Try and keep up here. Elvis Presley is alive – but elderly and sporting a cancerous dick – and wiling away his days in a Texas nursing home, which he co-habits with many senior citizens, one of whom is the also alive John F. Kennedy, now a black man. The bland but peaceful existence of the two and their fellow inpatients is disrupted upon the arrival of an ancient Egyptian mummy who has donned redneck attire and is feeding on the souls of the unwitting and defenseless through their various orifices… all of them.
Really from here it isn’t so much how they made it but that they made it at all. There are more hooks in that paragraph than in a 20 year old fishing tackle box. I’m surprised that the film was made in the first place, but also amazed that it didn’t find a greater audience.
Mr B-Movie Bruce Campbell is Elvis, there is a tenuous backstory regarding how he came to be but again that doesn’t matter. Once he and JFK (Ossie Davis) decide that they must pair up to go head to head with the undead Bubba Ho-Tep is an eighty minute prelude to the stand off.
Two supposedly dead old guys Vs a thousand years dead Egyptian.
A wheelchair and a walking frame Vs a redneck-Deadite.
Bubba Ho-Tep was apparently made with a budget of 500K, a sum that wouldn’t cover Megan Fox’s botox bill, Lindsay Lohan’s ankle bracelet jewellery or Shia LeBouf’s vanity mirror collection. In that regard it is an amazing achievement, and a clever one. With Bruce Campbell there was an inbuilt fanboy-fanbase prepped and gagging to espouse the virtues of this unknown quirkfest to all and sundry – myself included.
The fact that the film was only sporadically amusing and had little worth mentioning that wasn’t covered in the first paragraph was irrelevant, hence why I was surprised that it somehow didn’t get more renown. After all these days it only takes one celeb endorsement or E Channel ‘how kooky is this concept’ story to get the buzz started and the box office ticking.
Alas (for Bruce’s sake) that never happened. So Bubba Ho-Tep remains an amazing achievement, but in reality it is only an OK movie once you see past the hooks.
I want to like it more, but I have to settle for sort of admiring it.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. A miniscule budget and a kooky concept. In reality the biggest achievement might have been keeping the actors from cracking up that they were in ‘Elvis & JFK Vs the redneck mummy’…