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Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

R  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery  |  10 October 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 37,766 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 364 user | 259 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Elvis and JFK, both alive and in nursing homes, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy.



(short story), (screenplay)
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7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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This prequel to Bubba Ho-Tep finds Elvis shooting a film in Louisiana when he runs afoul of a coven of she-vampires.



Cast overview, first billed only:
The Nurse
Bob Ivy ...
Edith Jefferson ...
Elderly Woman
Rest Home Administrator
Hearse Driver
Hearse Driver
Harrison Young ...
Elvis' Roommate
Linda Flammer ...
Room Nurse
Attending Nurse
Solange Morand ...
Iron Lung Lady
Karen Placencia ...


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 Eric Shovanda

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You know the legends... Now learn the truth. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

10 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bubba Ho-tep  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The filmmakers managed to round up about 100 extras for the Elvis concert scene, but as the filming dragged on, the extras steadily departed. By the end of filming, there were only a dozen or so extras left, which pretty much dictated which camera angles could still work. See more »


Elvis is unable to prove his identity after being subjected for years, on a routine basis, to invasive medical examinations which would have revealed, even inadvertently, telltale identifying clues in blood, DNA, fingerprints, and other factors. (This assumes that he really is Elvis, which the film strongly implies is indeed the case.) See more »


Elvis: You could've come and seen him. They don't charge you for that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

While Bob Ivy is credited "as Bubba Ho-Tep", the character Bubba Ho-Tep is given his own starring credit. See more »


Referenced in Christmas Cruelty! (2013) See more »


Let's Go, Man
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User Reviews

Fabulously original film
11 August 2002 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to see this film at a horror and fantasy convention. Since it is not yet in distribution I jumped at the chance. Just to set the record straight, I didn't go into this film with normal expectations. The god that is known as Bruce Campbell stars in this film, and let's just say that any morsel of Bruce Campbell goodness I can get is going to make me absolutely love a movie.

The basic premise of this film is that Elvis Presley is alive and not too well. He lives in an East Texas nursing home. It seems that years before Elvis tired of his fame and switched places with an Elvis impersonator. The Elvis we see in this picture is a 68 year old man with a penchant for rings and large, jewel studded sunglasses. Whenever he claims to be Elvis, everyone just laughs at this crazy old Elvis impersonator obviously going senile in his old age. Elvis discovers that there's a mummy inhabiting his nursing home who is sucking the souls out of the residents through a rather disturbing bodily orifice. So Elvis teams up with an old African American man (Ossie Davis) claiming to be John Kennedy (his explanation for what happened to him has to be heard to be believed, and is one of the funnier jokes in the movie) to stop the mummy and save the souls of the residents of the nursing home.

As crazy and silly as this setup sounds, the film actually achieves depths that most "serious" movies can't even begin to touch. The film deals with what it's like to be an elderly person in this country when nobody cares about you. Elvis and Kennedy are both regretful about not being there for their children when they needed them. And a last chance for glory and leaving this world honorably is a recurring theme throughout the film (see Kemo Sabe's showdown with the mummy). All of these themes are handled with a deft hand, never hammering the point home, but intended to be taken seriously.

Ossie Davis gives a terrific comedic performance as "Jack" Kennedy. He delivers some rather eyebrow raising exposition with such a light touch, the audience is forced to except his explanation as fact and move on.

And then of course, Bruce Campbell. Campbell plays Elvis as we've never seen him, a 68 year old man with a bad hip and a cancerous growth in a very uncomfortable place. Anyone who has seen any of Campbell's performances knows he can play the hero or the buffoon with equal skill. But here, he pushes the bounds of his talent like never before. Perhaps the highest praise I can give his performance is that 10 minutes into the film, I forgot it was him, and truly believed it was Elvis on the screen.

The film was written for the screen and directed by Don Coscarelli. Coscarelli has been in something of a rut since his breakthrough hit with "Phantasm" over 20 years earlier. This is truly his best film since that horror classic, it may even be better.

The film was based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale, the gifted writer. Lansdale routinely puts different genres in a blender together and comes out with something better than a genre outing. This film played just like one of his novels: Horror, comedy, fantasy, and a little bit of western.

Bruce Campbell was on hand for the screening I saw and made some comments before the film. He said that he did the film because it was so weird and that we need more films that aren't in the cookie cutter format. I couldn't agree more and I can't recommend this film highly enough. It breaks all molds and expectations. Seek it out when it finds a distributor, you won't be disappointed.

106 of 125 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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If you loved Bubba Ho-Tep, then what other movies did you like? geert-j-vankempen
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Overrated!!! n-dog
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What a Bore HOLA HOLA mikearima
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