Bubba Ho-Tep

NOVEMBER 22, 2007


I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to seeing Bubba Ho-Tep. I love Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm films, I love odd comic/horror blends, and I love movies that feature old people stealing other old people’s glasses. Bubba has all of these and more! Yet, I was kind of left “meh” afterwards. Not that it was bad, but it wasn’t as funny as I was expecting.

Part of the problem is the odd pace. The mummy thing goes absent for a long stretch while we learn how Elvis came to be in the old folk’s home. This is something that should have been used in like, a comic book prequel or something, not on screen. I want mummy action, not lengthy “So I met him at a gig and we switched clothes and hoped no one noticed the different sideburns” sequences. In fact, if anything, the movie would have worked better if they never explained whether or not it really WAS Elvis, or maybe saved it for a quick visual reference at the end that proved it was him.

The score, however, is fucking fantastic. That’s not something you can usually say about a limited/DTV release, but damn, I loved it. Very western-y. I dunno if it’s on CD but if so, I will be buying it next time I remember to look for it.

I also enjoyed how much of a relative downer the ending was. I won’t give it away, but suffice to say I didn’t expect it to end as it did. It’s interesting how it both goes against and yet totally fits the film’s vibe, which is goofy but yet oddly touching at times (love the scene where Elvis retrieves his former roommate’s purple heart). And it makes it even odder that everyone I have talked to about this movie for the past 5 years have marveled at how funny it was. I giggled a few times, but for the most part, the movie worked more as a really odd drama than a comedy. But maybe (obviously) that’s just me. I also think Caddyshack II is funny, so whatever.

I wish I had seen it on DVD so I could enjoy the extras (Coscarelli is always interesting to listen to), but oh well. If anyone out there has seen the DVD and thinks the extras are worth my time, let me know!

What say you?


  1. How could you talk about this movie without making mention of Bruce? He was so frickin' crappy/great as the King. The only reason I'll be looking forward to the sequel.

  2. For my money, the best Elderly Elvis and Black JFK versus Mummy-in-Cowboy-Clothes movie EVER MADE.

    And you can quote me.

  3. I always blank on the most obvious thing to mention... its like, tradition!

  4. I like it, I don't love it.

    Joe Lansdale wrote the original short story, and it plays better that way. Any of the dialogue that was actually funny came from the story..the shitty paramedics did not.

    Coscarelli adapted another of his short stories for Masters of Horror. Again, it was okay. I'm waiting for a great adaptation of his work.

  5. I read Lansdale's story, and actually liked it less than the movie. It just seemed not as much fun and a lot more mean-spirited.

    But then I've not read much Lansdale that I thought was just brilliant. I know a lot of folks whose opinions I trust think he's just great, but I've just never been able to get into it. No accounting for taste, as they say.


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