Movie Review: BUBBA HO-TEP (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

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BUBBA HO-TEP was directed by Don Coscarelli from a story by Joe R. Lansdale and stars Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, Daniel Roebuck, Bob Ivy and Reggie Bannister.

A mysterious and unique looking 3,000 Egyptian mummy stumbles into a small town Texas retirement home and sets up shop. One by one, the elderly residents become its victims as they have their souls sucked out from their bodies. It’s up to a 68 year old Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) who has been going by an alias for decades now, and his new friend Jack (Ossie Davis), an African-American senior who claims to be President John F. Kennedy, to try and put a stop this newly arrived ancient evil that goes by the name of BUBBA HO-TEP (Bob Ivy). As strange as this setup sounds, it all leads to a battle between good and evil.

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Don Coscarelli has always come up with something unique and different with each movie he’s directed. If you didn’t know, he’s the guy who gave us The Beastmaster, John Dies at the End, and of course the Phantasm franchise. The story for this movie focuses on 68 year old Sebastian Haff who claims that he’s actually Elvis Presley. The character is played wonderfully by Bruce Campbell and they don’t come any cooler than this guy. There’s also Jack, an elderly black man who claims that he is actually JFK. This character is played by Ossie Davis who becomes the trusty sidekick to “The King” as they take the fight to this evil mummy that has found its way into the retirement home they’re living in. So, why is this mummy terrorizing this small rest home and its senior ciziten residents? Because its easy for him to suck out their souls because they’re too old to do anything about it. This crazy setup leads to an epic showdown between “The King” and this ancient mummy that sports a cowboy hat and boots.

When it comes to Don Coscarelli’s movies, the one thing you can expect is that it’s going to be a low budget production. Sometimes that can hurt a movie really bad when it relies heavily on special effects and that kind of stuff but Coscarelli focuses more on the story and characters and he finds a way to get the job done. BUBBA HO-TEP is a low budget feature that has this small setting and isolated location. The senior citizens are ripe for the picking when it comes to this unique looking mummy. Bob Ivy was the man behind the creepy looking makeup created by Robert Kurtzman and company. We’ve gotten all kinds of mummy movies over the years but none of them have featured one that looks like this and that’s one of the things that makes this movie so special. This is a strange looking mummy! All of the special effects look great for this low budget feature. Movie magic is also made here thanks to some great camera work and cinematography. There’s some really cool atmospheric shots in the movie thanks to some great camera work and precision lighting.

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the all-new artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate/original artwork and movie credits. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, BUBBA HO-TEP was already one of my favorite cinematic obscurities and what Scream Factory has done is give this cult classic a nice Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release that the movie and it’s loyal fanbase deserve. This is the pinnacle home video release for this fun horror-comedy. I remember showing this movie to a few of my friends when it first hit the video stores and they ended up telling me that they would never have given the movie a chance if I hadn’t invited them over to check it out. Long story short, they instantly became fans of this crazy little movie that featured an elderly Elvis Presley battling it out with an out of place cowboy mummy in a retirement home in Texas. I’m a long time fan of Don Coscarelli and any time he cranks out a movie it always gets my attention plus he always comes up with something original and exciting. I love everything about this movie, from the fun story, to the talented cast, and everything in between. Hey, I even have the BUBBA HO-TEP action figure from NECA! To be honest, I wish Coscarelli would make more movies because they’re so fun to watch. I had a blast revisiting BUBBA HO-TOP and it has never looked or sounded better, and to top this off, there’s all kinds of extras included with this awesome new release from Scream Factory. This Collector’s Edition Blu-ray hits retail on November 8th and is a must have. I love this movie!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widesscreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! This is just a single disc Collector’s Edition but the one disc is freaking loaded with some amazing extras. There’s all-new audio commentary and over an hour of new interviews with some of the cast and crew. Scream Factory has also imported over the bonus material from previous home video releases.

  • NEW Audio Commentary With Author Joe R. Lansdale
  • NEW All Is Well – An Interview With Writer/Director Don Coscarelli (24:02)
  • NEW The King Lives! – An Interview With Star Bruce Campbell (22:01)
  • NEW Mummies And Make-up – An Interview With Special Effects Artist Robert Kurtzman (08:56)
  • Audio Commentary By Don Coscarelli And Bruce Campbell
  • Audio Commentary By “The King”
  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Don Coscarelli And Bruce Campbell (03:16)
  • “The Making Of Bubba Ho-Tep” Featurette (23:34)
  • “To Make A Mummy” Make-up And Effects Featurette (05:02)
  • “Footage from the Temple Room Floor” Short (02:09)
  • “Fit For A King” Elvis Costuming Featurette (06:46)
  • “Rock Like An Egyptian” Featurette About The Music Of Bubba Ho-Tep (12:42)
  • Joe R. Lansdale Reads From Bubba Ho-Tep (07:58)
  • Archival Bruce Campbell Interviews (34:41)
  • Music Video (02:19)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:!6)
  • TV Spot (00:32)
  • Still Gallery (04:17)

 

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