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Saturday, July 03, 2004  

Elvis v. Mummy
My venerable powerbook is back home after a much-quicker-than-expected turnaround from my local autherized Mac service center. Melrose Mac did a great job on the repair and I highly recomend the shop to LAites who need some Apple-goodies but don't want to brave the Grove or 3rd Street. So, I've spent the past few hours re-setting everything up and performing the countless subtle UI tweaks that make my Mac MY Mac, and I'm almost there now.

We finally got around to watching "Bubba Ho-Tep" last night, and it was quite a treat. The Horror/comedy/drama revolves around a run-down old-folks home in east Texas (the scariest part of Texas in deed) where an elderly and cancer-struck Elvis has wound up, and where he must now make a final stand against a soul-sucking Egyptian/redneck mummy. The film does a good job of juggling its multiple genres, and while it has some laugh-out-loud moments (quite a few actually) as well as all the necessary elements of a shlock-horror film, its real strength is the drama of the old-folks struggling with their mortality and second-class-citizenship.

For all its sublime indie-cinema moments and clever writing, Bubba Ho-Tep is really held together by Bruce Campbell's performance. He gets to show his acting chops as he steps into The Kings skin and battles Undead, and he absolutely nails the role. The film also serves as Ossie Davis', who plays an elderly JFK far better than any other actor could (let alone any white actor,) swan song.

And this was perhaps my favorite element of the film: as the audience, we WANT to believe that it really IS Elvis, and not just an elderly man reveling in his senility. And, if you are the least bit romantic, you CAN get behind an old and bitter Elvis. But then the writer/director throws a black JFK at you, and that is MUCH harder to swallow. But there is just as much evidence (more actually) in the mise-en-scene to support Kennedy's claim of authenticity as there is evidence in-favor of a living Elvis. And that is the point. Either you believe they are BOTH who they say they are, or you believe they are BOTH nuts. But you can't really take one without the other and still leave your disbelief suspended. Either reading is completely viable and valid and they filter the message of the film in very different ways. But the film is never ABOUT the choice, it is simple there to be made (and I'm sure made unconsciously by many.)

But I've babbled on too long, so if you are a fan of slightly twisted and off-the-wall indie-fare give Bubba Ho-Tep a spin.

Thank you.
uh Thankyouverymuch.

posted by JMV | 7/03/2004 12:22:00 AM
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