Director Dave Campfield, returns with his self-created long running franchise Caesar and Otto journeys and this time he hit his mark with a better character control and smoother screenplay, he still wore as many hats as possible for the movie, quite common in independent filmmaking. The movie references in a smart and fun manner The Exorcist (1973), The Amityville Horror (1979), and Halloween (1978) just to name a few of over a possible 25 movies and a cast loaded with b-movie stars. All on a production of $10,000 generated and thanked by the fans of the horror conventions and numerous film festival circuits, all assisted in his movie receiving distribution through Wild Eye Releasing.
When we first open the story, Caesar dressed himself in drag to get a paying job as a babysitter and taking a few remarks casted at Dr. Phil, thanks to Otto as they live with their father Fred (Scott Aguillar) as the news chimes to newscasts about a serial killer named Michael Myles and in the same broadcast a message about faulty deadbolts. It then switches to the lock they use as the same one, the ensuing chaos occurs and through chases, our heroes save the day, earn a key to the city and given access to a politician’s summer home, that has some ghostly unwanted visitors. This property also comes with crazy neighbors, a very sexual in nature gardener and cruel cook and the sole job – caretaker and allow nothing to befall the home. An added bonus, it’s built on Native American burial grounds, and lots of bloodshed lost in battles and best of all Otto learns his mother is a witch. Now for those unaware, Caesar and Otto are half-brothers in the movie, and they act more like the Three Stooges with them trying to survive the various terrifying scenes, ghostly and ghastly visions, levitating objects and possessions occurring to and around them.
The humor in this film works much better than previous productions and the past criticisms have seemed to drift into the director who also stars as Caesar, with more effective humor, and the customary winks and nods to the camera, never backpedaling rather cascading through numerous trends and clichés. Caesar tends for the boss character i.e. Moe, very self-centered and extremely verbally and physically abusive while Otto (Paul Chomicki) comes with good natured, bad mannered but silly mindset similar to little Joe of the same comedic legend team. In addition, there seems to have an endless treasure trove of b-movie talent, Tiffany Shepis (Jamie Tremain), Felissa Rose (Lakota), and horror legend with over 200 credits Debbie Rochon as Shana. The listing of the talent goes on and on and never ceases to amaze the star qualities which are generated by their presence. The entire movie has stumbling blocks but this a true in any independent project, not a huge studio with over the top production values and a crew task to solve every problem quickly and properly all at the same time, whereas an indie filmmaker sometimes uses the duct tape and other times breaks out the Gorilla glue. It hits and misses as expected and yet the slapstick works more creatively in this movie than the past. Campfield, takes a firmer control of the character development making it more balanced for the entire production and thereby excels in lasting stamina for the movie and enjoyable to the viewer. He, as an actor and director, didn’t lash out at the criticism unlike other filmmakers rather taking it in stride knowing that the best work lies ahead, and this film achieves those goals. Yes, special effects feel a bit cheap, however that’s expected, and no one is criticizing them for that issue.
This latest trip of Caesar and Otto, has a more memorable outing, and expresses the interest to continue, as Dave drops hints to budding filmmakers of what a movie needs and what the industry desires to make marketable. For example, he involves the Bikini Bloodbath films, understanding the T&A and bloodshed both sell equally well, and for this he has cornered a niche market and as does other filmmakers like Lloyd Kaufman and Troma movies, not for everyone and the excitement exists for others. This film marks only the second one I have seen of his comedic series, and of the two, this one is far superior and won me over as a viewer and fan, of understanding his humor more of honor to the past comedy teams, and for that his talents laud him into a fine grouping.
This review was originally posted in January 2016 on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website with a view count of 1,632.
TAGLINE: Terror is Relative
IMDb Rating: 5.6/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.5/10