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Bubba Ho-Tep
DVD disk
Oct 8, 2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Bubba Ho-Tep order
Director:
Don Coscarelli

Actors:
Bruce Campbell
Ossie Davis
Ella Joyce

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When an ancient Egyptian mummy returns from the dead to feed on retirees' souls, it's up to an old white guy who claims to be Elvis (Campbell) and an old black guy who claims to be JFK (Davis) to band together and save their rest home. As the King would say: "TCB Baby!"
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I can't say I ever imagined I'd see a flick in which Elvis and JFK fight an Egyptian mummy who sucks human souls through assholes but hey, there's a first time for everything, right? Now am I happy this time eventually came around? Well, if you live in my neighborhood, you can probably tell by the howls of laughter that I am. I'm not a huge EVIL DEAD fan and my knowledge of Bruce Campbell's work is pretty limited, despite his status as an icon to countless fan boys the world over, but the man with the chin blew my sorry ass away this time around with his bang-on old Elvis. With some kick-ass dialogue to spew out, Campbell took Elvis' cool and put it in the body of an old guy with a bad hip and a cancerous penis. Now Elvis is one tough mofo, but even he has to even the odds when fighting a 3,000 year-old Pharaoh. His assigned helper is Ossie Davis playing an aging black dude who things he's JFK, dyed by the CIA in order to conceal his identity.

BUBBA HO-TEP is the kind of movie that ought to come to mind when one thinks of low-budget, indie flicks. Relying more on a script and good acting than any type of effects or digital magic, it's tremendously witty and touching at times, hilarious and thrilling at others. You've really gotta build a movie up well in order to get me cheering from the edge of my seat when the two heroes are off to battle in a resthome hallway with an electric chair and a walker. There's a lot of help from the limited supporting cast in making this a success as well. Ella Joyce is spot-on as the nurse who has the tedious job of lubing the King's "crankshaft" every afternoon and Bob Ivey is definitely creepy as Bubba Ho-Tep-- even though his lines consist mainly of grunts. There's also a brilliant musical theme by Brian Tyler which repeats itself over and over at various paces, setting the mood from melancholy to funny. The important thing to remember though is that this film is not funny because it's stupid. Yes, there's a mummy sucking souls through assholes, but the movie is mainly funny because it's well-written and wonderfully played.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary by Director Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell: Coscarelli and Campbell take some time out of their busy schedules to watch the movie along with us and add their two bits. It's actually pretty entertaining thanks mainly to Campbell who seems to be having as much fun as a kid in a candy store although he sure doesn't sound like he was too aware of what was going on during filming. He peppers Coscarelli with about a thousand questions which the latter answers patiently while chipping in all kinds of additional information. It's a conversation between the two men rather than just a speech on the film.

Audio Commentary by The King: Live from an undisclosed location, The King of Rock n' Roll shows up and gives us his feedback on BUBBA HO-TEP. Hats off to Campbell who offers a really entertaining track as Elvis. He's got the voice dead-on and he's a pretty funny guy so it makes for a lot of fun...especially if you're high!

Joe R. Lansdale Reads From Bubba Ho-tep (7 minutes): Author Joe R. Lansdale, who wrote the short story that inspired the film, reads an excerpt from his original story. Keep in mind that Coscarelli considerably softened up the material for his screenplay and Lansdale's work is pretty raw. Make sure the kids are in bed before you tune in to this one.

Deleted Scenes (5 minutes): There's a pair of deleted scenes available with optional commentary by Coscarelli and Campbell as well as a few minutes of additional footage from a scene showing Bubba Ho-tep in his younger days.

Making Bubba Ho-tep (48 minutes): A fairly complete feature showing all the steps of making the film happen, from funding to make-up and costume, etc. All the major players in the movie show up and as in most of the other features, Bruce Campbell cracks the joint up!

Music Video (2 minutes): Featuring the theme of the movie composed by Brian Tyler, this short video contains some cut scenes from the movie as well as footage of the band playing it. I liked this theme so much that I've decided that when I get married, my wife will walk down the aisle to its tune.

The Theatrical Trailer and a TV Spot are also included. The DVD also comes with a nice booklet containing an introduction by Bruce Campbell and some pictures from the set and the film along with comments from Coscarelli and Campbell.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Simply amazing, BUBBA HO-TEP is one of the funniest, most original, well-written and acted movies you'll have probably caught in a long time. Bruce Campbell serves up a performance that's sure to set a new standard for Elvis in the movies and Ossie Davis completes a team of the most unlikely mummy-hunters you can picture. There's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't run to your nearest video store and pick this one up.
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