31 Days of Halloween 2016 #18 – Strange Elvis
Bubba Ho-Tep (2016) is a movie so strange, I’m almost too weirded out to laugh. Elvis is still alive and living in an old folks home with his buddy, the African American JFK, and they both are trying to avoid an Egyptian soul sucker. That’s the ridiculous plot of this movie. This movie is written by the guy who brought you Phantasm, so you’ve got to expect weird. It is weird. Is it too weird?
The cast is the reason why you watch this movie. It’s pretty much a Bruce Campbell vehicle and he does his best work. He’s hilarious. His Memphis accent is pretty darn good and we hear a lot of it, because Campbell does a lot of voiceover for the movie. Otherwise, his dialogue is dry and sarcastic, ripe with old man jokes. The movie delights in his old man jokes, as a geriatric Elvis uses a walker and JFK uses a wheelchair.
The only time the movie veers away from the depressing inevitability of old age is when Elvis and JFK have a chance to save the world or do some good or whatever. The old folks home is the perfect place for a soul sucking monster, as he has weak and senile victims. I think the beauty of this film is that you can appreciate the themes and the honesty about the foreboding finality of old age.
With such a perspective, you might curious how this film could be a comedy. It is. It’s just not a very well paced one. There are whole sections of the movie where Elvis goes on and on about how he suffers in his old age, and he reminisces about his glory days before he switched places with an Elvis impersonator. Nothing really happens during these moments, because it’s all dialogue and chatting between characters. The only reason for the soul sucking monster is mostly thematic and there’s no real closure, only an overblown finale.
Overall, this is a funny movie. In my opinion, some of the humor works but other stuff is dumb, like ass jokes and dumb situational humor. Bruce Campbell accidentally stabs a light socket for example, and that’s supposed to be comedy gold. It isn’t. Also, they keep pushing that elderly button over and over, hoping to get more and more laughs. They go to the well so often, a lot of it feels silly, though it’s pretty much a silly movie and a silly premise. Generally, it works because Bruce Campbell is awesome.
31 Days of Halloween 2016
31. Young Frankenstein (1974)
30. Jason X (2001)
29. Cloverfield (2008)
28. The Monster Squad (1987)
27. Bad Moon (1996)
26. The Haunting (1963)
25. Splinter (2008)
24. Frenzy (1972)
23. Aggression Scale (2012)
22. The Exorcist III
21. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963)
20. Silver Bullet (1985)
19. Joy Ride (2001)
18. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) – This post
The Funhouse (1981) by Tobe Hooper Shin Godzilla (2016)
16. Videodrome (1983)
15. Re-Animator (1985)
14. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
13. Cube (1997)
12. Evil Dead
11. Day of the Dead (1985)
10. Tales of Halloween (2015)
9. They Live (1988)
8. The Innocents (1961)
7. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
6. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
5. I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990)
4. Hatchet (2006)
3. The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
2. Halloween II
1. Silence of the Lambs