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GamelogoBy Australian Ninja

Remnants & Relics. Buttonhole *Special* Feature

Welcome dear reader to Remnants & Relics, the first in an ongoing series of features looking back at various aspects of yesterday's video games. This series is one that I'd hoped to kick off many months ago, but I just haven't had the time to do it justice, until now. So consider this your opportunity to put on your best pair or rose-tinted glasses, open up a luke-warm can of clichés and prepare to hop aboard the way-back-machine.... It came from beyond two dimensions! -A Look Back at Isometric Gaming-

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

ACMI Day Tripper

Welcome Buttonhole readers to another feature that is so choc-full of goodness that I've divided it into several sections. The top half is about the Indy video games showcased at ACMI. The bottom half is about the Pixar exhibit. It's ridiculously long and all terribly interesting to read, so you may as well read it in two halves, or just the parts that interest you. After reading about the ACMI exhibits on their website and getting more than a little excited, I decided to make the perilous trek to inner Melbourne. With time on my side and money stuffed in my pocket I ventured forth to the train station. Once on board I passed the time by staring out the window, reading a volume of Dark Horse's Concrete and snacking on tasty fruit. Arriving at Flinders St, I wandered around until inevitably finding my way out of the rat-maze like station.

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Classic Comic-book Review. Kraven's Last Hunt

"Here lies Spider-Man - Slain by the Hunter" So reads the grave of one of histories greatest superheros. "But he's not dead, is he? What happened to everyone's favourite web-slinger? Spidey seems to be alive and well now, what with his three movie deal and a string of monthly Marvel comic-book titles to his name, so why was he buried six feet under? The year is 1987. The company is Marvel. The character is Sergei Kravinov also known as 'Kraven the Hunter.' Back in the 60's Stan and Steve (Lee and Ditko, respectively) churned out a heap of cool villains for the title "Amazing Spider-Man." Doctor Octopus, The Cham

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Bubba Ho-Tep DVD Cover Bubba Ho-Tep. DVD Review

Don't F*#ck with The King!

Fri, 22 July 2005

Sammy by: Hillelman

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Long live the King, baby. According to this movie, which is a true story (okay, it is not true at all, but just play along - it is funnier that way), Elvis Presley is alive; though he's kind of unsure as to whether or not that's a good thing. Early in the picture, he looks at himself in a mirror and asks "How could I have gone from the king of rock 'n' roll to this? An old guy in a rest home in East Texas with a growth on his pecker."

So, Elvis is alive and he lives in a rest home in East Texas. How did he get there? Isn't it obvious? He switched places with an impersonator by the name of Sebastian Haff some years ago, because he was tired of his fame and the pressures of being the king of rock n roll. Due to various circumstances (which would take me too long to explain, so you'll just have watch the movie for the details) Elvis never got to switch back and lost all evidence that the change ever took place.

His hip (Elvis the pelvis) went out and he wound up in the home, where he has to get around with the aid of walking frame and has a troublesome growth on his penis. Everyone assumes he really is Haff and nobody believes him when he tells them that he's actually Presley. You know how it is... the same old stuff that happens to us all.

Also in the home is an old black guy named Jack, who claims that he's really President John F. Kennedy. Elvis and Jack's friendship builds and they soon have to work together in order to destroy an Egyptian Mummy (which Elvis dubs "Bubba Ho-Tep", giving the film its title). The entity is using the nursing home to prey on the residents and sucking their souls out through their anuses to keep itself in existence. Once again, it is just the regular kind of deal most of us are familiar with.

Bubba Ho-Tep DVD screenshot 1
Things are about to get all shook up
As you could probably deduce from that plot synopsis, Bubba Ho-Tep is a strange movie. But when you watch it, somehow everything just works and the story is easy to follow. No matter how bizarre things get, you never feel detached from the characters of Elvis (played by Bruce Campbell, in a truly great performance) and Jack/JFK (Ossie Davis, likewise).

They always seem totally genuine and, somehow, remain believable. You find yourself not only laughing constantly at the hysterical dialogue that comes out of their mouths (and the excellent way they deliver it), but genuinely caring about, and feeling some affection for, them both.

