Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
This was a strange movie but nevertheless a lot of fun. It's unique style is something to be desired and respected. I had heard mixed comments on this film and was very unsure wherever I would like it or not. Even ten minutes in I remained unsure. But later as the end credits rolled a smile passed my lips.
It is a required taste for sure but I know just from watching this movie that this will be one that grows on me through repeat viewings and one that inevitably I shall fall in love with even if my heart disagrees. There is too much to like to ever condemn this movie.
Plotline // Elvis is (Campbell) an elderly resident in an East Texas rest home, seemingly he switched identities with an Elvis impersonator, years before his 'death' then when finally given a chance to switch back he missed the opportunity. Along with fellow nursing home resident, Jack (Davis) who thinks he is President John F. Kennedy. Determined not to be beaten they pair together to beat the forces of an Evil Egyptian mummy who is stalking their quiet rest home, feeding off the souls of everyone in the Shady Rest home. Will they succeed?
Initially when it began I remained unsure of how the movie was going to progress. Admittedly it is a slow burner but as you gain affection for the two main characters, the movie gains more and more interest.
What really shocked me overall was that Bruce Campbell acts as Elvis Presley very well. From the way he speaks to the quiet mannerisms he mirrored him very well and I believed whole heartedly in the performance. That is how true to character he was, just brilliant.
Ozzie Davis as Jack/ JFK: His performance was fantastic. There were moments when he made me laugh well and scenes where he made me quite emotional, especially the last of his scenes. His character was brilliant and it was hard not to get swept up into the enjoyment of his character that he played wonderfully. Simply great.
Music was slow burning but gentle and quite emotionally in touch for the movie. There were moments I noticed absence of music and they actually were some gorgeous moments in the movie. In the end a sweet compliment to this movie.
Camera stayed on shot throughout the movie and managed to create an added layer to the film. It showed very clearly decrepit states of the rest home and how lifeless the rooms looked even when flair was attempted to be handled.
I loved the look of the Mummy! For a movie more centred on the characterisation of JFK and Elvis, the effects used to make the mummy as real as possible was fantastic. It made the scenes with that character in a little more darker and creepier in the guise of the movie.
Those beetles yuck! They creeped me out even more. Something about giant flying scarab beetles no matter how small or big that creep me out and they did an admirable job in this. Some nice little nods to blood as well.
I really did go into this movie, none the wiser for what I had let myself in for and finished feeling satisfied and pleasantly surprised. The epitome of this movie is really about growing old, learning from mistakes, wondering if right decisions were made all of that combined with the rather refreshing and sweet friendship between Jack and Elvis was rather deeply moving.
Take that and add fight scenes which include wheelchair fights and tumbles and it all seems strange but strangely inviting and that is what it is. I've fallen partially in love with this movie and the more I think and watch of it, the more I know I will love this film. It is a grower don't expect to love it off the bat, it requires time.
But it has so much in it's favour. A plot I understand, loveable characters, a creepy subplot and an engaging script. If you are expecting action, then of course you will disappointed. But this is more than a horror, it is more than a comedy it is a movie that digs deep and draws heart and I for one loved the entire tone of this movie. Take the time to see this, you might disagree, you might not. But only watching this movie will allow you to decide what your verdict is on it. For me this was an exceptional movie that worked well.
No shock gimmicks, no silly over the top CGI, no pretentious twists and no clichéd characters. This is redefining and a refreshing change from the usual fare and is a movie worth taking the time to see. You never know you too might be pleasantly surprised. Have fun Y'all. With love and Respect, BTK.