Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

   

Produced, Written & Directed by: Don Coscarelli

Starring:

Bruce Campbell .... Elvis Presley / Sebastian Haff
Ossie Davis .... Jack
Ella Joyce .... The Nurse
Heidi Marnhout .... Callie
Bob Ivy .... Bubba Ho-tep

Special Appearances:

Larry Pennell .... Kemosabe
Reggie Bannister .... Rest Home Administrator
Daniel Rosebuck .... Hearse Driver


Release Dates: CineVegas International Film Festival: June 9, 2002; Toronto International Film Festival: September 7, 2002; US Comedy Arts Festival Aspen: February, 2003; San Francisco Indie Film Festival: February 16, 2003; South by Southwest Film Festival: March 7, 2003; Florida Film Festival: March 14, 2003; Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Films: March 21, 2003; East Lansing Film Festival: March 22, 2003; Hong Kong International Film Festival: April 18, 2003; Dead by Dawn Edinburgh Horror Film Festival: April 27, 2003;Trieste-Tra il Giallo e il Noir: May 31, 2003; Fantasia Film Festival: July 24, 2003; Fantasy Filmfest: July 30, 2003 (Germany); Gold Coast Film Fantastic: August 8, 2003 (Australia); Limited Theatrical: September 19, 2003 (USA); Leeds International Film Festival: October 11, 2003 (UK); Memphis Soul of Southern Film Festival: October 23, 2003; Deep Ellum Film Festival: October 30, 2003; Moonlit Matines Film Festival: January 24, 2004; Nacogdoches Film Festival: March 5, 2004; Cincinnati World Cinema Festival: April 25, 2004; Semana Internacional de Cine Fantastico Estepona: September 13, 2004; Ravenna Nightmare Film Festival: September 26, 2004; Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival: November 12, 2004; Gérardmer Fantasticarts Film Festival: January 28, 2005; Fantasporto Film Festival: February 27, 2005; Night Visions Film Festival: March 5, 2005; Lund Fantastisk Film Festival: September 19, 2005; Summer Berlin Film Festival: September 21, 2006; Ashland Independent Film Festival: April 13, 2007; Fantasy Horror Festival: March 27, 2010 (Italy)

Rating:

 

Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) and JFK (Osssie Davis), both alive and in a nursing home, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy.

 

In the beginning of the story we have our Elvis awakening in a retirement home and see the person next door to him hacking and coughing to death with wide eyed expressions barely able to speak which looked nicely focused as this kinda draws you in to what is happening around him.
Nice silent moment with an eldelry woman next door getting a gift of candy and bringing it to her room and we spot a giant bug running around her as this for sure looked mildly cringing especially for people who hate insects as well as what she tries to do to kill this object which leaves a good mysterious horror feel to it as well as a back shot on this ghoulish character Bubba Ho Tep looking over her. Gives you the creeps on what he is going to do to her.
Good witty moments with the Nurse and Callie having a discussion with Sebastian and him acting flirtatious as this seemed to be done in fair taste as well as him discussing on what happened to him in which we have a flashback sequence in which there's nice slow motion shots on him and his gang walking along an area which grabbed my attention as well as him looking at some sort of a clone on him which confused me a bit but it explains the situation as to who Sebastian is and that Elvis is someone different. Also a nice moment on a barbeque exploding when he brings the food for the others during dinner time which looked suspenseful to watch.
Also a good moment with Elvis doing a concert act which looked flashy with the musicians really getting it on in another flashback sequence before explaining of his accident.
Then a great moment when Elvis spots one of those giant bugs crawling around the wall and planning something deadly for him which looked creepy especially when we see this object suddenly flying towards him but gave me a few chuckles as well since it was done in comedic taste too.
Most of the story there's storng but bland discussions between Elvis and Jack in which I found this a lame way to fill the storyline and was wondering when the next horror sequences will ever kick in again. Many good camera takes on the two of them but these moments were beginning to tire me big time.
Yet there's moments when the nurse and other employees at the retirement home spot some flashing electrical moments in another room and wonder what it's all about as this has a nice creepy feel to it.
Another horror scene happens greatly when Elvis and Jack slowly go to the corridor of their room and nice close up shots on some of the lights going out which adds more of a good creepy feel to everything and then spots Bubba in a distance slowly walking towards them with a nice shot on this figure looking ugly and zombielike. Plus some nice flashback shots on egyptians being tortured etc which draws in more mysterious moments.
Then we go back to the pointless discussions in the retirement home and so fourth but there's an effective moment when the nurse acts charming towards Elvis when he's outside to have his treatment and he brutally cusses her out which looked somewhat dysfunctional and energetic leaving a disappointed nurse.
The action and horror gets rolling once again when there's impressive moments on Jack and Elvis getting dressed up and ready to go on a mission to try and snuff Bubba in which the shots on them in a dark park late at night looked spooky to watch as well as them struggling to battle against this ghoul which there's great special effects happening and powerful and intense moments as well as some neat moments on egyptian words flowing in the air on what Bubba is saying to them. This was the best moment ever in the flick which saves it from becoming below average and earned it being categorised as a horror other than just a bland comedy.
Bottom line is that it's creative to explain that Elvis and JFK weren't really dead making out they were in hiding or in a coma which we all know isn't true since they were likeable people to millions. But the story is too long and a time waster like mentioned. But good picture quality and fairly decent special effects except if you see the big bugs you could tell upfront were plastic. The creepy moments with Bubba was the only scene's worth watching.