It is an exceptionally and intentionally ludicrous tale, but it isn't all just cheap laughs, or strangeness just for the sake of it. There's real emotion and plenty of depth to the themes explored. Particularly interesting (and prominent) is the story's take on aging, which is something every single person has probably thought about. And if you have never given growing old any will.

Bubba Ho-Tep was written by Don Corscarelli, who adapted the screenplay from a short story by John R. Lansdale (whose writing credits include work on Batman the Animated Series). The writing is of an excellent standard, very sharp and witty throughout.

Don Corscarelli also directed it and he did a fine job of that too, especially with such a low budget. He's not a really known director thus far, having done mainly rather low key B-grade type fair such as The Beastmaster. Really, if you looked at most of his previous projects, you probably wouldn't expect too much from the guy. But now that he's made Bubba Ho-Tep I will be keen to see what else he has in store. Actually, one thing he does have in the works is an announced prequel to Ho-Tep, to be titled Bubba Nosferatu, which already sounds quite promising.

Due to the lack of moolah, there are no actual Elvis songs in this movie, but the original score provided by Brian Tyler works perfectly well any way. It suits the peculiarity of the setting and still manages to have a bit of an Elvis style vibe to it.

Bubba Ho-Tep DVD screenshot 2
This is what happens if you hold a fart in too long.
I don’t think the Bubba Ho-Tep DVD is yet available for purchase in Australia. I could be wrong about that, but I checked a few of the bigger online stores and none of them had it.

The version used for this review was/is the rental one. Being a rental copy, there are not many extras included. There are a heap of extras on the US retail version, so hopefully we'll eventually get the same. However, this one does have two commentary tracks- one by Cosarelli and Campbell and the other by "The King" (which is Campbell doing the whole track, in character, as Elvis). They are both well worth listening to and highly entertaining.

When (if?) Bubba Ho-Tep does reach the retail shelves I say it is worth buying. It is pretty cool to watch multiple times and notice all the little details they put into it, not to mention that it is very funny and can put you in a good mood, with all of its wonderful silliness. In the meantime, the video stores have the sucker ready to be rented, so go ahead and check it out. It is fresh, fun and chock full of Bubba goodness.

by: Hillelman

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More articles by Hillelman

An unusual movie. Also an unusually good movie.

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More DVD Movies

Press Release. National Treasure 2 Coming soon to DVD
Comic Book The Movie. DVD Review
Laugh out Loud. DVD Review
Farewell to Heath Ledger

How would you like to acquire your DVD movies?
Local video store
Online store (rental)
Local CD/DVD retailer
Streamed via the net

ToonlogoBy Borgieman

Manifest '07 Report

Ninja's note: Once again, it's time for another Buttonhole report on the Melbourne Anime Festival, otherwise known as Manifest 2007. If you missed Ichibod's feature on a previous Manifest, check it out here. This Manifest coverage comes to you courtesy of forum regular and newest Buttonhole contributor Borgieman, a cool guy who knows his Anime and has been known to play a video game or two. So read on true believers! A Day at Manifest 2007

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Only Yesterday. Anime Review

The problem with having favourite films is that every time I watch another Studio Ghibli film it becomes my new favourite. It kind of renders the word 'favourite' meaningless when every Studio Ghibli film takes my breath away. Still, I can't complain about being thoroughly entertained by this whimsical and insightful film, "Only Yesterday". This gem was directed by Isao Takahata, well known for his anime film Grave of the Fireflies. Although Only Yesterday is a light hearted film that ambles along at a leisurely pace, it still manages to explore themes such as love, work, family relationship struggles, following your dreams and country versus city living. In the film, the main character Taeko decides to take a working vacation in the country, getting away from her office bound job and unexpectedly starts t

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ToonlogoBy Jason

Speed Grapher V1. Anime Review

Well, "I don't like it" was my initial feeling when viewing this Anime for the first time. Subsequent viewings haven't changed my views a great deal. Nothing really stands out as being absolute shit but it seems that this series tries too hard. It's almost like they were more interested in creating something 'edgy' and confronting but sadly forgot to include an even remotely palatable story. The hero of this particular piece is a bloke called Tatsumi Saiga. Tatsumi is a photographer and a veteran war journalist for whom taking photos has become somewhat of a fetish. Although he seems to have become jaded - nothing is worth wasting his film on - that is, at least until he stumbles across an exclusive club for the mega rich

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