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Bubba Ho-Tep

Bubba Ho-Tep on DVD

by Chris Bray

Bruce Campbell's latest. Need I say more?

Bubba Ho-Tep is a strange story, and so it's probably not for everyone. However, anyone who loved the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness series will like this.

Elvis is not dead, he's in a nursing home. He got tired of all the sycophants hanging around and the emptiness of his life, so he switched lives with an Elvis impersonator, Sebastian Haff. So while Sebastian, as The King, died, Elvis lived out his career playing an Elvis-impersonator, playing Elvis.

Now there's a soul-sucking undead Egyptian Mummy stalking around the nursing home, devouring the souls of the residents there. Elvis (Bruce Campbell), who's now tired of the lie and keeps insisting he is really himself (but no one believes him, of course), and an old black man (Ossie Davis) who thinks he's JFK (“They dyed me this color [...] Can you think of a better way to hide the truth than that?”), are the only two people who know what's going on. And thus, these two old, decrepit, possibly crazy, certainly washed-up, pseudo-celebrities have to stop the Mummy and save themselves because no one else will.

You can probably imagine much of the plot yourself, and you'd probably not be too far off. However, there are enough silly and amusing twists, classic one-liners and bad jokes to keep the Campbell fans laughing themselves silly for the whole hour and a half. Anyone who shook their head at Army of Darkness though, can probably expect to do the same here. I don't think it'll qualify as the classic that Army of Darkness did (well, your mileage may vary; I loved it), but it's certainly worth watching – you won't be disappointed.

There are some cool flashbacks, like when Elvis and Sebastian Haff switch, and Bruce Campbell plays both characters. Also, seeing an eighty-year-old Elvis with a walker trying to bust a move with some Kung Fu... well, you'd best just watch it.

Picture quality isn't great for a DVD. Not that it's bad, just a bit grainy. It's certainly not Lord of the Rings or Fifth Element cinematics, but then again in this genre, who cares? It is anamorphic widescreen, so at least you get the full picture quality.

The same goes for the audio. There is only Dolby Digital 5.1, no other choices. But again, what does it matter for this kind of flick?

There is a fair number of special features, which is somewhat surprising given the low-budget feel of the movie. The menu is overdubbed with “When I look at all these DVD extras, I can't decide if I want to go to the trailer park, or see the trailer.” Why? Well, I chuckled, which is surprising given that I can't stand most DVD menus.

The extras include:
-An audio commentary by Director Don Soscarelli and Bruce Campbell
-An audio commentary by “The King”
-Joe R. Lansdale reads from the short story “Bubba Ho-Tep”
-Deleted Scenes
-”The Making of Bubba Ho-Tep” featurette
-”To Make a Mummy' featurette
-A music video
-Photo Gallery
-Theatrical Trailer and TV Spot

Bubba ho-Tep, from MGM Home Entertainment
92 min. anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1, 16x9 TV compatible), Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
Starring Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce
Produced by Jason R. Savage, Don Coscarelli
Written and directed by Don Coscarelli 


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