Bubba Ho-tep

The concept to this movie alone is bizarrely brilliant. Combining elements from horrors, comedies, mysteries, and Westerns, Bubba Ho-tep is truly an imaginative and hilarious movie. The film should also stand as a role-model for indie filmmakers, as it was made on a relatively small budget with only 32 prints of the film originally being created. Though the film's virtually unknown in the mainstream, the huge success the film's had in the indie horror market should give hope to small filmmakers worldwide.

In the film, we follow Elvis Presley, the king of rock, as he spends the last of his days in a Texas nursing home. As the film explains, the King had switched himself with an impersonator - Sebastian Haff - in order to get away from the abusive lifestyle, but was unable to get back into the limelight after his impersonator's death. As if one celebrity weren't enough, Elvis befriends John F. Kennedy at the nursing home, who survived the assassination, was dyed black, and left behind by Lyndon Johnson. This situation alone would make for a pretty good movie, but the film goes one step further as it's revealed that a long-dead mummy dressed in Western slacks - an undead "Bubba Ho-tep" - is eating the souls of the nursing home residents.

Even if, for some odd reason, you don't likeBubba Ho-tep, you can't deny the film's charm, creativity, and outhouse humor. I mean, I have to applaud a mind that could possibly come up with an idea that's this original. The film's so interesting, so "out there", and so delightfully weird that it's difficult to ever find the film to be dragging or boring. Whether we're watching Elvis deal with erectile dysfunction or watching a senile 'gunslinger' go out "guns blazing", the film is anything but cliche.

The characters are also absolutely hilarious and interesting. It's ambiguous as to whether the leads are actually Elvis and JFK respectively, but there's no problem with that ambiguity. In fact, this unsureness can makes some scenes funnier, such as when Elvis goes on about how Jack - or JFK - is certifiably insane, when we ourselves don't know if Elvis - or Sebastian Haff - is also senile. Still, the dialogue's witty, well-written, and makes for some really memorable sequences. The film can even move you, if only a little, when it comes to the friendship between Elvis and JFK. The two share a unique bond and their interactions alone, as I said before, could've made a very interesting film.

It's pretty interesting how great the cinematography looks despite the relatively small budget. Even the cheaper-looking aspects of the film, such as the mummy's beetles, are funny in a campy sort of way. There's a particular scene that really stands out for me, and that would be the scene in which we first get a good look at the ol' "Bubba Ho-tep". The lighting's fantastic, the atmosphere's creepy, and the scene just works so well.

The film's major fault, though, would be the film's missteps in its first act. Though the majority of the film perfectly balance its elements of horror and comedy, the balance is very lacking during the beginning of the film. The horror feels incredibly forced, for instance, which makes the element feel cheesy when compared with the comedy.

Overall, the film's a hilarious genre-spanning film. With a great performance by Bruce Campbell, a great blend of styles, and an immense wealth of creativity, Bubba Ho-tep is an original film that starts out rocky but turns into a hilarious experience.





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