A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion?
Based on the Bram Stoker Award nominee short story by cult author Joe R. Lansdale, Bubba Ho-tep tells the "true" story of what really did become of Elvis Presley. We find Elvis (Bruce Campbell) as an elderly resident in an East Texas rest home, who switched identities with an Elvis impersonator years before his "death", then missed his chance to switch back. Elvis teams up with Jack (Ossie Davis), a fellow nursing home resident who thinks that he is actually President John F. Kennedy, and the two valiant old codgers sally forth to battle an evil Egyptian entity who has chosen their long-term care facility as his happy hunting grounds. Written by
Who would have thought it? Don Coscarelli, the man who wrote and directed Phantasm a long, long time ago comes back out of nowhere, after spending his entire career in the dregs, with something like this. A film that is more an exploration of regret, fading dignity and growing old than it is about a soul-sucking mummy.
Very old Elvis is brilliantly played by Bruce Campbell. The voice, the hair, the mannerisms are all perfect. He's stuck in Mud Creek rest home where the cynical staff believe he's really called Sebastian Haff, the man Elvis traded places with back in the 70s. And when Haff died, so did the Elvis the public loved. This only left the REAL Elvis free to live his life in peace and eventually indignity.
He pals up with a man who believes he's JFK, only problem is he's black. Though it's more likely he's senile rather than a truth-teller like the so-called Sebastian Haff. Both men have one concern, to stop some kind of Bubba Ho-Tep mummy from taking the souls of all the rest home residents.
Yes, it's insane. But also wildly imaginative and more than balances out the endless, heartless, conveyor belt Hollywood productions. Elements of the story will stay with you and the character development is graceful and important.
The finishing touch is Brian Tyler's awesome score. The main theme is one of the best ever and will flood you will feeling and emotion. Not only is Bubba Ho-Tep blessed with a cast and crew who care about the film their making, it also has wonderful music too. I am lucky enough to have the rare score CD (autographed by Coscarelli and Tyler). Hunt it down, it's seriously worth it.
Keep a lookout for Reggie Bannister as the rest home manager. And watch all the way to the end of the credits for a weird message...
ELVIS RETURNS IN 'BUBBA NOSFERATU: CURSE OF THE SHE VAMPIRES'
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