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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CAESAR & OTTO MEET DRACULA'S LAWYER -- short film review by porfle

If you've wondered what those two incredibly not-so-bright half brothers Caesar and Otto have been up to since I reviewed their previous features CAESAR AND OTTO and CAESAR AND OTTO'S SUMMER CAMP MASSACRE, here's an update: in their latest adventure, the dimwitted duo take on one of the world's most notorious bloodsuckers.  Dracula, you ask?  No, worse...his lawyer.

In the 16-minute short film CAESAR & OTTO MEET DRACULA'S LAWYER, slick shyster Jimmy Drainum (Francis Leik) drags our intrepid heroes before a judge to answer for the wrongful death of his client, Steven Dracula.  Steven is Count Dracula's lesser-known brother and is portrayed by Brian Dennehy's lesser-known brother, Ed Dennehy.  Since SUMMER CAMP MASSACRE featured a cameo by Martin Sheen's lesser-known brother Joe Estevez, might an encounter with Frank Stallone be in Caesar and Otto's future?  Or maybe even Don Swayze?

Things look bleak for our hapless heroes when Drainum presents faked evidence such as a video of Caesar and Otto brandishing guns and happily announcing "I just can't wait to kill Steve Dracula with this thing!"   It doesn't help that Judge Stoker Browning, played by Troma head honcho Lloyd Kaufman, is busy tweeting about how hungover he is and the defense lawyer is a ditzy blonde named F. "Bubbles" Cochran (Ashley Wren Collins). 

Dubious eyewitness testimony from Dr. Jekyll (Paul Ehlers) and the Wolf Man (Robert Lee Oliver) doesn't help matters, nor does the presence of Steve Dracula's estranged wife Deborah, played by SLEEPAWAY CAMP's legendary Aunt Martha herself, Desiree Gould.  (Debbie Rochon also appears as a TV news reporter.)  In the end, it looks like the only thing that can save the two innocent lads is an appearance by the deceased himself.


As usual, Paul Chomicki is like the human embodiment of Ren's canine pal Stimpy as the addlebrained but easygoing Otto.  Indy auteur Dave Campfield (who also gave us the nifty horror-suspense thriller DARK CHAMBER) is hilarious as ever playing effete tough guy Caesar, a Z-list actor whom we first see getting all excited over a TV news item about "green screen" technology ("Oh, this is good stuff!  Green screen!  Wow!" he effuses while scribbling in a note pad).  Which, coincidentally, is the technique used to put all of these separately-filmed actors together within a still-photo courtroom setting. 

With so many sight gags and one-liners flying all over the place, CAESAR & OTTO MEET DRACULA'S LAWYER is like a Mad Magazine parody come to life.  The pace is furious and the jokes, while hit-and-miss, are non-stop.  Done in black-and-white with a scratchy old-film effect, it's a fond homage to the classic Universal monster movies of the 30s and 40s.  While not yet available to the general public (although you can watch a clip here), it premiered last year at the Fright Night Film Festival and may be included as an extra whenever CAESAR & OTTO'S SUMMER CAMP MASSACRE finally comes out on DVD.  Keep watching that green screen!


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