Bubba Ho-Tep Movie Review
Elvis takes on a white trash mummy in the very odd Bubba Ho-Tep, a horror-comedy that falls a bit short on both.
Bruce Campbell, best known for his role of Ash in the Evil Dead movies, stars as the King, who, unbeknowest to us, didn't die but in fact has grown old and frail in a nursing home in Texas. Unfortunately for him, a 3,000-year old mummy is sucking the souls from poor, old people in his home, and he, along with his African-American friend (Ossie Davis) who claims that he is President Kennedy, must take on this evil force.
Yes, the plot is strange, and the plot is where the real comedy lies. Bubba Ho-Tep's unique stories and characters pave the way for some humor, especially those jokes surrounding the growth on Elvis's penis. JFK is entertaining, as is Kemosabe.
Unfortunately, the punchline is lost to me. Bubba Ho-Tep has great invention but the execution leaves little to be desired for; it is not that the direction by Don Coscarelli is bad - in fact, it is quite clever at times - but once the characters have been established, the movie leaves focus and really doesn't have much of a point. The mummy shows up in only a few small scenes, and the climax doesn't have anything going for it.
Campbell is good and must feel at home in this B-grade camp, but more is needed to make a movie good other than the quintessential B-grade actor. Those who are diehard fans of Campbell will love him and the movie; the rest of us will love Campbell and not much else.
Bubba Ho-Tep lacks the long term jokes that could have made this movie something; most of the humor comes from surprises in the first half hour. It is intentionally funny but uninentionally dull.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.