Bubba ho-tep Review and Opinion


Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
Director: Don Coscarelli

review by Eric Turowski

Elvis meets the mummy? How did I never hear of this film? Bruce Campbell stars as Elvis Presley, who had long ago traded places with an Elvis impersonator (who subsequently died), Sebastian Haff. Now, due to a tragic barbeque accident and an ironic pelvis fracture infection that sent Presley into a coma, Elvis now resides at a convalescent home in East Texas.
   After getting attacked by huge scarabs, Elvis teams up with ex-president John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis), who has been dyed black by a secret government agency to better hide the fact that he still lives. The part of Kennedy's brain that was lost in Dallas due to the assassination attempt, Kennedy says, has been replaced with sand. The former king and president discover that an Egyptian mummy now stalks the rest home, stealing the small souls of the dying residents by sucking the soul from the victim's arseholes.
   The mummy, stolen from a traveling museum exhibit and lost in a nearby creek following a bus accident, dresses in cowboy hat and boots. Elvis names him Bubba (meaning Southern redneck type) Ho-Tep (from the line of Egyptian pharaohs), and with clues from hieroglyphic graffiti "from the shithouse wall," as Elvis says, and from Kennedy's 'Book Of The Soul', Jack in his wheelchair and Elvis on his walker facedown the mummy, lest their souls also become so much fecal matter from the hungry Ho-Tep.
   About halfway through this film, I said, 'This sounds like a Joe R. Lansdale story'. According to the closing credits, it is a Lansdale tale. In other words, a hysterical, irreverent film that somehow pokes fun at two American icons while maintaining a reverence for them, and yet still has enough creepy mummy scenes to qualify as a horror flick. The lines are funny, the premise bizarre, the plot totally unbelievable, and the whole package is highly entertaining. Campbell (Evil Dead, TV's Xena) plays a convincing Elvis in perhaps his best role ever, and Davis is believable as either Jack Kennedy, or simply totally delusional. See it, find it, rent it - this is undoubtedly the greatest Elvis film ever made.

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