MARTY RUSSELL: Hot afternoons are good for cool movies

By Marty Russell

It’s 103 degrees outside despite the fact that summer is still officially a couple of weeks away, and I already have the summertime equivalent of cabin fever.
Sure, the grass needs mowing, but with the heat and lack of rain, I’m counting on it to just wither and die. Better it than me. The truck needs a bath, but what’s the point? Without a garage to put it in, it’ll just get dirty again by tomorrow.
So I sit inside listening to the air conditioning run and the electricity meter spin trying to find ways to entertain myself, but with my wife at work all day it’s just me and the dogs and the cats, and the dogs are too dumb to learn how to play cards and the cats cheat. So I spend a lot of time catching up on reading and surfing the Internet, but sometimes reading gets old, and I’m afraid to stay online too long or someone might send me a Weiner picture.
As for that vast wasteland that is daytime television, don’t even get me started. I don’t know why we waste wattage either transmitting or receiving daytime television shows. Even Oprah’s gone now, and we’ll have to wait for Katie Couric’s new daytime talk show to hear more scintillating stories about philandering spouses and the morons who love them.
So I was kicking around the house the other day looking for something to do other than kick around the house and remembered my DVD collection. I don’t have a huge collection, unlike my nephew Derek who, despite having a new daughter, Wesley, has enough DVDs to open his own rental store. There aren’t many movies out there I care to see more than once or twice so why spend money on a DVD? In a couple of years some new format will come along anyway and require me to replace what I do have.
But the ones I do have are, shall we say, not your mainstream movies. They’re mostly oddities and cult favorites that never made it big but definitely don’t follow the usual Hollywood formula for storytelling, which is why I like them. So after perusing my collection the other day may I recommend as a good way to kill a couple of hours on a hot, summer afternoon while laughing your backside off with no one around to see you, a 2003 release with a north Mississippi connection, “Bubba Ho-Tep.”
This gem stars Bruce Campbell as an aging Elvis Presley who awakens from a coma in a Texas nursing home. The great Ossie Davis plays another resident of the nursing home who believes he is John F. Kennedy despite the fact that he’s black. “They painted me this color,” JFK explains. Together, Elvis and JFK do battle with an Egyptian mummy (yes, in Texas) who is doing in the residents of the nursing home.
Need I say more? Enjoy.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by email at

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