Archive for Bruce Campbell

BUBBA HO-TEP, Don Coscarelli (2002)

Posted in Just Fun with tags , , , on February 7, 2011 by Toi Brownstone

Bubba Ho-Tep is one of these films that you cannot qualify as good, but has something charming and attractive appealing enough to have the need to watch from time to time.

Although its length is not very extent, about 80 minutes approximately, rhythm changes so dramatically you might end up bored, I’ve even fallen asleep myself several times.

I can understand while you’re reading these lines, you’re wondering WTF? Let me explain you the greatness of this story in just two words: Bruce Campbell. Fair enough, don’t you think?

In a quiet retirement home in a remote town in Texas Elvis is still alive. Yeah! But he’s old and life hasn’t treated him as the king of rock n’ roll would deserve. Alone, with no glory nor money, he spends his last days bored, most of time sleeping and with cancer in his pecker.

Fate had to do with his current situation. After getting divorced from Priscilla, sick of drugs and pills, he plans to exchange lives with his best impersonator, Sebastian Haff, for some time, just to have a break  and  enjoy a normal life, without his entourage sucking him dry,, away from Colonel Parker’s dictatorial management, and with no constant pressure. He would impersonate Haff, impersonating Elvis. Unfortunately, due to a barbeque accident, the contract signed with Haff is ruined, and Elvis was never able to recover his identity nor his former life. We all know the story of Haff’s.  To add more drama, during one of his performances, Elvis falls from the stage, breaking his hip and spending long time in coma.

And here he is, surrounded by death, dreaming about the good old days, and waiting for his own death to arrive. Lately the rate of them has increased in the retiring house, but this is not casual, and this is something Elvis and his blackened friend John F.  Kennedy discover: an  ancient Egyptian deity  is trying to recover life by sucking souls from other human beings, by the ass!

Let’s say the 45 first minutes of this film are awesome and delightful to the max, these basically cover the introduction of Elvis and his personal circumstances and the attack from a big bitch cockroach he’s got to face, and the way he recovers interest for life. Of course you want to know what happens, but as mentioned earlier, once the film focuses on what’s going on and how to sort the story out, it loses all the attractive and turns the movie into one more in millions.

Bruce Campbell in his role of Elvis is absolutely brilliant. I think I’ve already said I’m a diehard fan of Elvis, thus anything related to him interests me, on the other hand, I’ve always felt sympathetic to Bruce Campbell, I cannot consider him a great actor, but since I watched Evil Dead for the first time I’ve always liked the guy. Therefore, this combination Campbell-Elvis is, to say the least, curious and genuine. The truth is that Campbell plays the old Elvis convincing us that if he was alive, he’d be exactly like that: with his sideburns, his rings and, yeah! His legendary sunglasses for long distance glance.

The definite device for catching you in the story is, no doubt, Elvis-Campbell’s first person narration, in fact, the story goes flat once the film highlights the part of Ho-Tep. Script definitely was written by an Elvis maniac, easily recognizable by those sentences and expressions in the purest Elvis’ style. For the first time in this blog, I fill compelled to quote some of them I feel totally enthusiastic for:

THE WOMAN I LOVED, PRISCILLA, SHE WAS GONE

EVEN A BIG BITCH COCKROACH LIKE YOU SHOULD NOW, NEVER…BUT NEVER FUCK WITH THE KING

BIG DAMN BUGS, ALRIGHT? THE SIZE OF MY FIST. LIKE A PEANUT BUTTER BANANA SANDWICH!

IS THERE  FINALLY AND REALLY ANYTHING TO LIFE OTHER THAN FOOD, SHIT AND SEX?

HOT DAMN!

Once this said, apart from the presence of Elvis in this movie, rest hasn’t much value and is not relevant enough to comment, maybe Kemosabe shooting his toy guns while screaming “Asshole! Asshole!”

If you are a fan of either Elvis or Bruce Campbell you will appreciate many details and will enjoy the story for sure.

EVIL DEAD, Sam Raimi 1981

Posted in Horror with tags , , on February 16, 2009 by Toi Brownstone

evildeadultimate

 

And now, ladies and gentlemen another horror must see classic able to combine blood, demons and fun and whose success started a saga, Evil Dead. 

Remembering recent high profile titles directed by Sam Raimi such a Spider-Man, The Grudge or 30 Days of Night, seems somehow unbelievable this guy was responsible for creating a complete inspiring movie, a reference for many future films, with low budget and counting on his flatmate Bruce Campbell as the main character, Ash.

Five friends are about to spend the weekend in a cheap rented cabin in the middle of the woods almost isolated except for an old bridge in very bad conditions. When they arrive the common feeling is that the place is a dump and something strange surrounds the area but still they’re willing to enjoy nice time there. Nevertheless strange things start happening after nightfall only noticed by Cheryl.

When listening to weird noises downstairs Scott decides to check out the cellar, followed by scared Ash and eventually they find a tape recorder, a strange and sinister book with unidentifiable characters and awful pictures and a shotgun with ammo. 

The Book of the Dead

The Book of the Dead

 

Once the group are accomodated by the hearth, Scott plays the tape recorder, owned by the former landlord of the cabin, in which the book is said to be the Book of Dead, covers made by human flesh and written with human blood. Apparently the professor had retired with his wife to the cabin in order to dedicate his investigations full time to the translation of the book. Cheryl, scared to death, asks Scott to shut the recorder down, but he insists on listening to a kind of spell which awakes the demons starting a downward spiral of blood, evil possesion and death nobody is allowed to scape from.

Cliché after cliché are to be found in this movie, gore, shocking and scary moments and those lovely subjective takes which help to create such enchanted atmosphere, beside the fog, the woods (Cheryl tied up by the roots and branches, attacked and “raped” by the woods is amazing), voices beyond the grave…and yet Bruce Campbell scared to death and paralysed, worried about his fiancee’s pendant, absurd enough to make you laugh…

 

Bruce Surviving

Bruce Surviving

 

When watching this movie, and many others, you realize innocence has flown away, horror in the 70’s-80’s is essential for all the fans of the genre no matter poor special effects, very low budgets and simple plots. You can become inmune to the effect they pretended to cause, still atmospheres created nowadays have nothing to do with classic movies, aesthetics are more important and remakes are the easiest sources to appeal to because unfortunately in this decade lack of creativity prevails.

Again, I’ve just read a remake is rumoured to be written and filmed by very same Sam Raimi…is it necessary? Mr. Raimi, haven’t you earned enough money with Evil Dead saga as to plan the remake yourself instead of squeezing you brains and create something else? Such things make me angry!