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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Otis (Uncut) (Blu-ray)
Otis (Uncut) (Blu-ray)
Warner Bros. // Unrated // October 7, 2008 // Region A
List Price: $28.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted September 21, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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"What's the blender for?"
"Well, I thought your dad could cut his fingers and toes off and we could blend them into a Smoothie and make him drink it."
"Thinking outside the box...Mom, I like it."
"Giddyup."


Y'know, Otis (Bostin Christopher)
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]
has it kinda rough. He's over forty now, the guy's pushing three bills, he's stuck with a dead-end job slinging pizzas for a few bucks an hour... All he really wants is to relive his glory days: to be the big football hero again, pin a corsage on the foxy homecoming queen, and dance under an oversized disco ball at the prom. Only...oops! Here's the thing: those aren't his glory days -- they're his jackassy older brother's (Kevin Pollak) -- and the 'cheerleaders' he picks up are random high schoolers on his delivery route. Otis keeps each of his girlfriends shackled in an underground torture chamber, and when they don't play along...? Slice. Chop. Splatter splatter.

Next up on the hit parade is Riley (Ashley Johnson), a clean-scrubbed, virginal, all-around adorable good girl. Her folks (Daniel Stern and Illeana Douglas) are distraught but helpless when she's snatched, and the feds (headed up by Jere Burns; fuckin' Kirk from Dear John!) couldn't find a ten foot dick on a hen. Riley's Bart Simpson-ish younger brother (Jared Kusnitz) thinks they should just shrug off the cops and track down the bastard themselves. The Lawsons do eventually get a heads-up where Otis lives, and they decide to go all Last House on the Left on his dumpy white ass, only...y'know, this is supposed to be a black comedy, I guess, so things don't go so much according to plan.

Look, I know Otis has a pretty solid following online, but...hell if I can figure out why. As much of my life as I've wasted watching horror-comedies, only a tiny handful actually work; most of 'em are agonizingly unfunny, not creepy, not disturbing...just a colossal waste of time. 'Same goes for Otis, which tries to lean on a campy, almost aggressively quirky sense of humor but splits its head open slipping on all that flop sweat. I mean, it's bogged down by dialogue like "Rectum? Damn near killed 'im!" One running gag has the double-digit IQ agent on the case forgetting the family's last name. Oh no! There are stabs at black comedy like a severed arm spilling out of a garbage bag, but...c'mon, do something clever with it. Otis never really goes balls-out with....well, anything. For a torture porn spoof with a nailgun, a Kentucky fried rectum, a hair curler, a five iron, and a bunch of stuff the Lawsons lug around but don't actually use...I mean, why are they there? This is a horror-comedy: do something funny or do something fucked-up. Don't flash forward forty minutes and then say, "geez, we sure did a number on this guy." Its gags seem to be lopped off halfway through the setup, the feds talk about what a butcher Otis is but we never really see it... I just don't see the point.

So much of Otis' budget went to lining up that kinda-sorta recognizable cast and
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]
licensing a hell of a lot of songs for the soundtrack that there...y'know, wasn't much leftover to actually shoot the movie. The low-rent lighting just highlights how cheap the whole thing looks, there's not really any gore or splatter ("uncut" == marketing bullshit), and the only slick camerawork anywhere in here is a pan around a Trans-Am on "prom night".

Okay, so I'll try to say something nice. Otis does sport a pretty solid soundtrack: The Talking Heads' "The Great Cure" plays over the opening titles, and scattered throughout the flick are "52 Girls" by the B-52s, Quiet Riot's cover of "Cum On Feel The Noize", "I Ran" by A Flock of Seagulls, "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult, and...nice!..."Gut Feeling" by Devo. The actual score is pretty worthless, though, feeling like cues half-assedly lifted from some stock library. They range from jangly new wave guitars to generic Weather Channel wah-funk, and the music hardly ever bothers to match whatever's happening on-screen.

Otis is the sort of dreck that bubbles to the surface whenever someone sets out to make a camp classic, and I hated every desperate, isn't-that-clever-isn'titisn'titisn't-it elbow-to-the-ribs frame of its agonizing, bloated 100 minute runtime. In fairness, pretty much every other review floating around raves about how clever and stylish Otis is, but...fucking yikes, I really don't see anything redeeming in here. Skip It.

Video: Otis
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]
was shot on mediocre high-def video cameras, saddling the movie with kind of a chintzy, overly digital look. The soft, diffused lighting saps away a lot of the clarity and detail, and video noise buzzes around the screen for most of the flick too. Even worse, the scope image is awfully flat, lacking any pop or dimensionality. Yeah, I'm sure this Blu-ray disc is a step up over the DVD, but it's kinda lackluster even for a direct-to-video horror flick.

Audio: Warner tacked on a lossless soundtrack for Otis, but toggling back and forth between the 16-bit Dolby TrueHD track and the standard issue Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, I really couldn't pick out much of a difference. The mix is awfully mediocre; sound effects are all kind of mushed together, and the dialogue is flat and really sibilant. Surround use is kind of vanilla too, and the rears are mostly reserved for different notes in the score ping-ponging from one channel to the next.

Dolby Digital 5.1 dubs have also been piled on in Spanish and Portuguese, and subtitles are served up in English (SDH), French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese.

Extras: This Blu-ray disc chucks out all of the extras from the DVD released a few months back. No commentary. No alternate ending. No deleted scenes. No making-of. No trailers. I mean, I don't mind 'cause it means I don't have to review 'em, but there's plenty of space left on the disc. No idea why they were axed, but none of the discs in this wave from Raw Feed bother to carry over any of the DVD extras.

Conclusion: Fucking unwatchable. Skip It.
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