BUBBA HO-TEP (2002)
Today is a day many commemorate The King Of Rock N Roll, so we honor the legend in MonsterZero NJ style with this fun cult classic from the twisted mind of Don Coscarelli!…
Don Coscarelli’s Bubba Ho-Tep has already become kind of a modern cult classic and is a strange, but very funny and imaginative midnight movie treat. Bubba tells the amusing fantasy (or is it?) story that The King, Elvis Presley, (Bruce Campbell) is still alive in a small Texas retirement home. He was desperate to live a normal life away from the pressures of his fame, so he switched places with an Elvis impersonator, Sebastian Haff (also Campbell) who was actually the one who died in 1977. A barbecuing accident destroyed their contract which was the only proof Elvis had that he was…Elvis. So now The King Of Rock And Roll languishes in his old age with no one believing who he really is…except for fellow resident ‘Jack’ (Ossie Davis) an old black man who claims to be John F. Kennedy. Things seem bleak for Elvis and Jack until a bus crash releases a soul sucking mummy near the grounds who decides to make an easy meal of the residents of The Mud Creek Shady Rest Convalescent Home. Can the King and the former president regain former glory and stop this ancient evil from devouring all their souls?
Written and directed by Coscarelli, Bubba Ho-Tep is a really fun and delightfully quirky midnight movie. The creator of Phantasm turns this oddball story into a clever horror comedy that is perfectly cast and knows when to take itself seriously and when to wink at it’s audience. There are some legitimately suspenseful and poignant moments, as well as, a lot of genuine laughs and Coscarelli mixes them perfectly. Horror-comedy is not an easy blend to get right, but Coscarelli nails it with this little gem.
As for the cast, they are all fantastic with a tour de force performance from Bruce Campbell as The King and a wonderfully funny and yet sad performance by the late, great Ossie Davis as Kennedy. The supporting cast are all delightful and act accordingly with the tone of the material.
Bubba is a strange little movie and is not for everyone, but is great fun for those who can appreciate it. In my opinion it’s Coscarelli’s best film since Phantasm and a real original blast of horror-comedy fresh air. Also features Ella Joyce, Daniel Roebuck, Coscarelli regular Reggie Bannister and stuntman Bob Ivy as Bubba Ho-Tep. Weird and wacky fun.
If you prefer something more down to earth to commemorate The King, check out our review of John Carpenter’s classic TV movie bio Elvis
3 Bubba Ho-Teps and a one and only King!