Hey folks, Harry here... Ya know.. there are times where I just get very frickin' pissed at studios. Dimension Films doesn't think twice about dropping 20 million on a shitty genre film. Revolution and Sony pictures often drop 10s of millions on bad genre films. Same with Warner Brothers, Artisan, Disney and the others. For significantly less than that, they can pick up the rights to BUBBA HO-TEP... Put a strong advertising commitment in place selling the concept of ELVIS PRESLEY vs a MUMMY... Ads that sell the idea that Elvis is alive and well in an old folks home in bumfuck Texas. Selling the concept that John F Kennedy is alive at the same home dyed black and forced into hiding by his enemies. Put Ossie Davis and Bruce Campbell on STERN talking about dripping diseased growths on their peckers and sucking the souls out of anuses... Put em on Letterman, Leno, Conan and the rest. The concept is a helluvalot more fun than any of the comedies we've seen being sold to the public. It is intense originality and the film ENTERTAINS AUDIENCES! We've been running reviews from audiences at festivals all over the world for nearly a year now.... WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION? Pull your head out, let go of the X-BOX control and get this movie released WIDE! It will play like crazy. On top of it being a great movie... Bruce Campbell is entertaining as hell in interviews, in front of audiences and take a look at the home video sales on the EVIL DEAD series.... DO IT! Go look em up! Why does McFarlane Toys CONTINUALLY Make ASH toys... same with SIDESHOW? There's a big bunch of people that love him and are just looking for an excuse to drag friends to discover him. Here's a bunch of reviews from the screening at the Egyptian tonight...
Just got back from one of the most enjoyable, joygazm inducing, belly-laughing nights that I've had at the Egyptian theatre. As you may know, the American Cinematheque, God love 'em, had a screening of Don Coscarelli's Bubba Ho-Tep. The 7:30 show sold out a week in advance that they added another at 10:30 and low and behold that was sold out as well. At the screening, Don Coscarelli and Bruce "The King" Campbell would be there for post Q&A. Well, we got an early taste of what they had to offer when they introduced the screening, that was a bit of a surprise. Paraphrasing Bruce, "It's heartening to know that in these hard times that there's a place for an Elvis versus a mummy movie."
The movie itself is a classic. Even if they threw out Bubba Ho-Tep, it still would have been a great movie watching these two elderly men who claim to be someone they couldn't possibly be. Well, they are who they are in my opinion as crazy as it may sound. Bottom line is Bruce is Elvis and Ossie is JFK. Underneath the horror is a moving story about the elderly, the regrets they have and the struggle to find their place in this mixed up world. Oh, and there's a Mummy running around the nursing home. Since I'm not much of critic, let alone a writer, I'll just say this the movie was fantastic. It will quickly become a cult classic. Fans must seek this movie out. This deserves distribution and if it doesn't we won't see "Bubba Nosferatu." Now, how cruel would that be?
The movie was entertaining and fantastic. Little did I expect that the post Q&A would be just as thrilling. Don and Bruce returned front and center to discuss the movie.
At the start, they starting calling out the names of actors in the film. Much to my surprise many were present at the theatre. I'm sorry if I don't know the names, it's the first time I've seen most of them. Sadly, Ossie Davis wasn't present but he did get the same level of applause that Bruce got when their names came up in the end credits. If you've seen the movie you'll know who I'm talking about, if not what are you waiting for? After each intro, Bruce gave them a little ribbing based on their moments in the film, can't go into them without ruining the movie. Here we go, the elderly lady who dies first. There's something she does that is more specific but I don't want to give it away. One of the hearse drivers was present, as was Elvis' nurse. The unbeleiveable hot daughter of Elvis' roommate, BOING!! She wore a t-shirt, too bad I was sitting too far away to really see. Kemosabe, an elderly man who wears a black mask like the Lone Ranger was there. There was also an extra, we prefer background actors, in the crowd. Then there was Reggie Bannister, frickin' sweet, I loved the Phantasm movies and aside from Angus he's my fave. Speaking of Angus, HE WAS THERE!!!! He stood up and waved to the crowd. I was ready to do cartwheels across the front of the theatre. Every actor in Bubba Ho-Tep was excellent and it was great for them to be recognized and adored by fans old and new. I was getting whiplash from the numbers of times I had to turn around in my seat.
