JFK Impersonation: 4/10
Mummy Impersonation: 8/10
I certainly seem to come across Bruce Campbell quite a bit these days. When I read the synopsis of this one, I had no idea how Bruce would do impersonating the King, but I figured it would be a less-than-awe inspiring. Well, I pretty much hit the nail on the head, but I think its easy to get past in this film, since the plot is fun and the mood is slightly off kilter. The main thing to remember about “Bubba Ho-tep” is that even a bad Elvis impersonation is still a good Elvis impersonation.
Imagine Elvis was tired of all the women and fame, all the glitz and glamour. Imagine Elvis was fed up with the drugs and lies, the false friends and the public lifestyle. What would he do to escape? He finds Sebastian Haff, an Elvis impersonator that looks so much like him, he can switch places with the guy and no one will ever know. He makes a contract with Haff that he can switch back whenever he wants, and then lives a simple life impersonating an impersonator impersonating himself(read that a couple of times until it makes sense). Life is nice and quiet, but he accidentally sets his trailer on fire, burning the contract and condemning himself to a life as Sebastian Haff. He doesn’t mind, though, until he breaks his hip and winds up stuck in a home for the elderly, with nothing to do but regret his life.
This is kind of where the story starts up-Elvis lying around talking about how his life sucks, and how he can’t get an erection(I don’t think this has any symbolic meaning…). He spends his days talking to a black man who claims to be JFK(He claims “they” dyed his skin so no one would know it’s him), and contemplating the growth that might be cancer on his bean pole. Things get interesting when a giant scarab beetle starts to attack the elderly at night, and only Elvis and JFK know the truth-a mummy from a museum exhibit got lost in the woods and now consumes the souls of old people to stay alive.
Realizing that they have very little left in life, the dynamic duo set out to put this mummy in his place. They decide to go old school and burn the damn thing, since fire cleanses evil and all. So, armed with a sprayer full of alcohol, a Zippo lighter, and some words from the Book of Souls, they track the mummy down to a park and the games begin! JFK gets used as bait, and by the time the mummy knows whats going on, Elvis has lit it on fire and begins to use an old chant to send it back to hell…or wherever it is mummies come from.
Here’s the chant from the Book of Souls: “You nasty thing from beyond the dead, no matter what you think or do, good things will never come to you. And if evil is your black design, you can bet the goodness of the Light Ones…will kick your bad behind.”
Surprisingly, this doesn’t work, so the mummy gets pissed and wants to step on the King’s shoes. Ultimately, Elvis decides he just didn’t use enough flame the first time, and sets the mummy on fire with a blaze that would shame the Heavens themselves! The stars align to tell the King that “All Is Well”, and he can die feeling that he was able to be a real hero for once in his fake life.
This movie was good, but a little slow in the middle for my taste. I thought that the ending was a great payoff, and each scene was funny when you kept in mind what was going on, but the fact that it’s Bruce Campbell doing a bad Elvis impersonation does prevent you from losing yourself in the idea of it. Still, a good addition to the Bruce Campbell legacy, and definitely worth a shot.
Gimme suggestions, you know you want to!