B movies are the glue stuck in between all the other genres, oftentimes refusing to conform to any particular genre presets. Some but not all of the hallmarks of a B movie include scripts that read like they were written by a room full of eighth-graders, poor visual effects, cringe-inducing dialogue, low budget production design, and zany plot contrivances. You’re aware of the hallmarks, right? B-movies often reek of amateur flair. Thought you were about to watch a great white shark hunted in dramatic fashion like only Steven Spielberg can deliver? Nope, this is Sharknado.
Why do we love B movies? I think B movies are comforting. You know what you’re about to watch is bad. If you’re fortunate it may be so bad that it’s good. You’ll often scratch your head trying to work out the plot. Out of the many good films you’ve seen, I bet you can talk with more vigor about the worst ones you’ve seen. They’re unforgettable. There’s something comforting about that I think. Besides they’ve been around just as long as the movie industry.
Believe it or not, chances are there’s a B movie for you. So I compiled a list of 50 B movies you must see before you die. No decade is off-limits. No rating is too taboo. For the next 49 weeks, I will introduce and recommend a B movie for your viewing pleasure. Yes, these are exciting times indeed my fanatical friends.
WEEK 36 – Bubba Ho Tep
Welcome back to another week of 50 B Movies. This week’s film is a very entertaining watch. It manages to be a heartwarming tale about the ails of growing old. It also shows there is some joy to be embraced as one grows old. In addition, it features the right amount of cheese. Not just that either. It happens to feature horror icon Bruce Campbell.
There is nothing better than a comfort watch. Know what I’m saying? The sort of show or movie you put on when you want to tune out a little bit and be swept up in characters and easy to follow story. Every now and then it is good to snuggle into the couch and plop a comfort watch on the tube. Now I know what films are considered comfort watches is debatable from person to person. That’s the great thing about movies. Especially B movies.
So, this Holiday season, give Bubba Ho Tep a watch. It stars Evil Dead’s Bruce Campbell as an elderly Elvis wasting away in a nursing home. How did the king of rock wind up in a nursing home? That I won’t spoil. But only because it’s much more enjoyable and charming to see it yourself. Besides the synopsis can explain it better.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newbie or a B movie veteran. This is one film accessible to anyone. There may be the occasional joke about the elderly, but it’s always done in a tasteful manner. Wait, there is this one scene when the black nurse, played by Ella Joyce. If you watched the 90’s sitcom Roc starring Alien 3’s Charles S. Dutton. Then you will recall Ella Joyce played Eleanor Emerson. Anyway, she’s applying some sort of cream to Elvis. She does it a few times in fact. It’s her job as a nurse.
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And while I am on the topic of African American actors. I would be remiss to not mention the late Ossie Davis plays a very comedic role in Bubba Ho Tep. He and Elvis are practically best friends. And Ossie Davis also plays former President John Kennedy. See, after the assassination Kennedy was whisked away to have his brain removed and replaced with a bag of sand. To be certain no one would believe Kennedy, the conspirators also dyed his skin black. He’s been in a nursing home ever since. Speaking to anyone that will hear his story.
Here’s the synopsis: After falling into a lengthy coma following a freak accident involving hip gyration, a now aged Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) wakes up in an East Texas nursing home, where he befriends Jack (Ossie Davis), an African-American senior who claims to be President John F. Kennedy. After residents of their quiet retirement community start dying of dubiously unnatural causes, Elvis and Jack discover that the perpetrator is Bubba Ho-Tep (Bob Ivy), an Egyptian mummy with murderous intentions.
So, this Holiday season do yourself a favor. Take a break from some of the more visually stimulating entertainment. At least for one and a half hours. And watch Bubba Ho Tep. You will not regret it.