Please don't feed PickleMan
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Bubba Ho-Tep

Bubba Ho-Tep is a damned enjoyable horror-comedy flick from writer-director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm), featuring Bruce Campbell as an elderly Elvis Presley and Ossie Davis as JFK (he was dyed black), both of whom are wasting away in anonymity in a convalescent home. During their stay, they discover that an ancient mummy dressed up like a cowboy (a "Bubba Ho-Tep" as Elvis labels him) is wandering through the home at night sucking the souls out of sleeping patients... mostly through their assholes.

While the movie is funny, it's perhaps not as laugh-out-loud funny as you might expect upon hearing the concept, as it opts for the more subtle humor approach instead. It's also not particularly action-packed, seeing as how the two main protagonists are elderly men who get around using a walker and a motorized wheelchair. Still, there's something captivating about this film, even as it makes some profoundly depressing observations about growing old.

He's still the king. Care to change his colostomy bag?

As limited as the action is in this movie, there are two great sequences worth mentioning. The second one is at the end of the movie, where Elvis fights Bubba Ho-Tep using his walker to fend him off. And as awesome as that is, I find the first sequence to be more amusing, Elvis's "battle" with the giant and oh-so-obviously fake flying scarab beetle.

One night, Elvis wakes up and goes to take a piss, and when he returns to his room, he notices that his tin of chocolates has fallen off the nightstand and onto the floor. He bends down to pick up the tin, and as he lifts it up, he sees that a gigantic scarab beetle (which he mistakenly identifies as a cockroach) was hiding under it. Leaning in to study the large critter, he is surprised and falls backward when it leaps up at his face.

Somebody call the Orkin man!

He is disoriented until he finds his glasses that have fallen to the floor next to him, and when he puts them back on, he sees that the bug is climbing up the wall across the room. At this point, he looks to the bug, throws out some karate moves, and spits out "Alright man, let's go!" to signal that he's ready to throw down.

Bring it on!

The bug quickly flies off the wall, and Bruce treats us to a bit of the physical comedy he handles so well, albeit with a bit more restraint than he's typically delivered in other horror-comedies. He takes a few clumsy swipes at the bug as it flutters in his face and taunts him (even making little taunting sounds!) before finally catching it in his bedpan and trapping it against the wall. The bug makes no movement however once it's stuck in the bedpan, causing Elvis to doubt whether he's caught it, and it escapes again.


Eventually he ends up stabbing it with a fork and then shoving it into a space heater, setting it ablaze and shocking the hell out of himself in the process.

Good... bad... I'm the guy with the Alzheimer's.

This whole sequence wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable if the bug wasn't so obviously fake, but my favorite thing about the scene is the few brief shots of "bug vision" that we get during the beetle's flight. The whole thing is just wonderfully cheesy, as any movie with Bruce Campbell should be.


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a horrible night indeed! :o