Sometimes a film has such a unique title and great cover that it makes you want to see it. With that in mind, I was excited when I received Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas to review. I hadn’t heard of the film before, or the duo, but it looked like it would be entertaining. Boy, was I wrong.
Caesar and his half brother Otto take on duties as Santa and his elf. However, the bodies begin to pile up when a fellow store Santa develops a vendetta against them, and he soon turns Caesar’s list of dinner guests into a list of Christmas-inspired victims. This is a direct follow up to Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre, which I’ve never seen, nor will I seek out unless it falls into my lap for review.
If you’re coming into this expecting a horror film then please leave, because it is not one. I thought it was going to be in the same vein of horror/comedies like Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, and maybe that’s what they were going for, but I don’t think so. The director, writer, and star admits in the commentary track that they were hoping to get picked up by Troma, and if you’re a Troma fan, this might be up your alley. Sadly, I’ve only ever enjoyed one Troma film, and found the rest to be dreadful, like this film.
Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas looks very homemade. It has cheesy and obvious green screen effects, like a fake police car chasing them as they run. The film just drags on, offers very few kills, and while it’s nice that it’s trying to pay homage to a lot of other films, it goes out of its way to blatantly spoil classic films like Rosemary’s Baby.
I was really excited for the list of classic horror icons, but was completely let down in the end. The biggest name here, for me anyway, was Linnea Quigley (Night of the Demons), and during the commentary track, they said that they didn’t even have a final script, but had the chance to film her, so they did her scene first. She looks like a well-abused corner girl, and whoever did her make-up, on purpose or not, should be banned. We also get cameos from Felissa Rose, (Sleepaway Camp) and Lloyd Kaufman (Mr. Troma himself).
I wish I could think of something nice to say about Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas, but it just isn’t a good film by any stretch. It feels cheap and the jokes all fall flat. There’s one nifty, dream-like sequence, but it’s over fast and isn’t enough for me to recommend the film. They really do try and pay homage to the Holiday horror films of the ‘80s, though, and at one point, even try to connect themselves to Silent Night, Deadly Night. If you want to see a mismatched buddy horror/comedy just watch Tucker and Dale vs. Evil instead.
The film has YouTube video quality to it, which I’m sure is what they were aiming for to help add to the schlock meter. It looks good for what it is, though, and is presented in 16:9 Widescreen, and filled my TV screen perfectly.
The audio quality was fine as well. The sound levels seemed to be perfectly balanced. The commentary track I listened to had a little static in it at first, but that seemed to go away after the first few minutes.
For a low-budget film this DVD is chock full of special features. Up first is not one, but three commentary tracks. I listened to the director’s commentary, which was filled with a ton of details and little nuggets of information, so if you liked the film, this is a sure fire bet. The cast and crew commentary tracks have too many voices, and seem less informative overall.
We also have some alternate and deleted scenes, which are nothing special. It is obvious why all of these scenes were excluded. There’s also a behind the scenes featurette which is really short, and doesn’t have a whole lot to say.
Finally, there are three short films, two of which have commentary tracks. The first two shorts are roughly five minutes each, while the third one is about fifteen minutes long. The highlight is Pigyzilla, which has a “giant” guinea pig causing havoc. It’s cute, but features the same actors as the main film, and I just don’t care for them. We also get Otto’s First Job, which is rather boring, but not quite as bad as the third short, The Perfect Candidate. This last one felt like a poor college kid doing a fifteen-minute YouTube video, but failing at it.
This DVD was released by Wild Eye Releasing on November 19, 2013. Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas (2012) was written and directed by Dave Campfield. The film is 83 minutes in length, and is not rated. Cinefessions was provided a DVD copy of the film for review from Wild Eye Releasing.
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.