There were the basic questions of budget, film stock, make up, costumes, all the usual making of the movie stuff. Needless to say, Evil Dead 4 came up. I would love to see an Evil Dead 4 but please everyone let it lie. When they do they'll do it, right now they have more important, pressing if you think Evil Dead is even more important, things to do. Bruce's response was if you want Sam to do Evil Dead 4 you have to convince him not to do Spider-Man 2, losing argument.
Another question was if Bruce would direct Evil Dead 4. Bruce provided a very funny, physical answer that involved him asking what Sam would do and he acted it out, Bruce fell to the floor in one act and provided some pained expressions as a camera zoomed in on his face. Very funny. He told a story about how they hooked up with an Elvis impersonator from Vegas, Bruce said it was the only one able to perform in Vegas so I think I saw this guy at the MGM Grand. Another funny but stupid question was some guy asked that if he had to be Stone Cold Steve Austin to wear that belt. I didn't know what that guy was talking about but Bruce. "Yes I did beat him and since that was a stupid question you only get one, sit down." Hilarious!
Another question came up about if Bruce would be in Amazing Spider-Man and what he would play. Bruce jokingly asked if they were doing a sequel to Spider-Man, he's likely oh yeah it did pretty well didn't it. He followed that up with, "I don't know but why don't you ask Sam Raimi he's sitting right over there." WHAT?!?! WHAT?!? Yes, Sam Raimi was in the house. A few years ago, the Egyptian had a Halloween screening of Evil Dead that Sam couldn't make because he was working on the post 9/11 edits of Spider-Man. Here he is!! Huge applause from all around. Sam praised the film and said he loved it. He said to Bruce that after seeing his performance he would like to reconsider his offer. Bruce said I can't I'll be doing Bubba Nosferatu. AWESOME!!!!
Regarding, Bubba Nosferatu. They put it to a vote on what the next film would be, Bubba Nosferatu or Bubba Sasquatch. Bubba Nosferatu won out and hopeful it would see the silver screen.
When the Q&A ended we all headed out the door. I had the chance to briefly chat with Angus Scrimm. I did background work on the Superbowl episode of Alias that Angus Scrimm worked on. Since, we are suppose to professional on set this was my chance to meet him. It was brief but sweet.
Well, those are my recollections. I'm sure I missed much but I imagine others will be writing in and filling in the gaps. I wanted to see it again but the 10:30 was sold out and I didn't want to wait in the standby line to see if I get in. It was a great movie and an even better evening at the Egyptian Theatre.
NOW ALL YOU FANS AND NON-FANS, GO SEEK THIS MOVIE.
Paraphrasing Bruce again, "It's heartening to know that in these hard times there's a place for an Elvis versus a mummy movie." Well, thank you guys for it. For one evening, I forgot about the hard times and wished for these good times to continue.
The Film Maven
Shockingly here's another satisfied customer that would drag 10 of his friends to see this movie again...
I'm sure you'll get a lot of write-ins about this, so I'll keep it relatively brief, albeit with minor spoilers. Let me just say that Bubba Ho-Tep is a triumphant exercise in glorious stupidity. Bruce Campbell is fantastic as usual, but the real surprise is Ossie Davis. He turns in a touching and committed performance. How committed? Imagine Ossie convincingly expounding on the subject of getting your soul sucked out of your asshole.
The barbecue scene is a classic, there's a great line about "icky-ology", but the creme de la creme came during a scene where Bruce and Ossie are explaining the events surrounding a dead body to the police. Bruce's narration says something like, "We knew this was going to be a tough situation to explain, so we did the only thing we could do..." Just then the sound went out.
"What did you do?", someone in the audience screamed.
The voice belonged to none other than the man himself, Bruce.
As entertaining as the movie was, the Q & A was even better. I've lived in Los Angeles for six years and have had countless celeb encounters, and this ranks up with the Russell Crowe GLADIATOR Q & A back in 2001 and my two days of extra work on the Tony Clifton Comedy Store scene at the end of Man on the Moon. (OK, I admit it: meeting Eric Roberts was my other highlight, since he was amazingly cool and I grew up admiring his acting.)
