Newcomer Bostin Christopher plays the title character, an overweight pizza delivery guy who spends his spare time kidnapping young girls, keeping them captive, and re-enacting sick high school fantasies. Seems ‘ol Otis had some past girl troubles that he’s still trying to work out on stand-ins for his beloved ‘Kim’. Unfortunately, his latest choice for a victim, Riley (Ashley Johnson) causes all manner of complications, not the least of which being that Riley refuses to co-operate and be called ‘Kim’, and frequently attempts to escape. Jere Burns turns up as a supposedly successful but seemingly dumb arse, and frankly tactless FBI agent who...maybe...might possibly... get around to solving the case. Riley’s parents (Daniel Stern and Illeana Douglas) are certainly unimpressed by his efforts, going to their own extreme measures to make this sick bastard pay. Then there’s Riley’s kid brother (Jared Kusnitz) who is frankly a perve...spying on his own sister in her underwear. But let’s not go there. Kevin Pollak plays Otis’ grubby, belligerent brother, who is unaware of just how sick and twisted Otis is.
This sick, twisted black comedy from 2008 directed by Tony Krantz will probably be polarising, but you’ve got to admire its balls. The material is probably a bit too serious and sick to work for laughs, but it’s very different and not remotely boring. It’s definitely something, and I’m pretty well sick of films that don’t strive to be anything much. Former child star Ashley Johnson has grown up (and boy has she) into a pretty good actress, and quite hot, albeit not quite as hot as she seems to think she is. Bostin Christopher is quite effective as the title sicko, who is more seriously creepy and sick than intimidating, despite his enormous girth. I appreciated that he didn’t chew the scenery, which could’ve been an easy thing to do.
Illeana Douglas, Kevin Pollak, and a fat Daniel Stern are pretty wasted (though Stern plays a panicky wimp pretty well), but the performances by Jere Burns and Jared Kusnitz deserve to be singled out. Kusnitz is actually more creepy than Otis, to be honest, playing the creepiest kid brother you’ve ever seen. I’m with Stern’s character, there’s something wrong with a kid who films his sister dancing in her underwear, even if she is Ashley Johnson. But that’s not a bad thing in my view, the film is aiming for seriously creepy and pervy and it achieves that. The cameraman is clearly getting into the pervy spirit too. Burns, a mainstay of film and especially TV has simply never been better as the world’s least sensitive FBI agent. He refers to one victim as ‘the one with the missing tits’.
The film boasts an interesting and eclectic collection of 70s and early 80s classics like ‘Venus’, ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ (the original versions, I might add), ‘I Ran’ by a Flock of Seagulls, Quiet Riot’s awesome cover of ‘Cum on Feel the Noize’, and even ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’, which in my view could’ve used more cowbell. Sorry, I’m contractually obligated to do that joke or else Christopher Walken will come and beat me up.
The final stages aren’t as effective as the opening half, but at the same time it was inevitable in an otherwise unpredictable film. It’s just that Douglas and Stern seem to turn to vigilantism a bit too quickly and inorganically for my liking. It’s still an interesting, offbeat film like nothing you’ve likely seen before, though. Scripted by Erik Jendresen and Thomas Schnauz, I’d say the audience for this is seriously limited, but I kinda ended up liking it in a messed-up, completely objectionable way, even if it doesn’t entirely come off at the end of the day. Sometimes I’m more impressed with a film that tries for something different and nearly comes off, than a film that has modest aims that it barely achieves.
I also hope to see the promising Bostin Christopher in future film endeavours, though he might find himself being typecast if he isn’t careful. Oh, and take note of the name Dan Myrick amongst the producers. He once made a little sleeper you might’ve heard of called “The Blair Witch Project”