|These guys have to "ensure" the safety of mankind|
From Joe's Shelf
Don Coscarelli is a legend in the low budget horror/action genre (Phantasm series, The Beastmaster). His films have a specific style, and also a similar collection of actors that show up from time to time. His 2002 film Bubba Ho-Tep, is a stand out in many ways. The subject matter alone should grab a fanboy's interest. What's so odd about this movie, is that even though it's not that great, there's something about it that makes me smile every time I think about it.
There's plenty of negatives that hold this film back; The run time is very short, the story doesn't grow much beyond the moment, the creature F/X are cheesy, most of the actors have a line or two then split, and the mistreatment of elderly people is used as a sad joke.
But Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead) and Ossie Davis (Grumpy Old Men) hold up Bubba Ho-Tep's cult classic status, like a trophy from the geriatric Olympics. Campbell is so damn entertaining as an aged Elvis Presley, that his performance clouds the film's flaws and has you rooting for whatever dumb plan he conjures up. Normally you wouldn't even care about such a pathetic waste of life, yet Campbell breathes flavor into his character's tired husk.
Davis brings a down-to-earth charm to his role, and keeps the picture from going more overboard than it already does. Ella Joyce (Roc) has some playfulness to her as a nurse, but with everyone and thing else, she's limited to a few lines. The flashbacks to Elvis' past, are by far the film's best parts. I could've watched an entire movie based on those. The present has some moments too, however old men can only do so much.
Highs- Campbell's kung fu poses, the stupid fake beetle moving across the room, erection talk, Bubba's Egyptian insults, the musical score, and walkers and wheelchairs used as chariots to battle.
Lows- Might've been better without the mummy story line, what's up with that chin makeup, no other actors to contribute.
Bubba Ho-Tep is a stupid movie that's fun to watch. It had the potential to be awesome, yet its incomplete feeling keeps it from being the most awesome Elvis versus mummy movie ever made. Well, it is the only one. There was a prequel in development a few years ago, but I guess everybody realized that this was better as a one shot deal. Most definitely check this out if you're a Bruce Campbell fan, or even into just seeing The King have one more adventure. "Uh, thank you very much!"
Rating- 6 out of 10
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
R | 1h 32min | Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery | 10 October 2003 (USA)
Elvis and JFK, both alive and in nursing homes, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy.
Director: Don Coscarelli
Writers: Joe R. Lansdale (short story), Don Coscarelli (screenplay)
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce