June 10, 2008
Erik Jendresen and Thomas Schnauz
Bostin Christopher as Otis Broth
Ashley Johnson as Riley Lawson
Daniel Stern as Will Lawson
Illeana Douglas as Kate Lawson
Kevin Pollak as Elmo Broth
Jere Burns as Agent Hotchkiss
Otis is a sad tale about a poor man who has lived in the shadow of his football-star brother all his life. Of course the fact that he kidnaps women and forces them to pretend to be his brother’s wife so he can live out his hero fantasies makes him a bit less than sympathetic.
Things really get sticky for our delusional dude when he delivers a pizza to the Lawson household and spies the girl of his dreams, Riley (Ashley Johnson). This is the girl that will finally make his dreams of “being” his brother Elmo (Kevin Pollak) and dating brother’s wife Kim a reality. In broad daylight he approaches Riley as she heads off to school, wraps her in a burlap sack and stuffs her in the trunk of his beat-up car.
Riley awakens to find herself a prisoner in a dirty and psychotic love den. Chained to the floor and surrounded by electric fencing Riley soon realizes that the only way to stay alive is to pretend that she is in fact “Kim” and smile through his ridiculous role-plays complete with a football uniform, cheerleading routines and a date to the Prom.
When Riley escapes the fun really starts. With revenge in their hearts the family of the snatched teen decides to take matters into their own hands.
Otis is a hilarious example of suburban life gone terribly wrong. Blood and gore are plentiful as the grieving mother (Illeana Douglas) plans delicious tortures such as cutting his fingers off, blending them into a smoothie and making him drink it. Great one-liners along with cheesy characters and shredded moral fiber make this a comedy with just enough of a horroresque slant.
Although all of the characters are well done Bostin Christopher as the villian and Illeana Douglas as the spiteful mother really steal the show. Christopher is the perfect combination of tragic doofus and deranged psycho and as an actor Christopher seems to have that cool quality of not caring what he does on screen as long as it’s funny and proves his point. His no fear attitude toward playing this character really makes for some memorable moments. Douglas, on the other hand, is the perfect nemesis with her creative tortures and evil gleam.
The pacing in this film is good and the ending is sufficiently ambiguous allowing a bit of resolution while still allowing for a sequel should that come to pass. Good stuff.
As usual this “horror/comedy” is not really horror by any stretch (if a criterion of “horror” is that something scary happen) but as far as “comedies with gore” go Otis is a winner. Quotable, bloody and fun – this is suitable for the movie collection.