BUBBA HO-TEP ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Some of you think that Elvis Presley died in August 1977. That’s what they want you to think. The truth is that Elvis switched his identity with an impersonator to go back to the simple life, and after an accident, he wound up in an East Texas nursing home. This is not me going insane. This is the plot of the 2004 horror comedy Bubba Hotep. Based on a story by Nacogdoches native Joe R. Lansdale, the film follows Elvis (Evil Dead’s Bruce Campbell), or as they all know him, Sebastian Haff. He is in the middle of an existential crisis when his fellow residents begin to face a very real crisis, a lethal one: a lost mummy has found its way into the nursing home and begins “sucking out the souls” of the patients. In order for the forces of evil to be stopped, Elvis teams up with fellow resident President John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis) to save the day.
COLD IN JULY ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Speaking of Joe Lansdale, not only is he a master of the absurd, but he’s very adept at suspense. Case in point, the 2014 neo-noir Cold In July. The story, based just in “East Texas,” follows Dane (Michael C. Hall), a family man whose world is shaken when he is forced to kill a burglar to protect his family. Haunted by his actions, things are made worse when he finds out that the man he killed was the felonious son of Russel (Sam Shepard), a recently paroled convict. After Russel begins slowly tormenting Dane, he is inevitably caught by the police trying to flee to Mexico. Where the happy ending should be is just the beginning of a mystery that forces Dane and Russel to work together, along with private detective Jim Bob, played to perfection by Don Johnson.
GRIMDARK MAGAZINE’s Chris Haught reviews Hansi Oppenheimer’s Lansdale documentary All the Hail the Popcorn King.
I found myself drawn in to All Hail the Popcorn King right away, as the music set the tone within seconds of hitting “play”. From the start, we become immersed in Lansdale’s hometown in East Texas, and the documentary keeps that feeling throughout. I found it engaging as it was comfortable, giving me the feeling that his stories are derived from the place that a “regular guy” would come from. It gives the viewer a taste of what it would be like to actually read one of Lansdale’s books, and made me want to rush out and start collecting them.
This makes for a five-star rating for the documentary itself, with great potential for lots of stars in the near future after picking up several Lansdale novels and collections. I know that I will certainly be adding more Lansdale to my to-read pile after watching All Hail the Popcorn King, and I might even try to find some greasy popcorn to eat while reading.