Back in Q & A land, Bruce just went off and milked it for all he could. The best part was when someone asked him if he was going to be in The Amazing Spider Man. Bruce called upon Sam Raimi, who was also in attendance, to answer. Sam said that he loved Bubba Ho-Tep, but that after seeing Bruce's performance he wanted to withdraw his offer. Classic stuff.
Also at the screening were Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm, Daniel Roebuck and other people from the B H-T cast, including Heidi Marnhout, who sat behind me and a few seats over. She was one of two gorgeous women I saw at this sold-out screening. (Maybe the other one was lost.) I also sat a few seats down from Quint and got to meet him. Nice guy.
I'm sure others will fill in the gaps from this review/Q & A synopsis, such as the idiot asking about Coscarelli's use of hallways in all his films. (Don't ask, since this guy never should have, either.) All I can say is thank you Don & Bruce for providing me with such a memorable evening. And for only $6.00!
FYI other Egyptian screenings coming up are Irreversible on March 3 with Gaspar Noe Q & A, Chicago on March 4 with director, writer and producers Q & A, The Sound of Music on March 20 with Robert Wise and others in attendance, and a Jerry Bruckheimer tribute (!) at the end of the month, with JB and Michael Bay Q & A-ing between The Rock and Armaggedon. Oh yeah, and Steve James with his documentary Stevie on March 25. (Sadly, this is not the Steve James from American Ninjas 1 & 2, respectively, as he has been deceased for quite some time. So Michael Dudikoff, stay home until you become the one actor from Bachelor Party to agree to do a DVD commentary.)
Remember how I said my review would be relatively brief? I guess I lied! In the future I will use my thesaurus to find other terms for "Q & A".
And here with yet another reminder of why the studios should PICK THIS MOVIE UP is a special agent Dale Cooper
Hey Harry, Moriarty, et. al. Just got back from the Egyptian screening of an existential Bergmanesque character study of regret and loss masquerading as a horror comedy starring Elvis and JFK. The film seems intended as a means for fanboys to ejaculate nonstop for an hour and a half. I can't wait to get this when it hits DVD; it will most certainly improve my sex life, so long as my woman doesn't mind having it on in the background (how can she resist?? Bruce Campbell as Elvis, I mean shit).
Do I need to say that the performances are phenomenal? Ossie Davis had me breaking as many ribs as the Bruce, who remains the only man for whom I would switch teams. My only complaint would be the graininess of the night scenes, which was understandable considering the budget. And Ossie's line of chocolate ding-dongs more than compensated for that.
Dare I say that this is Bruce's best performance to date? I fear I might be committing enormous sacrilege by ignoring his Biblical film in fandom, Serving Sara, but here he masters such an astonishing amount of subtlety. In fact, I'm not so sure it was him; I'm starting to think Elvis took a trip out of the old folks home for one more flick.
Coscarelli does an incredible job of layering the film with the nuanced centerpiece of a man whose penis only flaps up once like a pigeon with a heart attack, the geekgasms of 3D CG hieroglyphics spewing from Bubba Ho-Tep's mouth, and the hilarious irony. But ultimately, it's a story of redemption and rediscovering your youth; I was not at all expecting any profundity to come from this whatsoever.
The Q&A afterwards was almost as awesome as the film itself. They wanted our response to whether we wanted to see Bubba Nosferatu or Bubba Sasquatch next, and Bubba Nosferatu seemed to get the crowd most antsy. We still had the trademark Bruce tearing down "lame-ass questions," and he talked a tiny bit about his next novel on relationships and a project he himself is cooking for the Sci-Fi Channel.
Most of the cast was actually in the theater except for Ossie, and the big surprise came when Sam Raimi stood up when someone asked if Bruce'd be in The Amazing Spider-Man (they better keep that title). Sam had nothing but praise for Coscarelli, but joked that after seeing Bruce in this, he was reconsidering Bruce's involvement in Spider-Man 2.
This was probably my most memorable evening at a cinegeek event; I think I spotted Buffy's Camden Toy in the lobby too.
Never fuck with the King,
Special Agent Dale Cooper, Jr.