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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Horror > Bubba Ho-Tep

Bubba Ho-Tep


Picture: B-†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: A†††† Film: A-


Bubba Ho-Tep (2003) has the potential to be a classic midnight movie - screened for years to come due to fan loyalty. The problem with this is that Bubba may not hold up as well as other cult movies out there when it comes to repeated viewings. Not that itís anywhere close to being a bad movie - the pace is just a bit slow. Fans are definitely showing support for this movie now, but that may not be the case 20 years from now.

The movie is a blend of several different movie styles - balanced amounts of drama and comedy coming to the forefront more often than any horror. I, myself, was expecting the action level to be higher, along with added mummy sightings and maybe some gore. Perhaps the movie would have benefited in the eyes of those looking for the level of cheese like that found in most low-budget horror flicks. Though, without it, Bubba Ho-Tep becomes something a little more unique.

Bruce Campbell actually makes his Elvis believable (to complete the illusion, you might want to turn away whenever there are onstage flashbacks). Still alive after all these years, Elvis is known to those in the Shady Rest retirement home (a pop culture in-joke in reference to TVís Petticoat Junction perhaps, having come out of the same era the characters are referenced?) as Sebastian Haff - nothing more than an Elvis impersonator whoĎs a little light in the head. He goes through day to day life while confined to a bed with nothing to occupy his mind other than a disturbingly large growth on ďlittle ElvisĒ and his bodily functions.

The King keeps famous company in this rest home - a black JFK, complete with a bag of sand where his brain used to be; and a familiar masked man they call Kemosabe. The performances by the supporting cast in this movie are excellent. Especially noteworthy are Ossie Davis and Ella Joyce - both add a lot of realism to what may have been bland secondary characters.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is not very strong, with softness and Video Black troubles that are odd for a new film, even if it were a low budget one.†† The Dolby Digital 5.1 AC-3 mix is not as dynamic or effective as it could be, even in the scenes with the zombie. The extras provided are plentiful, with two separate audio commentaries to choose from. One provided by Bruce Campbell and director Don Coscarelli, the other by Mr. Presley himself. The deleted scenes donít offer very much, but those included have optional commentary. There are also several featurettes that detail the making of the movie; trailers for the film; and a music video.

Those interested in something a little different should definitely pick up this package from MGM - itís a great movie to show company when no one feels like going out. If, in the future, it happens to be playing at a local independent theater, try to make time to go see it, Iím sure itís even more fun on the big screen.


-†† David Milchick


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