Bubba Ho-Tep (2003)
Bruce Campbell gives a memorable performance as the aging king of rock ’n roll, Elvis, spending his remaining years wasting away in a Texas nursing home. He and a black man (Ossie Davis), who thinks hes JFK, battle a mummy thats feeding on the souls of the nursing home. Its a fabulous premise, pure and simple. The trouble is, Bubba Ho-Tep works well in great bits and pieces but doesn’t have the hold of a feature film. This feels more acquainted to a short film or a TV sketch. There are parts where I was laughing hysterically (Davis has my favorite line: ”They took my brain! Im thinking with sand up there!”), and then there are other moments toward the end where I was catching myself nodding off. Writer/director Don Coscarelli has a cool visual palette of light and shadow, reminiscent of Guillermo del Toro (Blade 2). He also has a wicked sense of humor. The best moments of Bubba Ho-Tep are the back-story involving how the real Elvis swapped places to live a normal life. Campbell is wonderful, and the movie is alive in spurts, but it cant shake the illusion of feeling stretched.
Nate’s Grade: B-