If you’re a fan of Bruce “The Chin” Campbell like me, you’ll watch anything he’s in. Sometimes that finds you watching Z-grade sci-fi, and other times you’re watching him play an aging Elvis kicking Egyptian Mummy ass in a convalescent home. Welcome to “Bubba Ho-Tep”, the adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale’s novella of the same name.
I came to the film by way of Bruce’s involvement. Campbell and Coscarelli (of “Phantasm” fame) teaming up? I was sold. I followed the production including checking out the web site regularly. Sadly, the film never got a theatrical release here in Australia, and it was one of my first DVD imports from Amazon back in 2004.
Campbell is gold as an over the hill Elvis. Although the whole thing is ludicrous (and rightly so), Coscarelli expertly manages to wring some drama out of the characters as they battle their aging bodies, a world that doesn’t care, and a mummy dressed as a good ole boy. Davis is legendary as a “dyed” JFK.
The script is fun. It’s littered with Elvis-isms, biting comedy, and a few gross out jokes for good measure. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen insulting heiroglyph subtitles, Elvis’s “stuff”, or a scarab fight. Bloody brilliant.
This master would’ve been created at the time of the film’s release. It’s fair, with moderate to good detail levels. Colours are variable, and there are some specks occasionally. There’s some inventive editing which looks good. Appropriate for a film of this budget.
The audio fares a touch better. It’s still not a massively involving mix, but dialogue, sound effects, and Tyler Bates’ score all sound excellent. It’s fairly front heavy too.