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Overall Rating
4.33

Awesome62.64%
Worth A Look: 18.68%
Average: 11.54%
Pretty Bad: 3.3%
Total Crap: 3.85%

10 reviews, 122 user ratings


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Bubba Ho-tep
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by Scott Weinberg

"I feel awful for the video store guy who has to pigeonhole this great flick"
5 stars

Don Coscarelli: The Beastmaster and all the goopy goodness of the Phantasm franchise. Bruce Campbell: Cult actor extraordinaire and one of the industry's most shockingly underrated actors. Put the two together and you're bound for something special, right? Damn straight.

Tear yourself away from the multiplex garbage for about 55 seconds and try to wrap your movie-addicted brain around this concept:

Elvis Presley is alive and (relatively) well and living in a Southern Texas convalescent home. His best pal is a lovable old black guy who insists he's actually John F. Kennedy Jr. Together the pair must do battle with a horrific soul-sucking Mummy before the creature devours every senior citizen in sight.

OK, now that all the wimps and fans of Hollywood Formula have clicked off of this review I can tell the adventuresome movie freaks something important:

Bubba Ho-Tep is a movie you absolutely must see. Think about the last time you saw a genre flick that actually impressed you with its originality.

Still thinking?

Unfortunately the jury is still out as to when you will get to see this fantastic little flick, as Coscarelli and company still have yet to find a distributor. Some attribute this difficulty to the estate of Presley, a clueless band of moneymakers who clearly cannot see that Bruce Campbell's personfication of The King is done with nothing but love and admiration.

One can only assume the estate isn't getting a piece of the pie, hence the struggles. There's simply no other reason to explain how an outfit like Lion's Gate or Artisan hasn't yet picked this flick up for (at least limited) distribution.

But fear not; if those who've seen the movie already have their way, Bubba Ho-Tep will see the light of day sometime in the near future.

The plot is as funny and touching as it is absurd. Sounds like an unwieldy mixture, eh? Chalk it up as a testament to Coscarelli's talents that such a wacky conceit could successfully cover such a wide array of sincere emotion.

I'll forgo the specific details of how Elvis and JFK end up depressed and alone in a dank old age home, as what's more important is how Coscarelli and Company actually make you believe it by the time Act III rolls around. You're unlikely to find a more "odd couple" than Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis and I suspect it's that sort of arcane unpredictability that helps to keep Bubba Ho-Tep so disarming.

Those who've spent their youths perusing the horror/sci-fi sections at the local video store need no introduction to the myriad talents of Mr. Bruce Campbell, but Bubba Ho-Tep represents a massive leap forward for the sadly overlooked actor. Ironic that what's far and away his best performance comes in a film that may end up going straight-to-video, but that's OK. You'll still get to see Bruce in all his hip-swinging Southern drawling glory...one day. Davis is no less endearing as a clearly confused old chap who is wholly convinced of his Kennedy lineage and after only a few scenes - we simply believe him.

It's tough to name a genre that Bubba Ho-Tep doesn't cover (and cover successfully). Many early scenes touchingly depict the icy heartbreak of advanced old age; the buddy aspect of the ongoing investigation provides heaping handfuls of rock-solid laughs; and the creepy-ass Mummy (and his giant skittering scarabs) seems yanked from a particularly slick modern horror flick. (Wow, a Mummy in a GOOD recent flick? I was surprised as you.)

