Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Bubba Ho-Tep (2003)

It's probably just a matter of right-place-right-time, but this silly, wistful thing was just the thing to chase down the oppressiveness of Free Radicals. Not much of a horror film, as so many people have pointed out, but then neither was 28 Days Later in my mind; what works here is the character moments, the downtime between mummy attacks. This may be the first horror flick I've seen that's set among the elderly, making death not so much an aberration as a fact of life. The problem here is not so much dying -- all the characters know that they're not long for this world -- as it is a matter of the afterlife, with the mummy serving as kind of an ultimate Hell, swallowing souls and casting them off into nothingness. (Strange to think that this cheeseball B-flick would share some common ground with Kiyoshi Kurosawa's meditative Pulse.) So there's that, but it's also just a rip-snorting good time for low-budget film fans. Worth seeing just for Bruce Campbell's career-best performance -- he invests the decrepit King with a surprising amount of pathos (not to mention piss 'n' vinegar). Maybe I'm overrating this, but then I gave House of 1000 Corpses the same grade so maybe I just have bad taste. At any rate, I liked it a lot.

Grade: B+


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