BUBBA HO-TEP Add To My Top 10

Content -3
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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: September 19, 2003

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Reggie Bannister, Bob Ivy, and Ella Joyce

Genre: Comedy/Horror Movie

Audience: Older teens and
adults REVIEWER: Bruce
Donaldson BUBBA HO-TEP is an
inventive comedy/horror from
the same people that brought
THE EVIL DEAD series to the
big screen. Bruce Campbell
plays an elderly Elvis Presley
that had grown weary of the
rock and roll lifestyle: the
tours, the women and the
drugs. To escape for a while,
he traded places with an Elvis
impersonator. The impersonator
was the “Elvis” that we
know to have died from an
overdose. The real Elvis was
performing one night when his
hip gave out. He fell off
stage and hit his head.
Because of his head injury, he
spent several years in a coma
and has now awakened to find
himself in a rest home
somewhere in the South. He is
suffering from what might be
cancer of the genitals, and
can only get around with a
walker. One of his fellow rest
homers is John F. Kennedy,
played by Ossie Davis. No, not
the JFK, but one of the many
delusional elderly that have
been abandoned to the mercies
of the home. JFK believes his
brain has been replaced by a
sandbag so that he doesn’t
remember who tried to kill
him. He explains his dark
complexion as a clever dye job
to hide him. Night after
night, more and more rest home
residents turn up dead. JFK
has seen the culprit and has
figured out that it is a mummy
who is sucking the souls out
of the patients’ posteriors.
There are lots of crass jokes
based upon that fact. The
mummy has to return so often,
it is concluded, because the
souls he is preying upon are
“small souls” – rest
home residents who have little
will to live. The mummy is
the brother of a great
Egyptian king. He has been
bound in his sarcophagus by a
curse that keeps him from
entering the afterlife. This
mummy was part of a museum
tour in the United States.
While in Texas, the display
was stolen, loaded onto a bus,
and then driven off a bridge
during a tornado. The
sarcophagus was broken open
and the mummy sank into the
river. Now that the curse can
no longer bind him, he is
walking out of the river each
night and feeding on
defenseless old folks’
souls. Elvis and JFK realize
that they have to defend their
rest home. It is evident that
their own souls are growing as
they now have a purpose. How
will these old men that can
only get around by a walker
and a wheelchair save their
fellow residents from the
cursed mummy? While there are
several poignant moments as
Elvis reflects upon his life,
what might have been, and
comments upon the lives of
those around him, many
crudities and much crassness
neutralize the usefulness of
these moments. Such wisdom
about the worth of individuals
should be made available to
children, but this is not a
family film and the efficacy
of such a lesson is largely
lost. Please address your
comments to: David Schultz,
President Vitagraph Films The
Distribution Arm of American
Cinematheque 1800 North
Highland Avenue Suite 717 Los
Angeles, CA Phone: (323)
461-2020, ext. 123 Fax: (323)
461-9737 Website:
prettybug.com/vitagraph/ Email:
davids@americancinematheque.com

Rating: R

Runtime: 92 minutes

Address Comments To:

Content:

(OO, C, B, LLL, VV, S, NN, M) Strong occult worldview with talk about curse, mummy sucks the souls out of people, and man tries to use a magic spell against the mummy, with slight hints of a moral Christian worldview, such as discussion of the value of life and the importance of having a legacy when you die, plus man reprimands woman for never visiting her father at the rest home; 50 obscenities, seven profanities, bodily noises from elderly people, mummy scatologically sucks the souls out of people, and men urinate off screen twice; strong violence such as man vividly dies of heart attack, glimpse of struggling man’s brain being pulled out of his nose to make him a mummy in Egyptian flashback, mummy drags woman off screen, woman’s hand bitten bloody by scarab beetle, scarab beetle stabbed into floor with fork, mummy set afire and struggles to survive, and fisticuffs; some sexual references such as man speaks of mysterious lump on his private parts, nurse applies salve to mysterious lump on man’s private parts, implied sexual arousal, and nurse asked into bed “while the getting’s good”; women’s breasts briefly seen in Egyptian flashback and shot of woman’s panties as she bends over; no alcohol or smoking; and, woman steals eyeglasses and chocolates from a woman in an iron lung and scenes of old people who have lost their minds and wills to live (the mummy preys on “small souls”).

GENRE: Comedy/Horror Movie

OO

C

B

LLL

VV

S

NN

M

Summary:

In BUBBA HO-TEP, an elderly Elvis Presley and a black man who thinks he is JFK save their rest home from a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy. While the story is inventive and fun, excessive crass language and negative subject matter far outweigh any positive elements to keep this from being family material.

Review:

BUBBA HO-TEP is an inventive comedy/horror from the same people that brought THE EVIL DEAD series to the big screen. Bruce Campbell plays an elderly Elvis Presley that had grown weary of the rock and roll lifestyle: the tours, the women and the drugs. To escape for a while, he traded places with an Elvis impersonator. The impersonator was the “Elvis” that we know to have died from an overdose. The real Elvis was performing one night when his hip gave out. He fell off stage and hit his head. Because of his head injury, he spent several years in a coma and has now awakened to find himself in a rest home somewhere in the South. He is suffering from what might be cancer of the genitals, and can only get around with a walker.

One of his fellow rest homers is John F. Kennedy, played by Ossie Davis. No, not the JFK, but one of the many delusional elderly that have been abandoned to the mercies of the home. JFK believes his brain has been replaced by a sandbag so that he doesn’t remember who tried to kill him. He explains his dark complexion as a clever dye job to hide him.

Night after night, more and more rest home residents turn up dead. JFK has seen the culprit and has figured out that it is a mummy who is sucking the souls out of the patients’ posteriors. There are lots of crass jokes based upon that fact. The mummy has to return so often, it is concluded, because the souls he is preying upon are “small souls” – rest home residents who have little will to live.

The mummy is the brother of a great Egyptian king. He has been bound in his sarcophagus by a curse that keeps him from entering the afterlife. This mummy was part of a museum tour in the United States. While in Texas, the display was stolen, loaded onto a bus, and then driven off a bridge during a tornado. The sarcophagus was broken open and the mummy sank into the river. Now that the curse can no longer bind him, he is walking out of the river each night and feeding on defenseless old folks’ souls.

Elvis and JFK realize that they have to defend their rest home. It is evident that their own souls are growing as they now have a purpose. How will these old men that can only get around by a walker and a wheelchair save their fellow residents from the cursed mummy?

While there are several poignant moments as Elvis reflects upon his life, what might have been, and comments upon the lives of those around him, many crudities and much crassness neutralize the usefulness of these moments. Such wisdom about the worth of individuals should be made available to children, but this is not a family film and the efficacy of such a lesson is largely lost.

Please address your comments to:

David Schultz, President

Vitagraph Films

The Distribution Arm of American Cinematheque

1800 North Highland Avenue

Suite 717

Los Angeles, CA

Phone: (323) 461-2020, ext. 123

Fax: (323) 461-9737

Website: prettybug.com/vitagraph/

Email: davids@americancinematheque.com

SUMMARY: In BUBBA HO-TEP, an elderly Elvis Presley and a black man who thinks he is JFK save their rest home from a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy. While the story is inventive and fun, excessive crass language and negative subject matter far outweigh any positive elements to keep this from being family material.

In Brief: