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Monday, December 7, 2009

Movie Review: Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy, battle an ancient mummy from a Texas nursing home. That is what this movie is about. And no, they aren't kooks that THINK they are Presley or really IS them. Sick of fame, Presley (played by Bruce Campbell) replaces himself with an impersonnator so that he can live quietly, but ends up back on the road when the "evidence" of this switch burns in a fire. And after his assassination, Kennedy's (played by Ossie Davis) head wound it patched up with sand, and his skinned dyed, and is forced in to hiding by Lyndon Johnson (or so Kennedy believes-- he still thinks Johnson is trying to kill him). The two become friends and are merely awaiting their deaths, when their nursing home sees a series of deaths brought on by not-so-natural causes. Turns out that several years earlier, a bus carrying a touring mummy exhibit, crashes from a nearby bridge into a lake. The mummy has now awakened, and is looking for souls to steal.

I liked this movie. It's very simple, low-budget, pretty clever in parts. For something that is insanely high-concept, there is a lot of focus on character. And you can't go wrong with Campbell and Davis-- they are both very good and very funny; there are a few good lines here:

Supposedly, there's a Bubba Nosferatu coming, this time with Ron Pearleman as Elvis (the director supposedly wants new actors playing Elvis for subsequent films), and featuring Paul Giamatti as Colonel Tom Parker (wow). Not sure if a sequel to this film is really necessary. Not sure if I'd be interested in seeing it, even if it was. People never let well-enough alone these days. You have a neat little cult film on your hands, guys-- don't screw it up, like they did with Donnie Darko.

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