There are many layers to the horror genre, and there are multiple subgenres within it. Horror comedies that are executed well have always been few and far between. Now, take a horror comedy based around Christmas, and name one successful film that encompassed it all. Exactly. The latest to this sub sub genre is Ceasar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas.
Ceasar and Otto are actually characters portrayed by Dave Campfield and Paul Chomicki. Ceasar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas was also written, directed, edited and produced by Campfield. Normally the combination of this sub sub sub genre and the star also being the complete creative team behind it amounts to a bad movie. But, take all of this and make the film aware of itself and its premise, throw in familiar faces like Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Lloyd Kaufman, etc, and well, it’s still not a masterpiece, but it’s not claiming to be – right?
The story is simple. Ceasar is terrified of Christmas because his father once told him that kids have their penis chainsawed off by Santa Claus if they have been bad. Over the course of the film, he must overcome this fear because a killer dressed as Santa (CKY singer Deron Miller) is chopping off people’s heads. Add the idea that Ceasar is going to write and produce a movie with this exact premise within the movie and you have a camp fest that produces laughs, albeit cheap ones. Within the hokey realm it calls home, the fact that the CGI is downright awful and atrocious doesn’t even register and, interesting enough, the acting is actually really good despite the constant green screen backgrounds and other distractions. The entire production value is pretty damn nice, again, even with the premise being completely ridiculous.
The DVD includes three commentaries – one with Dave Campfield, one with Cast & Crew, and one with producer Joe Randazzo. There is a Behind the Scenes feature which shows how all of those involved were really dedicated to the film. Seeing this actually makes the movie a bit better – as Linnea Quigley states in the piece, the filming experience was “passionate”. There are also five minutes of extended and deleted scenes that, if you enjoy the humor of the film, are fun to watch. There are a few shorts included, as well. Piggyzilla is a minute long short that is just downright dumb, but it really is so bad you have to laugh a little. The same goes for Otto’s First Job which runs 2 minutes. The Perfect Candidate is a 15 minute short that is included as its own separate bonus. A bit long winded, it actually has two commentary tracks along with it. If you end up really enjoying the feature film, it’s worth a watch.
Ceasar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas is basically what would happen if Troma produced a John Waters film. So, as stated before, it’s not bad and it’s not that great either – but for that sub sub sub sub genre it lies within, it is probably better than the majority of films it is surrounded by.
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