DVD Review: Bubba Ho-Tep (Hail To The King Edition)

Quick summary:
A cranky, elderly Elvis (Bruce Campbell) joins forces with black JFK (Ozzie Davis) to battle a redneck mummy in a Texas nursing home.

Are you still with me? Good because this is a delightful B movie with pluck, charm and a lively sense of spirit.

Elvis is spending his days sitting in a nursing home in East Texas. He is cranky and with good reason. Everyone thinks he is an Elvis impersonator named Sebastian and, to make matters worse, he has a growth on his …junk.

As the days go by, an alarming number of residents are dying in their sleep. Now while this does not sound unusual, Elvis is attacked by a very large (and very plastic) beetle (aka scarab). After dispatching the pesky bug, Elvis realizes something is amiss. He talks with a crackpot that thinks he is JFK. Of course everyone thinks he is nuts for saying he is Elvis so maybe he is telling the truth (JFK has a pretty good explanation) after all.

Years ago, some robbers stole the contents of an Egyptian museum display. Their truck overturned and ended up in a Texas swamp. The mummy, whose tomb was part of the exhibit, rose up and has been feeding off of the souls of the elderly ever since. He has also started wearing the native garb (cowboy hat among other things).

Naturally Elvis and JFK decide they cannot allow this to continue! Somebody must stand up for the weak upon which the mummy is preying.

Bubba Ho-Tep was a favorite on the festival circuit and quickly developed a cult following. And with good reason: It is a damn good movie.

While the humor is certainly there, it is played very straightforward. At no point does this come across as a big joke. They took the job of filming this tale very seriously and it raises the quality of the film above that of a cheese ball flick.

For extras, we are treated to two commentary tracks, one with writer/director Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell and the other with Bruce in character as the King. While both are entertaining and worth checking out, listening to the King is awesome.

There are also some deleted scenes, featurettes, and a few other things including author Joe Lansdale reading from the story this is based on. The deleted scenes are honestly nothing to get excited about and can easily be skipped over. The featurettes are fairly interesting and give us a look into the making of a low budget film. A lot of creativity and energy goes into doing more with less.

On top of all this, the packaging is very cool. This DVD comes in a white faux leather (or maybe real leather…I am not sure) jumpsuit slipcase. A slipcase worthy of the King!

Bottom line: If you have a sense of humor, you shall likely be entertaining and enjoy the absurd, Bubba will deliver the goods and actually stand up to repeated viewings.


For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.