It irritates and saddens me that Martin Lawrence's latest vehicle can explode obnoxiously into 2,500 screens while something of Bubba Ho-Tep's clearly evident quality may end up languishing on a shelf somewhere - but that's life in Modern Hollywood. Perhaps Coscarelli should blame himself for making a flick that avoids genre characterization in every conceivable way. Or he could just pat himself on the back for a job damn well done - and hope for the best.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6101&reviewer=128
originally posted: 03/11/03 09:57:19
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/17/14 Rzojpaqq USA 2 stars
8/13/14 PAUL SHORTT LIKEABLE SPOOF, WITH A GOOD STAR PERFORMANCE 3 stars
8/02/14 xztmbyzg USA 4 stars
4/16/14 Nvtmytko USA 5 stars
2/17/14 Weswkcji USA 2 stars
2/15/14 Ydnhbslk USA 3 stars
2/13/14 Yeprripd USA 5 stars
2/02/14 Dkqccdzq USA 3 stars
2/01/14 kunrdeekgcs USA 3 stars
1/29/14 Skixdyjm USA 5 stars
1/28/14 Kmpisrfg USA 5 stars
1/26/14 Bmnhyann USA 2 stars
1/21/14 Eyihwbak USA 5 stars
12/29/09 Chad Dillon Cooper Elvis & JFK vs. mummy. Doesn't get much beeter than this. 5 stars
7/14/09 faiche13 fun, funny, funky 4 stars
6/23/08 bored mom A classic, and Texas has all the best weird fictionists 5 stars
3/21/08 mr.mike Has a few laughs , mostly from B.C. 3 stars
8/28/07 LtA Weird isn't funny. Weird for the sake of weird is NOT creative. 1 stars
5/14/07 Mike Koziol so much potential, a movie that didn't know where it wanted to go: comedy or more serious 2 stars
12/30/06 AJ Muller Story by the Texas Mojo Master done perfect by Coscarelli; Elvis by Campbell even better. 5 stars
12/01/06 kevin haile boring! 2 stars
11/03/06 Hauzy love Bruce Campbell but this just blew me away!! 5 stars
8/19/06 zaw Wow! 5 stars
8/04/06 Agent Sands Really funny premise, but very forgettable. 3 stars
4/24/06 Annie Treat yourself to a great little movie with lots of laughs! 5 stars
4/21/06 Becky Funny, great music. Bruce when Sebastain first meets Elvis= priceless 5 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Hilarious. 3 stars
10/01/05 matt good, but could have been better 4 stars
9/09/05 Mike This was a awesome moive, I never laughted so hard before. 5 stars
8/17/05 ES What a great idea, silly yet excellently done 4 stars
8/09/05 C. Fidance I absolutely love this movie; Bruce and Ossie are terrific! 5 stars
7/24/05 Reverse_Bear-Trap_101_"SAW" Good... But, not great! 3 stars
6/15/05 DM So gleefully bizarre it's almost touching. The fact that it's funny doesn't hurt either. 4 stars
5/28/05 Gary Bruce is great, but everything else was disappointing. Saw in a theatre. 2 stars
4/20/05 Dan Fun cult film, especially for Bruce Campbell fans 4 stars
4/17/05 Cary Gordon Builds brilliant, 5 stars
4/05/05 Eugene Mortensen ok if you like camp strange films 3 stars
4/02/05 Tom Benton Clever, very funny horror-comedy; Campbell and Davis are terrific. 5 stars
3/25/05 malcontent strictly for Coscarelli and Campbell lovers 3 stars
3/24/05 erebus45 Charming, engaging and Very, very well done 5 stars
3/15/05 brody horan the man must only have one nut snd be 13 years old 5 stars
3/09/05 LarryV Nice little B-flick. Ossie Davis and Bruce C. rock. 4 stars
3/05/05 Sam Eskenazi not for the unintelligent 4 stars
3/03/05 HORAN THE MAN!!!!! ELVIS CAN SUCK MY LEFT NUT!! 1 stars
2/07/05 Jeff Anderson THIS IS THE BRUCE CAMPBELL FILM TO REMEMBER & DON COSCARELLI'S AS WELL! TRULY GREAT!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/11/04 Phil M. Aficionado Campy, innovative labor of love; total fun; Bruce/Ossie just plain fabulous 5 stars
11/25/04 Jason If Brian Mckay likes this movie I don't trust any other review he does this movie sucks ass 1 stars
10/28/04 Raven nothing happens in this movie at all NOTHING, its a borefest with some ok characterization 1 stars
9/09/04 Otto Schmidt This movie is the best drama-horror-comedy I have ever seen :) 5 stars
8/31/04 Matthieu very NICE, ORIGINAL story, not a girl and a boy who makes love at the end 5 stars
8/27/04 Mike Stanbridge Hope they find the funds to make the prequels! 5 stars
8/23/04 Samuel Great, from beginning to end! 5 stars
7/29/04 American Slasher Goddess One of the best in the genre, that I've seen in a long time. 5 stars
7/25/04 Drew-P Great fun. I even thought the beetles did a nice job of acting. 4 stars
7/23/04 Lord Durvok 2 "NOBODY f**ks with the king!" 5 stars
7/20/04 N. Christopher Bell This movie sucks. And I'm a Bruce Campbell fan (actual member of the fanclub). 1 stars
7/19/04 Jessica Gill If you remember that it's supposed to be campy, you'll love it. 4 stars
7/17/04 Uncle Phucker Fucking genius! Unique and fun film. Great fun and actors. 5 stars
7/11/04 Jim Delivers laughs and a few genuine scares. Campbell & Davis both excellent. 4 stars
6/20/04 Jean Funny, crazy, bruce & elvis, no need to say more. 4 stars
6/12/04 Tony Merlocco Loved it! VERY FUNNY! 5 stars
6/11/04 Wolf Slightly overrated, but good acting all around. Musical score + Ossie were awesome. 3 stars
