Saturday, February 28th, 2004
Elvis Is Everywhere, Elvis Is Everything, Elvis Is Everybody, Elvis Is Still The King
A great to-do at the Toronto premiere of Bubba Ho-Tep last night. I showed up three hours early to get tickets, and it’s a good thing because twenty minutes before showtime there was a line down the block of people hoping to get in. Besides the packed house, the Royal rolled out raffles, a Hawaiian Elvis impersonator, a 6-year old Elvis impersonator who brought down the house with his karaoke “Suspicious Minds” and an ultra-cool opening set by Atomic 7. A movie with an opening band! How can you not love it?
The film itself had quite a task to live up to both the anticipation of the crowd and the promise of its high-minded concept, and I don’t think it disappointed. It would have been all too easy for the producers to think that the very plot of a geriatric Elvis and John F Kennedy battling a soul-sucking mummy in an East Texas nursing home would be enough to bring them in in droves and to skimp on the finished product. Thankfully, this is a b-movie of the highest calibre. King of Kings Bruce Campbell is excellent as the King of Rock’N’Roll who walked away from fame and fortune to trade places with an Elvis impersonator and Ossie Davis is a fine foil as a President Kennedy convinced that Lyndon B Johnson had him shot, replaced his brain with a bag of sand and dyed his skin black. The plotline is pretty standard comedy/horror fare, but the jokes are clever enough and the expertise and deadpan humour of the cast keeps it a damned entertaining 90 minutes. Bruce Campbell for president.
Exclaim! has a nice long chat with Sarah Harmer about Weeping Tile, life as a solo artist and All Of Our Names. She even graces the cover. Yes, that was just a gratuitous excuse to link a picture of Ms Harmer. What of it? Couple more related links – Silver Road is a fine fan site and www.sarahharmer.net is a minisite erected by her American label.
First it was Batman: Intimidation Game, then just Batman: Intimidation. The new (final?) title for the Christian Bale vs Ken Watanabe film is Batman Begins. Mmm, doesn’t do so much for me but it’ll suffice.
Exclaim! also runs a piece on Dave Sim and Cerebus to commemorate his twenty-five year run on the longest-running independent comic ever, and the final issue 300 due out next month. Under normal circumstances, this would be something to celebrate as it’s a hell of an achievement for someone from my hometown. I certainly thought it would be eleven years ago when I started reading Cerebus. Unfortunately, not long after that, Dave Sim apparently went quite, quite mad. Not only did he become a mysgoginist of the highest order, he used the comic as a soapbox to work out his frustrations against women. While this is odious enough, he also gave up on sort of real narrative in the book. He abandoned the story and everyone’s favorite barbarian aardvark became our guide through Sim’s personal hell – Not a fun trip and certainly not worth the price of admission every month. It’s a damn shame, too, because I loved the character and the earlier storylines of “High Society” and “Church & State” were simply genius works of comedy and satire. It’s unfortunate that Sim had to unravel to thoroughly and spectacularly in public. So, on the occasion of the end of Cerebus, I say to Dave Sim – “Congratulations… and get some help”.
np – Neko Case / Blacklisted