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Bubba Ho-Tep (Hail to the King Edition)
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Mud Creek, Texas, is about to get all shook up. When mysterious deaths plague the Shady Rest retirement home, it's up to an aging, cantankerous "Elvis" (Bruce Campbell) and a decrepitand black"JFK" (Ossie Davis) to defeat a 3,000-year-old-Egyptian mummy with a penchant for sucking human souls! Can the King show the world that he can still take care of business?
Don Coscarelli directs and Bruce Campbell stars as the King of Camp in this intentionally over-the-top schlockfest. Bubba Ho-Tep is partially about Elvis Presley and partially about the title character, an Egyptian cowboy zombie, but mostly it is about camp. The movie is equal parts story and back story. We learn through narration and flashback how Elvis didn't really die, ending up instead in a rest home in East Texas with JFK (played by Ossie Davis), who was dyed black and had his brain removed, presumably for reasons of national security. Campbell and Davis realize that something strange is going on when their rest-home compatriots start dropping off suspiciously. The whole movie leads up to a final showdown to the death with the Egyptian cowboy zombie who has been sucking the souls of their fellow residents because he thought no one would notice. The movie unfolds a bit slowly; it is, after all, a geriatrics-fight-Egyptian-cowboy-zombie movie. However, one wishes this self-conscious movie's pacing took its cue from the atypically fast-moving zombie instead of from the senior-citizen Elvis and JFK. In the end, though, Campbell is flawless as the aged King; his accent, intonations, glasses, and trademark karate are at the same time sincere and over the top. --Brian Saltzman
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 8.5 x 5.75 x 1.25 inches; 6.4 Ounces
- Director : Don Coscarelli
- Media Format : AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 32 minutes
- Release date : August 7, 2007
- Actors : Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, Bob Ivy
- Subtitles: : English, French, Spanish
- Producers : Dac Coscarelli, Don Coscarelli, Jason R. Savage
- Language : Unqualified (DTS ES 6.1)
- Studio : MGM (Video & DVD)
- ASIN : B000QQKW38
- Writers : Don Coscarelli, Joe R. Lansdale
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #180,702 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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And if you find yourself smiling knowingly the next time someone mentions Elvis or JFK, so much the better.
These old codgers stumble across a body, quite literally, of a resident that passed away - but, more keep dying and Ossie spies a furtive movement of a spectral figure. The spectral figure turns out to be the animated corpse of a guy that died in a motor vehicle accident during the theft of an Egyptian mummy that is cursed. At the same time, Elvis has also been noticing odd happenings and the two get together and gradually figure out the creature is an ancient Egyptian soul-sucking demon. Which, of course, they set out to destroy. Like I said, it is SO bad that it's kinda good, in a perverse way.
No, it's not for everyone, but it is the type of cult film that may, someday, give rise to a cult following such as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." So, if you're bored, have read as much as you want, are out of dvd's to watch, nothing is worth watching on tv and can't or don't want to sleep, give it a try - you'll likely have no problem falling asleep after watching it! Oh, and the dvd really does have some good extras...
Top reviews from other countries
When this originally came out I knew I just had to see this. I expected loads of laughs in a cheap sort of way and a very cheesy movie. "Bubba Ho-Tep" surprised me big time; in that it's actually a very competently made flick, atmsospheric, quite suspenseful on occasion and with a very tragic, but earnest, undertone concerning old age and missed opportunities in life.
Campbell is fantastic as "old" Elvis; a beaten man withering away in a rest home. The explanation as to why he's in a rest home and nobody knows his true identity is really quite brilliant and I won't go into it here. Davis is also great as "JFK" - and his explanation is not as absurd as you might think.
As for the film's tragic undertone; it's a sad and lonely journey for many to grow old. Life accomplishments amount to very little when viewed through the eyes of people who care very little for you (or can't be bothered) and things you hold dear can easily find their way to the bottom of a trash can once your existence has expired. It's a sobering message (and handled very well here) in a movie I expected very little wisdom from. Old Elvis has a lot of regrets and can in no way make amends - so it's a good thing that a soul sucking mummy invigorates The King and gives him something to strive for; i.e. ridding the rest home of this sucker.
As you might have guessed; humor isn't far away - I just love the bit with the graffity in the bathroom stall - and overall this is a very tounge in cheek affair.
But I'll bet you'll be drawn in by the two fantastic performances by Campbell and Davis and the film's surprisingly high dramatic impact. I sure was.