The acting is very good which also deserved the average rating in which Bruce Campbell (Elvis Presley / Sebastian Haff) lived to play this role. In fact I found this to be his best performance ever in which he had the perfect accent and motive to play this type of role. He reacts well to awakening from his coma as well as doing a good job with his discussions too. He also does well with his snappy and harsh attitude in a certain scene making him seem unpleasant. Plus shows great enegertic moments while struggling near the end of his performance.
Ossie Davis
(Jack) was another great one portraying JFK and does it with nice style in which he shows a good gravelly voice and shows nice spunk and enthusiasm into what he did. Shows a good courageous type of behavior and acted very lively which was another great plus. Was a true character actor without a doubt.
Ella Joyce (The Nurse) was great in her role as she adds alot of charm and enthusiasm into her part. She added alot of nice charisma into all that she did here with her likeable attitude and bubbly behavior. Seemed to be a happy go lucky type as well as showing off energy while being alert and attentive into what she did too. Was the right shoice for this type of role.
Heidi Marnhout (Callie) seemed to have the beautiful looks which worked for the story plus showed a good sharp attitude as well as being slick by what she does. She drew attention onto the screen in a nice fashion. Drew your attention while portraying and employee in the retirement home.
Bob Ivy (Bubba Ho-tep) drew in well with his deadly presence walking slickly through a corridor of the retirement home or springing into action during the final moments in the story offering great deadly energy. He for sure knew his craft playing a ghoulish being with his forceful blocking and springing into action whenever necessary.

A woman in an egyptian scene briefly exposes her breasts but it's fast

The music sounded very superb in which we have alot of lowdown southern echoey guitar music like you'd hear in an outlaw type of flick which sounded perfectly clear whenever it was used in the scene's. Also there's some great heavy metal guitar riffs for the certain terrors in the other one's which was a perfect match. Plus we hear low sounds and whooshing types of noises and the odd hissings too. Yes Brian Tyler knew his craft inside and out as it's not classical composing which is a good change and proves that he can still use this type of music to make every piece sounding marvellously entertaining.

Elvis: Even a big bitch cockroach like you should know... never, but never, fuck with the King.

Elvis: You fuck off ya patronizin bitch! I'm sick'a yer shit! I'll lube my own crankshaft from now on. You treat me like a baby again I'll wrap this goddamn walker right around yer head!