Although Elvis is the main character, not one piece of Elvis Presley music is heard in the film. Director Don Coscarelli explained that it would have cost about half the budget to license even one Elvis song for the movie.
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.
Only 32 prints of the film were originally made as part of a limited platform release. The Soul of Southern Film Festival, in Memphis, Tennessee, paid for a thirty-third print, so that they wouldn't have to wait any longer to show the film. Several other festivals and theaters paid advances in order to secure prints.
Most of the movie was shot at an abandoned veterans' hospital outside of Los Angeles. Even the trailer park explosion was done there. They used three hallways of one of the buildings for the interior of the rest home.
When Elvis turns on the TV and sees a movie marathon of himself, none of the clips are from Elvis Presley movies. Because the licensing costs would have been too high, the film used stock footage of actors with the same basic body type as Elvis and never showed their faces.
Due to all the cameras, lights, and equipment virtually trapping him in his bed, at one point Bruce Campbell was forced to actually answer nature's call by using the same bedpan his character used to capture the giant scarab beetle.
Don Coscarelli originally wanted a dual narration, with part of the story being narrated by an omniscient third person, not just an Elvis narration. He had recorded another voice narrating the action as it came from the short story it was based upon, but this was abandoned after his friends told him it was terrible. Some of this narration can be heard on the DVD's deleted scenes.
The book "The Everyday Man or Woman's Book of the Soul" shown in the film is opened to Chapter Seven - The Soul Sucker... The text of this chapter, readable on three pages, is lifted from the beginning of H. P. Lovecraft's 1927 work "Supernatural Horror in Literature".
Harrison Young plays Elvis' roommate, a veteran of WWII with a Purple Heart. Harrison portrays another WWII Veteran in Saving Private Ryan (1998) as the old man in the frame story. Of course, his character in Saving Private Ryan was not wounded, but as Elvis' roommate he must have been as the Purple Heart Award would suggest.
Don Coscarelli: [closing line] The closing line of the credits, "...criminal prosecution and the wrath of Bubba Ho-tep," is a variant of "...and the wrath of the Tall Man" from the Phantasm (1979) films.