This is an odd film, and curiously a bit of a grower. The basic plot has been outlined by others, but suffice to say that Bruce channels 'the King' very well, and plays his part straight, with no knowing archness and with good conviction. As a result it is a characterisation that was readily acceptable, for me at least.
It did not strike me as laugh out loud funny; there is plenty of dark humour, and it is enjoyable, but it is not a romp at the level of some of the Evil Dead films. Nonetheless, it creeps into your consciousness, meaning that I now have a different reaction when a zimmer frame creeps into my view, and there is a strangely elegiac quality in the film's treatment of old age which I found quite unexpected and heartwarming. On first viewing I was underwhelmed, athough I was tired at the time. I have since watched it through again and have gently enjoyed it. There are certainly some choice lines of dialogue in there. I think the undertakers visits to the home as a form of comedy relief hit the wrong notes, but that aside it is worth seeing as an oddity.
Very old Elvis is brilliantly played by Bruce Campbell. The voice, the hair, the mannerisms are all perfect. He's stuck in Mud Creek rest home where the cynical staff believe he's really called Sebastian Haff, the man Elvis traded places with back in the 70s. And when Haff died, so did the Elvis the public loved. This only left the REAL Elvis free to live his life in peace and eventually indignity.
He pals up with a man who believes he's JFK, only problem is he's black. Though it's more likely he's senile rather than a truth-teller like the so-called Sebastian Haff. Both men have one concern, to stop some kind of Bubba Ho-Tep mummy from taking the souls of all the rest home residents.
Yes, it's insane. But also wildly imaginative and more than balances out the endless, heartless, conveyor belt Hollywood productions. Elements of the story will stay with you and the character development is graceful and important.
The finishing touch is Brian Tyler's awesome score. The main theme is one of the best ever and will flood you will feeling and emotion. Not only is Bubba Ho-Tep blessed with a cast and crew who care about the film their making, it also has wonderful music too. Hunt it down the Bubba Ho-Tep (Original Score) , it's seriously worth it.
Keep a lookout for Reggie Bannister as the rest home manager. And watch all the way to the end of the credits for a weird message...
ELVIS RETURNS IN 'BUBBA NOSFERATU: CURSE OF THE SHE VAMPIRES'
The Blu Ray is in wonderful 1.78: 1080p with DTS HD-MA sound and loads of extras.
If you expect something serious, or a horror film, or an out and out comedy, this will not be for you. Let's face it, any film with an OAP Elvis (real or otherwise never quite answered) and a black guy who claims he is JF Kennedy as the CIA put his brain into the black guys head, hunting an undead mummy that dresses like a cowboy is going to be way off the beaten track. But that is what makes it so special.
I have no idea how or why someone came up with this idea, and to be honest the first 20 minutes are odd and almost play like a z rate horror movie, but when it gets into it's swing and the snappy dialogue starts it is just a complete laugh until the final frame.
The Elvis impression from Campbell is sensational, and some of his one liners are fantastic. And I have to say the scene in which he comes around the corner in slow motion using a zimmer frame almost gave me a laugh induced hernia.
People always ask "what on earth is that" when they see it on the shelf - that's all it takes for it to be put on and for them to be initiated to the Bubba club.
When the old folks in a retirement home start to die unexpectedly, Elvis and his friend J.F Kennedy discover that a soul eating mummy is the cause. Bruce Campbell plays The King (he swapped places with an Elvis impersonator when he got tired of the fame, it was the impersonator who died). J.F.K's story is even more far-fetched - every inch of him was dyed to ensure he was disguised as a black man after damaged areas of his brain were replaced with sand.
The film is essentially about getting old and deals with some deep issues. From relatives who don't care, being patronised by well meaning staff, to realising you haven't got long left - there are some poignant moments. These issues tend to form a major basis of the comedy - but instead of mocking, this is done with warmth. Elvis gets his first trouser-stirrings in years - but this isn't dealt with crudely, it's a proud moment as he realises that recently he's been thinking about things that matter, feeling more alive, rather than giving up on life.
This is one of those movies which is driven by the characters rather than flashy effects or plot. We get a glimpse into two unique lives and see how they experience old age. The dialogue is fantastic, particularly Elvis' witty one liners, and this builds a pathos which we don't see enough in American films.
In a nutshell: There's no additional features on this particular DVD release, but that doesn't take away from the fact this is a fantastic film which tackles the issues surrounding old age with humour and dignity. For horror fans there's a mummy, for comedy fans there's some of the funniest lines in a film ever. This is a slow paced film and Bruce Campbell gives a sterling, and convincing performance of The King.