Otto and Caesar’s Deadly Xmas
directed by Dave Campfield
Dave Campfield, Paul Chomicki, Deron Miller, Ken MacFarlane, Linnea Quigley, Summer Ferguson, Brinke Stevens, Joe Estevez
Every holiday season brings a new crop of Christmas movies, TV episodes, and web clips. “That’s all well and good,” you might say, “But where are this century’s Christmas-themed horror films? What about a Christmas Evil, Black Christmas, or Silent Night, Deadly Night for today’s more discriminating generation?”
Fear not, Christmas slasher aficionados, Dave Campfield has written, directed, and starred in Otto and Caesar’s Deadly Xmas, a film destined to be a holiday classic in certain households.
Campfield’s film is a loving homage to the aforementioned holiday horrors, with special attention paid to Silent Night, Deadly Night. Although gory in parts, the emphasis here is on laughs with Otto and Caesar making an effective comedy team, playing off each other well, (even if you’ll hate yourself seconds after laughing at some of their cornier jokes).
After half-brothers Otto (Paul Chomicki) and Caesar (Campfield) attempt Santa jobs at Xmas Industries, Inc., they uncover a conspiracy dating back to the nineteenth century. It involves dyslexic pioneers, the difference between Christmas and Xmas, undercover mattress sellers, and killer Santa Clauses — with time given for a touchy TV therapist named Dr. Pheel, an arm-less man driving a car, and some glorious back projection. All this and ’80s scream queens, Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley!
There’s also a detour into low-budget film-making, with the immortal line, “I’ll hand hold the camera – the shakier the better. That makes it exciting!” Campfield knows what he’s writing about here, as Otto and Caesar’s Deadly Xmas is able to transcend the low budget, (really low budget; the cast had to share one sweaty Santa suit), and produce a funny, sometimes scary holiday slasher parody. Otto and Caesar’s Deadly Xmas is guerrilla film-making at its finest, with a love for the genre being parodied and some interesting camera angles and filming choices. Again, viewers might groan after laughing at some of the jokes, but you’ll be laughing nonetheless.