Bubba Ho-Tep: Elvis Lives and Battling a Geronticidal Mummy!

Wacky Theme

Imagine this: the one and only Elvis “The King” Presley is alive and currently living in a nursing home. Now imagine that his one friend in that nursing home (a wheelchair-bound black man played by Ossie Davis) claims that he is JFK. Yes, that JFK! He claims that "they" dyed him black in order to keep his existence a secret.

Well, this little synopsis already has the makings of the greatest buddy movie of all time but now let’s throw in another little plot addition to this already weird story -- an ancient Egyptian mummy is killing off the helpless nursing home residence one by one, night by night. Well, Elvis and JFK will not let this madness continue! They decide to fight this ancient evil even if it means their lives. Now you have the mother of all buddy/horror/comedy/drama movies!

To all the readers of this article that are salivating over this plot, wipe your chins off and go rent Bubba Ho-Tep. To the readers that think the synopsis described above is the dumbest thing they have ever heard, get off your high horses and go rent Bubba Ho-Tep!!!

Elvis & JFK
Elvis & JFK

A True Original

The 1992 movie starring Bruce Campbell (Elvis) and Ossie Davis (JFK) rises above the truly wacky plot-line and B-movie budget to become a well-written, well-acted and well-directed cult classic masterpiece. Written and directed by Don Coscarelli (the Phantasm movies), Bubba Ho-Tep is a critically-acclaimed, award-winning movie.

Coscarelli takes a story that lesser writer/directors would have taken to slasher film proportions and instead focuses on the human side of the situation the characters are in. Life in the nursing home, from the point of view of the elderly Elvis, is a major portion of the movie and makes this movie stand out from other B-horror films. Elvis’ frustration with his aging body and placement in a nursing home evokes sympathy and develops a full understanding and interest in the main character, an attribute lacking in too many horror films today.

The drama makes this movie special but the comedy is equally good. The back-story of the true Elvis is classic. Tired of the limelight, Elvis trades lives with an Elvis impersonator. It is that person who got fat and died on the toilet, not the real Elvis. The real Elvis grew old and is now stuck in a nursing home that is being tormented by an ancient soul-sucking mummy.

Bubba Ho-Tep trailer

Everyone Can Enjoy

The combination of the moving drama and the outrageous horror all wrapped within the absurd premise makes Bubba Ho-Tep a one-in-a-million film. It is a must see, not only for fans of the horror genre but to all those people who appreciate good movies.

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Comments 9 comments

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

What an outrageous premise! I'll have to put it in my NetFlix queue. You may want to visit my friend, Frankie Lee's website (which I created)


He is an Elvis Tribute Artist who plays a lot of nursing homes and assisted living homes. I'll watch this movie and recommend it to him if I think he would like it. He may not. He takes Elvis pretty seriously!


imadork profile image

imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Awesome! Let me know how you like the movie. I will check out the site.

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

OK, I just finished watching Bubba Ho Tep and all of the Special Features (except the director's/actor's commentary). You're right, this is a really good film. The plot is outrageous and campy and fun, yet there was an interesting, underlying theme of the importance of being able to leave life without regrets and with your soul intact. The director/producer went to great lengths to get excellent looking sets, have a really creepy monster and good stunts, and the musical score was outstanding. Ossie Davis is truly to be commended for being able to deliver some of his outrageously ridiculous dialogue with a straight face!

However, I won't recommend this movie to my friend, Frank the Elvis Tribute artist for two reasons. First, he would not like the vulgarity - even though it is rather mild. He honors Elvis too much to want to hear Him talking like that (even if he sometimes actually did.) Second, because I thought Bruce Campbell was a terrible choice as Elvis, and his make-up was just dreadful. (Although the jumpsuits were actually authentic and impressive.) He seemed completely out of place in the movie. His performance was uninspired, and the make-up and hair just looked horribly fake and cheap.

It's really a shame because I think if they had taken the same care in casting and outfitting the lead actor as they apparently took with the rest of the movie, it would have been a much better movie! Nonetheless, it was a good movie, and I enjoyed it! A fun Halloween flick!


imadork profile image

imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

I am glad you liked the movie.  I'm also glad that you pointed out the musical score.  I forgot about that!  It is awesome!

I must disagree with you about Campbell.  I thought he was great in the movie.  He also has a huge horror movie cult following due to his Evil Dead movies. 

The make-up was decent if you consider the low budget of the film.

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

Bad make-up can ruin a movie for me. I was annoyed throughout the recent Jackie Chan/Jet Li movie because of the lousy wig they put on Jackie Chan! It really affected my ability to enjoy the movie! I mean, they put millions of dollars into the rest of the movie, then they put this thing that looks like a piece of seaweed on the strar's head! That kind of thing really annoys me.

In Bubba Ho-Tep, they spent a ton of money on the mummy and on the authentic Elvis jump suits and on the great music, then they put make-up that looks like Halloween make-up and a fright wig on the star. I probably would have thought more of Bruce Campbell's acting if his make-up hadn't been so awful. I am not a big horror film fan, so I had never heard of Bruce Campbell. I guess if he has a big following, that would explain why they chose him.

But, as I said, all-in-all, I thought it was a good movie, and I enjoyed it.


imadork profile image

imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

I am glad that, because of my hub, you have been Bubbafied.

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

A dream come true! :)

LyrialZander profile image

LyrialZander 7 years ago

I loved this movie!

Sure, I was a Bruce Campbell fan already... but this one was so bizarre I had to check it out. It's one of the most unique movie ideas ever created for sure!

For me the best was Elvis' hilarious inner dialogue.

If you are an Ossie Davis fan you MUST watch this film, it was his last project before he died. I had hoped it would do better for this reason, as his JFK will make you smile and miss him.

Great hub!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Thanks LZ. I agree, Ossie Davis is great in this movie.

The prequel (Bubba Nosferatu) is in the works. Unfortunately, Bruce refused to do it. Not sure why. Ron Perlman (Hellboy) will play Elvis and Paul Giamatti will play Col. Parker (Elvis' manager). I'm a huge fan of Giamatti and he is a huge fan of Bubba Ho-Tep!

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