Otesánek – LITTLE OTIK – The Dungeon Review!

little otikI wasn’t really familiar with Svankmajer’s work but when I read the back of the cover and caught a glimpse of Little Otik I knew I had to give it a go. Love it or hate it, it is unlikely you will see anything quite like this film.

A couple consumed with having a child learn they cannot due to infertility on both sides. The husband is seeing babies everywhere and the wife is grief-strikened and depressed 24 hours a day. To help take his wife’s mind off of the business, they purchase a cottage to visit on weekends. The property needs much work and one day while uprooting a tree he gets an idea. As a token and a bit of a lark he carves the uprooted tree into a baby. She hungrily takes the baby from him, lays it on a blanket and clothes and diapers it. Much to hubby’s horror she treats the wood stump as her own child. The insanity is only beginning, as he eventually walks in on the wood stump alive and suckling on his wife’s teet. To complicate issues further, the little guy has quite the insatiable appetite.

This is one fractured little fairytale! More Grimm Brothers than Disney, it is a truly twisted tale that is definitely not for the kiddies. It is a live action feature with stop motion animation sequences scattered throughout. The characters, although actual actors almost seemed animated themselves. The way it was filmed gave me the impression I was a witness to someone’s actual dream (or nightmare). The choice of cast could not have been better. The perfomances are excellent and even the secondary players are perfect in their roles. The wife is absolutely mad and the husband knows this but cannot quite bring himself to deal with it. He spends much of the picture ranting and raving at the lunacy of it all. The whacky couple are nicely complimented by a parade of strange supporting characters. Among them, a little girl obsessed with sex and babies and a pedophile senior citizen. My husband commented, everyone in this building must be sniffing the same glue. Indeed, the characters imagine seeing some truly bizarre images. The first scene is our husband looking down on a fishmonger from a gynecologists office window. Instead of taking fish from the tank he is scooping up babies in his net and wrapping them up in newspaper. And of course there is little Otik. He’s a freaking tree stump. An ugly, crying gnarly tree stump. At one point the mother scolds her husband for not varnishing her son enough. There is a body count, but I wouldn’t neccessarily recommend this to hardcore horror fans. This is for anyone who tastes run towards the strange and unusual. My only complaint is I would have liked to have seen more of the stop motion animation. The film isn’t going to be for everyone as it is definitely odd. It is delightfully demented and at times even disturbing but absolutely entertaining. It is a feast for the eyes and an assault on the senses. I will definitely be checking out the other films of Jan Svankmajer. Highly recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4.5/5

Directed By: Jan Svankmajer

Starring: Veronika Zilková, Jan Hartl, Jaroslava Kretschmerová, Pavel Nový, Kristina Adamcová, Dagmar Stríbrná, Zdenek Kozák, Gustav Vondracek, Arnost Goldflam and Jitka Smutná

3 Responses to “Otesánek – LITTLE OTIK – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. hagiblog Says:

    Well, this sounds right up my alley. One of those flicks where, when asked if it’s good, you end up responding – It’s really…… weird. Plus babies in any horror film always wind up being creepy, especially when they’re carved out of tree stumps! HAHA!

  2. […] couldn’t find a trailer for Surviving Life…check out my reviews for Svankmajer’s Little Otik and Lunacy […]

  3. […] (1988) Faust (1994) Conspirators of Pleasure (1996) Little Otik (2000) Lunacy (2005) Surviving Life […]

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