This is a great little black comedy that twists the genre to explore what happens on the home front, both to the serial-killer's family trying to deal with the monster he has become, and the would-be victim's family who jump at the chance for revenge when they find an opening. Different, at times very funny and it stands up well to repeated viewings.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Highly entertaining, but not for everyoneJune 12 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a STRANGE movie. We saw the trailer for it on "The Orphanage" DVD and thought, well that movie looks pretty funny, let's get that.
Short Synopsis: Otis is a hulking pervert who captures teenage girls and takes them home where he fulfills his high school fantasies, forcing them to "play along." Otis got more than he bargained for when he abducts Riley whose family has a collective screw loose to begin with.
This movie was funny in a dark and almost sad way. Everyone in the film is warped so the only character you can really identify with is Riley... and she doesn't say much. The scenes between Riley and Otis are by far the most well acted in the film, they are both disturbing and hysterically funny. Riley's family however never seemed to click, what should have been the funniest scenes in the movie were overacted which seriously drained the humor out of them. Each character was funny in their own right, but as a unit they never meshed completely. Still this was a very enjoyable film with much less gore than anticipated, no nudity (sorry boys) but for those of you who don't like profanity, this movie is full of it. I don't have an issue with profanity in R rated movies... but the profanity in this one feels a bit forced, as if either the actors weren't comfortable using it, or they just couldn't get the rhythm of what they were saying.
Even though the acting was a bit off, this was a really fun movie with quite a few laughs. I would say its best viewed in a group setting with a couple of beers and popcorn.
Since it's unrated I'll give you my rating synopsis - Nudity - None, though there is a girl in her underwear. Sex - None seen, though it is mentioned and alluded to Violence - I'd give this an R for one particular scene Profanity - Definite R Drug use - There is mention of drugs, and you see the son popping pills.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Great black comedyMay 27 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
I caught Otis at the SXSW film festival in Austin, and it was one of the stand out films of the event.
Otis is a serial killer who kidnaps young pretty girls to fulfill his own dreams of what he missed in high school. Eventually these girls fight back and die. His latest victim, Riley (the beautiful Ashley Johnson) has a bit more fight than he's used to. And her family is even more aggressive.
The cast does a great job pulling the story together. Illena Douglas, who always does a great job, is incredible as the mother who has gone a little crazy. Ashley Johnson is perfect as Riley. She has that nice combo of being both hot and yet very sweet at the same time, much like the character she played on CSI.
I think the stand out actor on this is Jared Kusnitz, who I also saw in Dance of the Dead (incredibly good movie). Somehow the movie gets a little funnier every time he's in a scene.
One note on casting...I couldn't help feeling like Kevin Pollack and Daniel Stern were cast in each others roles as the brother of Otis and the father of Ashley Johnson, repetitively. They both did a great job, but Daniel Stern looks much more like the brother of Otis than Pollack. Although I do love the scenes with Stern and Kusnitz.
Otis is a movie best viewed with some friends who enjoy black comedies. This film's pretty dark, but really enjoyable.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The family that slays together stays together!Aug. 5 2008
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Last time director Tony Krantz hooked up with Raw Feed (distributor of this film), the end result was a movie entitled Sublime (which ironically enough, was anything but...). If you saw it, you probably don't remember much about it due to the fact that, if you were lucky you fell asleep early, OR that your mind has buried the near 2 hours of dull, over polished, metaphysical dreck that it was with other overly awful moments from the genre (i.e. Blair Witch 2, Anaconda, and nearly every Japanese horror remake). Well, with some surprise I bring you good news as far as Otis is concerned... it doesn't suck! In fact, it's good enough that I'm even kinda looking forward to this guys next movie... huh, how's that for a nice twist? Otis is the story of a hulking and demented 40 year old pizza delivery guy looking for love (and more importantly, a prom date)-- in any unsuspecting neighborhod windows that allow easy access. Unfortunately for Otis though, he didn't expect his next victims family to be willing to do whatever it takes to exact their vengeance... hijinx ensue! No really, they do this time! You see, this is a horror/comedy (I probably should have made note of that earlier but...)and while it's never disturbing or scary, it does get a lot of the humor right, which makes for a fun watch (if only one). Of course, the obvious flipside of this is that it's a pretty light and fluffy affair... unlike the great exploitative horror/revenge films that it imitates, you won't be left feeling dirty and ashamed at all by the end of this (in fact, the most depraved thing you see is a girl get punched in the face). Still though, it's a horror/comedy that actually works, plus it has a fantastic cast (David Pollak in particular)... great film to watch with the significant other who "isn't normally into these type of movies."
