the police out of the loop. With her husband Will (Daniel Stern) & son Reed, she sets out for private revenge.

Mom, Reed, & Will the wussy Dad, arrive at Otis's house of torments. There, with Otis's own tools -- electric chainsaw, baseball bat, nail gun, sharp kitchen utensils -- they proceed to take revenge, by mistake, on Otis's slightly odious but innocent brother.

It's a comedy smack-down without the least bit of justice. It's almost too ghastly to permit the laughter, but then one is reminded it's only a film, & awesomely daring you to laugh out loud. Which you will.

Having immediately busted the guys face, he can't say he's not Otis, as the family of avengers revive him to torture anew. What they do to the wrong guy is much more shocking that anything Otis had done to Riley.

They're gone when Otis returns to discover his brother dead. They had no idea Otis had recording equipment running the whole time. He plays back the blow for blow torture. And now Otis has cause for revenge. [END SPOILER ALERT]

The ending will be sudden & unsatisfactory, the film's only weak moment, but among the extras will be found the originally intended ending, which made more sense but was too unpleasant to be funny. Changing it was a good move, but too bad they didn't find something actually right for the story.

This chain-yanking wacko film is funny & appalling, a satire on torture-porn, with first-rate actors who've thrown themselves into their demented roles with crazed conviction. Conceivably people who don't generally watch slasher horror would like this one just for the sake of the outrageous & top-flight comedy acting.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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