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The King certainly gets the royal treatment on MGM Home Entertainment's feature-packed DVD release of Phantasm director Don Coscarelli's quirky cult hit Bubba Ho-Tep. Lovingly detailing every aspect of production from Coscarelli's initial introduction to author Joe Lansdale's endearingly quirky short story to each jewel on Elvis' (Bruce Campbell) authentic wardrobe, this disc is a must-have for fans of the highly original, genre-splitting feature. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is clean and sharp, offering accurate skin tones and an effective color balance that draws out every drab brown and pea-green nuance of the decrepit nursing home in which our heroes abide. Audio is offered in closed-captioned English Dolby Digital 5.1 with optional English, Spanish, and French subtitles. It's obvious that the filmmakers took great care in crafting a soundtrack that is rich in atmosphere -- in terms of both music and foley effect -- and this disc is a fantastic showcase for a film with such a lovingly detailed audio scheme. From the shuffling of the ominous scarab beetle to the unearthly sounds of Bubba himself (not to mention Brian Tyler's pitch-perfect score), this is a great disc to fire up the home theater for. As with the attention given to the presentation of the feature itself, MGM has gone above and beyond the call of duty in offering some truly alluring extra features. From the attention-getting slipcase packaging to the informative ten-page booklet featuring production art and photos, conceptual drawings, and a brief essay by star Campbell, it's obvious just picking the disc up that great care was put into its production. Extra features in the disc begin with a relaxed audio commentary track with Coscarelli and Campbell. Aside from sharing the kind of friendly rapport that immediately warms the viewer to the duo, both offer warm memories of the production, entertaining with amusing anecdotes while offering great insight into how such an unconventional film was made on such a limited budget. An Elvis commentary track (featuring Campbell in character as his onscreen alter ego) shows that a lot has changed in the world of cinema since the days of Clambake, and proves a special treat for fans of the good-humored Evil Dead star. The making-of featurette explores the film from Coscarelli's initial exposure to Lansdale's bizarre story to the director's final day of shooting in his own backyard, with interviews and stunt footage offering great insight into the production. "To Make a Mummy" offers a great look at how KNB made great use of such a limited budget, while "Fit for a King" offers an interview with costumer Butch Polston (whose B&K Enterprises holds original patterns for all of Elvis' jumpsuits), and "Rock Like an Egyptian" finds the director interviewing songwriter Tyler about the process of scoring a film. It's also fun to see Tyler turn the tables on Coscarelli on the subject of film music, with the director's response offering an honest and insightful answer concerning the remarkable impact of music on a film. A large stills gallery offers everything from makeup application photos to candid behind-the-scenes shots, with a theatrical trailer and television spot rounding out this fantastic package.
Audio commentary by director Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell
Audio commentary by "The King"
Joe R. Lansdale reads from Bubba Ho-tep
Deleted scenes with optional commentary by Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell
'The Making of Bubba Ho-tep" featurette
"To Make a Mummy" (makeup and effects featurette)
"Fit for a King" (Elvis costuming featurette)
"Rock Like an Egyptian" (featurette about the music of Bubba Ho-tep)