6/10/04 DodoLurker Tremendous effort by the actors, well-shot, just terrific 5 stars
6/10/04 Jack Bourbon It was a sebaceous cyst 5 stars
6/09/04 othree Elvis' character and dialog was the keeper 4 stars
6/08/04 tatum Original, hilarious, touching, loved it 5 stars
6/02/04 Turtle If an Elvis were to record a song to describe this film, it would be, "I'm All Fucked-Up." 4 stars
6/01/04 maggie imaginative-interesting 4 stars
5/27/04 A F Elvis, black JFK, Mummy, how can you go wrong? Who thinks this shit up? Genius, Pure Genius 5 stars
5/27/04 fixer Great fun... What more could you want? 5 stars
5/27/04 bigmomma its kinda dumb 3 stars
5/15/04 Lord Durvok 2 The fact that Bruce didn't win "Best Actor" for the year shows that there is no justice. 5 stars
5/11/04 Morally Sound Freaking hillarious! Bruce Campell IS Elvis! The part with the graffiti is so funny! 5 stars
5/02/04 DarthFredo excellent movie, very amusing 5 stars
4/11/04 Peter A great film that deals with old age and life in general 5 stars
3/19/04 Cary Gordon A bit slower than I expected in parts but still a really fun watch. 5 stars
3/09/04 Caiphn Finally got to see it! Drags in parts, Bruce as Elvis is top-notch. 4 stars
1/15/04 Betty White Ossie Davis is wonderful is this unique horror flick. 5 stars
1/10/04 AC No tantamount asskicking has ever been displyed. 5 stars
1/09/04 Kara Excellent!!!!! -- except for the final minute 5 stars
12/10/03 JJMAN FAN-Fucking-TASTIC! It's ok Barry, this movie wasn't made for morons without a clue. 5 stars
12/09/03 Dan Davis Excellent, ball-buster for sure!! 5 stars
12/07/03 Punk_Ass This is one great movie. Very funny, yet touching. barry, you are a fucking idiot. 5 stars
12/04/03 Andrew Callaway Most awesome movie ever? Yes. Better than Evil Dead II. See it NOW! 5 stars
12/02/03 Barry Weiner The voice-over is a cop-out. Don't tell me, show me. 1 stars
11/28/03 john oh boy..what a great surprise this movie is...honest, funny, endearing and very moving 5 stars
11/10/03 Lord Jiggy Touching, moving, surprising...in spite of cheesy horror and bedpan humor. 5 stars
10/27/03 Jen hilarious and yet strangely touching 5 stars
10/23/03 Lord Durvok II Great acting and story. At first I thought, "No way in hell is Bruce gonna pull this off!" 5 stars
10/18/03 Kyle FUCKING INCREDIBLE. 5 stars
10/17/03 Jaded I love Bruce and I saw this with a very open mind but it was a big snooze. Not funny. 3 stars
10/16/03 Robbie This was not written by Coscarelli, but adapted from the short by Joe R Lansdale 5 stars
10/15/03 Nancy Cary Truly original. Great acting. 5 stars
10/11/03 nick2k speaking from a non-fanboy stance...i must say this was damn good AND hella funny! 5 stars
10/07/03 Ryan Bruce Campbell IS Elvis. 5 stars
10/07/03 Erik Van Sant You too will want a growth on the end of your schlong...God bless you, Bruce Campbell. 5 stars
10/07/03 Titus I've been waiting for this forever, and it was worth it. GO! 5 stars
9/26/03 Jon This movie is retardedly good! 5 stars
9/26/03 John That was fantastic! Don't miss that movie!!!! 5 stars
9/23/03 The F-Bomb BRUCE CAMPBELL IS THE MESSIAH!!! ASH IS GOD!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/20/03 Lee Bubba Ho-Tep kicked all kinds of boo-tay! 5 stars
7/30/03 Sunnyd The film is great and we hope it gains the presentation it deserves!! 5 stars
7/11/03 Mike Smith Starts in Portland Oregon September 19th. www.bubbahotep.com 5 stars
7/06/03 Darren I drove 2 hours, waited in line 4 hours, got lucky with tickets and saw bruce as the king. 5 stars
6/16/03 matthew fuck 1 stars
5/31/03 Jonathan Stokes (Stokesy) Bruce is better that ever. Its about time he takes the leading over again since Evil Dead 5 stars
5/20/03 Wallace this was one of the best films i've ever seen, bruce is the man 5 stars
5/01/03 I think "steve" is my dad I thought it was very funny and a good mummy movie. 5 stars
4/29/03 Pete A wee bit of class on film 5 stars
3/31/03 Will awesome, awesome movie 5 stars
3/28/03 Mike Smith Incredible flick. See it if you can. 5 stars
3/25/03 Tom like it 3 stars
3/23/03 Goofy Maxwell Saw Bruce@E. Lansing Film Fest.: Presley estate makin' Don do the Ho-tep 2step. (inbreds!) 5 stars
3/13/03 Mister Bigglesworth Hollywood's distrubution sucks.(inbreds!) Give us damn good dvd and watch the sales soar! 5 stars
12/03/02 jason decent but slow. 3 stars
11/20/02 mj Saw it at Toronto. Amazing. Funny, yet surprisingly emotional. 5 stars
10/20/02 Marc Morrison It's like an introspective Evil Dead 4 5 stars
10/05/02 steve This film needs Distribution!!! 5 stars
10/04/02 XH It Rocks! 5 stars
9/16/02 jon solita Saw it at Flashback Weekend in Chicago. Great film, and has an unexpected emotional weight. 5 stars
9/11/02 will saw it at toronto film festival, it was excellent! 5 stars
8/31/02 E. H. Bennett Visually exciting, touching story, great acting all around. Please sell it soon, Don! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Sep-2003 (R)
  DVD: 25-May-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Feb-2005




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