Bruce Campbell is in a lot of my favorite films to sit down, relax and just watch, laughing at the various things that the ‘B Movie King’ does on stage as he plays his parts. While I might not be the biggest fan of him within The Pine Log office, I do have a solid head on me and a good understanding of the films that he happens to be in. I’ve been a large fan of the Evil Dead series and even the Sam Raimi run of Spider-Man where he cameoed in a large number of roles. Recently, I got to find out that I had missed a movie from the famous actor, and one that had scenes that were shot in Nacogdoches.
“Bubba Ho-Tep” is a cult classic horror comedy film that has one of the most strange and weird concepts out there.
The film takes place in a retirement home where Bruce Campbell, playing Elvis Presley, swapped places with a body double, leading to him avoiding death. Therefore, his double became the one to pass on. He and his partner President John F. Kennedy, played by Ossie Davis, must fight an Egyptian mummy who is going around the retirement home, sucking out the souls of the people in it. This premise is already incredibly ridiculous and is something that I don’t think can truly be described well. It is super weird to watch because, although it is confusing, you don’t ever find yourself questioning it that much. It is just one of those things that is just too weird to actually believe or follow that it becomes something that you just kind of accept.
Now, the actual cinematography is quite cool. It is made by some of the people who have worked on some other notable films that Bruce Campbell stars in like “Army of Darkness,” which is also a cult horror movie and a notable film within the Evil Dead series. This is also cool since the short story it is based on was written by Joe R. Lansdale. Lansdale is writer in residence at Stephen F. Austin and has made a mark in many other forms of media. Some of the shots in this movie have a strange sort of quality to them. Sometimes, it can feel like something straight out of a Sam Raimi film, which is a really good thing.
The characters themselves are quite entertaining. Watching them, they don’t feel too over the top, and they play off of each other quite well. Elvis and JFK are both old men in the film, which makes the action sequences not too high energy. Instead, the more intense scenes have the characters bouncing off of each other with some pretty witty dialogue.
The pacing of this, however, can feel a bit slow at times. But, considering their actual aim with this concept, the product was not that bad at all.
The problems I would normally have with certain films, like overacting and bad dialogue, are not really problems with “Bubba Ho-Tep.” However, when considering the movie as a whole, the concept is weird and unexpected.
Although the movie’s entire premise is a bit of a surprise, I had a pretty good time watching it. It isn’t exactly something that I would say is revolutionary. But, it is an enjoyable movie.
After all, sometimes a good movie with a weird plot is exactly the kind of movie that you need.