Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

He Sees Dead People: Director Bruce LaBruce on His New Gay Zombie Film, the Corporate Takeover of Culture, And-Of Course-Sex

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

He Sees Dead People: Director Bruce LaBruce on His New Gay Zombie Film, the Corporate Takeover of Culture, And-Of Course-Sex

Article excerpt

WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE about a film that could be summed up as "He's 18. He's cute. He's dead"--a film whose credits include characters identified as "Lascivious Ballet Dancer #9," "Orgy Zombie #5," and "Yummy Boy Eating Ice Cream Cone"?

Otto; or, Up With Dead People, a gay zombie movie with a beating, if not actually bleeding, heart, is the latest offering from cult Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce. After assaulting us with Red Army Faction sex terrorism in The Raspberry Reich (2004) and queer neo-Nazi skinheads in Skin Flick (1999), LaBruee outdoes himself in Otto, gnawing at our entrails with the affecting story of a young zombie looking not for flesh but soul in our postmodern culture.

I think congratulations are in order, Mr. LaBruce. This may be your best work yet. it's certainly your most romantic. Funny that a film about flesh-eating, gore-humping zombies brings that out in you. Well, I think if you examine my oeuvre, you will find that I've always had a strong romantic streak. But because I often deal with slightly outre subject matter--neo-Nazi skinheads, pornography, amputees, would-be terrorists-people sometimes have a hard time seeing it. But characters who are disenfranchised, ugly, or marginal often have a strong sense of the romantic: It's all they have. Otto is so sensitive to the cruelty of the modern, corporate-controlled world that he has literally deadened himself to it. There's something very tragic and romantic about that.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

True, you've always been an incurable-adorable romantic, but Otto really wears its half-eaten heart on its sleeve. I worry slightly, though, that your devastating satirical critique of deathly gay porn may be crediting it with too much eroticism. A while age, praying in front of the computer--one-handedly, as all men do these days--I found myself thinking, This is like watching someone have their appendix out, but less fun. Porn has become very anatomical and, shall we say, forensic. You could probably market Savanna Samson's colonoscopy video as porn these days. On "tasteful" prime-time TV, things are more necrophile: The dead body has become the site of voyeuristic fascination. People are obsessed with TV shows that display all the minutiae of murder, medical procedures, pathology examinations, autopsies--with a creepy, sly sexual component.

Speaking of voyeuristic fascination, I found the zombie sex scenes in the abandoned fairground most poignant. Part nature photography, part social documentary. Or our other fearless champion of public sex, George Michael! Like I always say, if you've ever cruised a park at night or a public toilet or bathhouse, it really is like Night of the Living Dead. There's something exciting about that somnambulistic state you go into when cruising for sex: the anonymous and interchangeable body parts. But there's something a little sad and melancholy about it too-the loneliness and desperation.

Yes, and that's the best part. That and Katherine Klewinghaus, who plays the fabulously strident Medea, and Susanne Sachsse, who plays her silent film-star girlfriend Helle Bent. They give unmissable performances. I think Medea and Hella are one of the great cinematic lesbian couples, if I do say so myself.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

They are. But then, I think you're one of the great lesbian directors. Ha! I like to think of myself as an honorary lesbian. I'm really against the segregation of gays and lesbians, so I try to be inclusive. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.