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Hysterical House on the LeftJuly 11 2008
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There's nothing quite like family bonding is there?? Especially when it's over someone whose bound, gagged, and beaten. Afterall, the family that violently interrogates would-be murderers together, stays together.
"Otis" is 1 twisted teaspoon of "Captivity" mixed with 2 hysterical cups of "Last House on the Left" Here's the skinny: A lonely madman kidnaps a local girl and keeps her captive in his basement, all while preparing her for his bizarro, makeshift prom. Her distraught family however, has plans to crash said prom with blood-thirsty, vengeful intentions....and of course power-tools!!
Every character was unforgettable!!! The star-studded cast really made the most of their parts. (Kevin Pollack, Daniel Stern, the gorgeous Ileyana Dougals & the angelic Ashley Johnson) Every character was lovably quirky & outrageously phenominal!!! Each one a little more over-the-top than the last, but the whole movie was more than a little over-the-top, so it's seems fitting. Jere Burns as the FBI investigator proves this point in spades. He was soooooo silly with his ridiculous laser pointer, I actually felt compelled to go out and buy one myself!!! Daniel Stern had me rolling once the violence started, his regression into a bumbling, hilarious wreck was undeniably excellent!! I love Iylana Douglas, Everytime I see her on the screen I feel like a silly, love-struck teenager. She was awesome .....as always!! And Kevin Pollack was downright amazing!!! He wasn't even trying to be funny, and yet he was had me in puddles of mirthful tears. I'm under the impression he can assume any role on the planet.
My hat goes off to Tony Krantz & Eric Jendressen, (the writer/director team behind the Twilight-Zone-esque masterpiece "Sublime") The plot was as dementedly hysterical as a stand-up comedian with one leg, and the direction was as tight as sardines in spandex. The scene where the family was standing around covered in blood, brave-heart-style, is a neo-classic, and one for the books.
I thought it was great and would highly recommend it. Especially If you liked: "Last House on the Left", "House Arrest", (yeah why not) "Captivity", "The Cottage", "Bothched", "Behind the Mask", "Shaun of the Dead", or "Severance" I would seriously pick this film up like tomorrow if I were you.
MORAL OF THE STORY: The institution of family is sacred.....albeit totally mental!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A perverse and hilarious modern exploitation filmJuly 12 2008
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In recent years, there have been few horror films that could be considered great, and sadly, most of those great horrors come from outside the United States, the nation which once ruled horror. 'Otis,' however, comes to change that up, and change it up well.
Otis Broth is obsessive. Otis Broth is disgusting. Otis Broth is psychotic. But Otis Broth is also a romantic. He wants the perfect girl to bring to the Prom. The perfect girl to enjoy the front seat of his Trans Am with on the 'bluff.' For Otis, this perfect girl is (after five other attempts) is Riley Lawson (Ashley Johnson of 'Growing Pains'). . . though he likes to call her Kim. After capturing Riley, Otis takes her back to the hovel that is the Broth household and treats her like the lady she is. . . only, in his mind, blinding lights and shackles are the chivalrous ways to treat his lady. After efforts by the police fail to find Riley, the parents (Illeana Douglas and Daniel Stern) bring their son (Jared Kusnitz) along to do what the cops are failing to do: Take care of the murderous Otis themselves.
Playing out like a comedic 'Last House on the Left,' 'Otis' turns the family-revenge tale into a near-slapstick horror-comedy, but it never goes TOO far over the edge of comedy and, thankfully, remains well in the realm of brutal exploit thriller/horror. While it's not overly disgusting or gory, the violence and subject matter will appeal to fans of exploitation cinema looking for a good modern flick that surpasses the normal 'Hostel'-type Hollywood torture film. The writing is sharp, the direction is well done, and the acting is superb. There are enough one-liners and constant comedy to keep us laughing throughout and the characters will make anyone from a dysfunctional suburban family reminisce. . . I know I did. And a great, ballsy, open-ended conclusion left us drooling for 'Otis 2.' Overall, 'Otis' is a hilariously fresh new horror-comedy that is set for cult fame.