The Watcher - Viva Mud Creek, Texas
All the usual Elvis Presley cliches are accounted for in the dark comedy/horror flick Bubba Ho-tep, including pork chop sideburns, sequined jumpsuits, and references to peanut butter and banana sandwiches. But in this goofy B-movie, Elvis reveals some new personality traits, like a raunchy sexuality and a cranky old man's angst.
The plot pushes the borders of absurdity when Elvis impersonator Sebastian Haff (Bruce Campbell) claims he is the real, albeit decrepit, Elvis, but it could be dementia talking. After all, his neighbor thinks he's JFK. Played by Ossie Davis (what's he doing in this movie?), the character believes his skin was dyed and that his brain was replaced by sand. Together these liver-spotted men battle an Egyptian mummy that feeds on the residents of their rest home in Mud Creek, Texas.
The story is pure silliness, but it offers poignant commentary on society's tendency to forget or patronize its senior citizens.
The collector's edition DVD (available May 25) features lots of behind-the-scenes bits to help explain the subtle complexities of the story, including how the characters were developed, how the old-school special effects were achieved and how difficult it was to sell a story with two elderly protagonists to a studio that markets to the youth culture.
The Bubba Ho-tep DVD also offers two quirky commentaries: In one, director Don Coscarelli is paired with Campbell, co-executive producer and star of Evil Dead, in a humorous discussion of the film. In the second, the King himself provides commentary. Yes, the "real" Elvis comments on the film as he views it for the first time. He critiques Campbell's impersonation of him, receives calls on his cell phone and otherwise acts like a regular person. You can even hear him munching popcorn as he watches the movie.