HuTubeFlix: Bubba Ho-Tep
Every week, HackCollege scours the interwebs to bring you the best streamable TV shows, documentaries and movies that you may have missed. This October, HuTubeFlix is gearing up for the greatest holiday of all time, Halloween, by finding some of the greatest horror movies and TV shows from around the web.
While October typically calls for marathon viewings of slashers, gore-fests and zombie movies that make you jump in your seat, sometimes you want a horror movie that’s presented slightly more lightheartedly as a pallet cleanser. For that purpose, the altogether ridiculous 2002 horror/comedy film Bubba Ho-Tep is decidedly one of the best in the genre.
The film centers around an elderly Elvis Presley, played by cult-hero and star of the Evil Dead film series Bruce Campbell, who had switched places with an Elvis impersonator in the 70′s in order to avoid the constraints of his superstar status. After the impersonator dies in 1977, Elvis finds himself unable to return to his old life and is forced to spend the last of his days in a rather eerie retirement home. There, he meets an African-American man claiming to be the real John F. Kennedy who had been dyed black.
The two former celebrities soon find themselves faced with the mysterious deaths of other members of the retirement home, and soon discover the cause: a reanimated mummy, stolen while on a museum tour in East Texas, is lost in a river near the retirment home. After rising from the dead and donning a cowboy outfit (why not?), JFK and Elvis then come face-to-face with the apparition as it sucks the souls from their fellow retirees. From there, the King must find a way to stop the undead before becoming victims themselves.
While Bubba Ho-Tep certainly can’t be called scary by any right, its absurdity is supported by clever dialogue and a stellar performance by Campbell as the morosely bitter Elvis drives home the film’s satirical indictment of both our culture’s predilection for quietly disposing the elderly and the mercurial nature of fame. While the idea of a slow-paced horror/comedy centering around two octogenarians may deter some, its tongue-in-cheek delivery and ability to never take itself too seriously makes the film a must-see, especially for fans of Campbell.
Bubba Ho-tep is available for streaming on Netflix.
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