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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
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 »
The Texas license plate number, AZN-700, of the black Cadillac sedan used by the Memphis Mafia is the same as the red Cadillac convertible driven by Elvis himself. See more »
[Elvis begins reading an incantation against an unconscious Bubba Ho-Tep from JFK's "Book of Souls"]
"You nasty thing from beyond the dead, no matter what you think or do, good things will never come to you. And if evil is your black design, you can bet the goodness of the Light Ones... "
[begins to slow the recitation from disbelief]
"... will kick your bad behind"?
[muttering to himself]
[to the heavens]
That's it? That's the chant against evil from the "Book of Souls"? Oh yeah, ...
[...] See more »
The film thanks "The staff and residents of the Mud Creek Shady Rest Convalescent Home. Mud Creek, Texas", when in fact no such home exists. See more »
"Bubba Ho-tep" is a low budget movie that went for the B-movie feel on purpose, accomplishing its goal of being a "fine" piece of pop culture weirdness. The story is set in a current-day East Texas rest home and focuses on two residents who believe they are Elvis and JFK--the JFK character just happens to be black, and the rest home also houses a few other crazies, including the Lone Ranger. Elvis and JFK soon learn that an Egyptian mummy--who was stolen from his traveling museum exhibition--has come to life in their neighborhood and is killing the rest home residents by sucking their life force out their backsides (you can harvest a soul through "any major orifice," you know). Eventually, our decrepit heroes realize that only they can meet the mummy in a showdown.
The film is really a clever piece of pop culture mythology, working up hilarious back stories for JFK (Ossie Davis who is recognizable from, at the very least, several Spike Lee films) and Elvis (Bruce Campbell of the "Evil Dead" movies). Campbell's performance is particularly excellent, Don Coscarelli's as director did a perfect job finding the right mood and balance of humor for the film, and the leisurely plot--from Joe Lansdale's original novella--is totally engaging and a cinephile's dream.
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