Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Directed by
Wonderfully original
Reviewed by Simon on 2002-12-14

An aging Elvis and black JFK battle an ancient Egyptian mummy that is terrorising a rural American retirement home.

Bubba Ho-Tep is easy to summarise and very silly, but it's carried off very intelligently and with quite a bit of depth. It's a film that works on many levels, not least of which is a great dark comedy - some of the dialogue is beautiful, and both the lead actors give fantastic performances. It is, above all else, a meditation on the process of aging.

I could never understand the nature of theatrical releases in the US - why does a film as great as BUBBA HO-TEP get shackled with a limited release and a few festivals, when so much junk gets screened in every theatre in the country?

BH-T is destined to become a cult classic, for sure, but why is it limited to that? Everyone knows Elvis, everyone knows JFK, everyone knows mummies - what's the barrier to this film being played in the multiplexes? Simply that it wasn't produced by a major studio, they can't afford the marketing blitz and nobody important enough to have their palms greased was involved in it?

Thank god there are still some cinemas in this country where art and entertainment are important currency... and for DVDs for the rest of you not lucky enough to live near one! :-)