Greetings again from the darkness. It’s been more than a decade since writer/director Don Coscarelli added quirky humor to his toy box with the wonderful Bubba Ho-Tep. Previously Coscarelli was known for his classic horror franchise that started in 1979 with Phantasm (and three sequels). Coscarelli has a real knack for oddball humor and along with the source material from David Wong’s book, he delivers a comical, cross-dimension, alternative universe, “alien”-fighting, time travel buddy film that draws recollections to Men in Black 3, Big Trouble in Little China, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Coscarelli has had his opportunities to join “big budget” Hollywood, but has always chosen to remain true to his roots in horror/fantasy for his loyal followers, resulting in many cult films and midnight movie favorites. In this newest story, Dave (Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes) are slacker buddies who end up feeling the effects of a new street drug called soy sauce. The story is told in semi-flashback form as Dave meets with a reporter played by the great Paul Giamatti. As Dave tells the story, we get the visuals as if they were currently happening. This works because it’s never really clear when we are in the present, past or future.
This is one big fun and entertaining ride if you let it be. Terrific characters are provided by Clancy Brown (Shawshank Redemption) as Marconi, some type of powerful mystic (or something else); Glynn Turman as a relentless, yet beaten down detective; Doug Jones (Pan’s Labrynth) in yet another creepy role; and Fabianne Therese as Amy, whose missing limb plays a vital role.
Further analysis would prove meaningless as the sole purpose of this film is to entertain and engage. It’s escapism at its finest and yet another creative gem from Don Cascarelli.
**NOTE: cult favorite Angus Scrimm does make an appearance as a “Priest”
**NOTE: special thanks to Paul Giamatti who not only appears in the film, but also produced. Gotta love when a major star keeps the “little” films alive.
SEE THIS MOVIE IF: you are a fan of Bubba Ho-Tep OR you are open to quirky, alt-universe fantasies
SKIP THIS MOVIE IF: the “Men in Black” movies are as far out as your imagination prefers to venture
watch the trailer: