Don Coscarelli's BUBBA HO-TEP finds Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) alive but not so well, living in a small Texas nursing home. Although he's preoccupied with his ailments and his memories, the elderly Elvis befriends another resident who thinks he's John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis) when they both begin to suspect that their neighbors aren't dying of natural causes. Their investigation leads to the discovery of an evil mummy with a fondness for cowboy gear and an appetite for the souls of senior citizens. Armed with little more than a walker and a wheelchair, the King and JFK must take on this ancient evil.
Based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale, BUBBA HO-TEP mixes comedy, drama, and horror to create a remarkably quirky film. As the aged and ailing Elvis, Campbell gives an outstandingly funny and poignant performance, while Davis exudes intelligence and warmth as JFK. Although horror is a key element of the story, much of the movie focuses on the life of Elvis and his new friendship with the former president, leading to many oddly comical scenes and even a few genuinely touching moments. Of course, their embalmed foe and his creepy minions must be confronted, making this the first movie about Elvis and JFK to appeal to horror enthusiasts, or, conversely, the first horror movie to appeal to Elvis and JFK enthusiasts. Either way, it's a highly unconventional tale that no adventurous filmgoer should miss.
Daniel Roebuck - American Supporting Actor
Adam Janiero - Cinematographer, BUBBA HO-TEP
Ossie Davis - Actor/Director/Screenwriter, husband of actress Ruby Dee
Brian Tyler - Composer
Don Coscarelli - American Director/Screenwriter
Reggie Bannister - Actor/"Phantasm"
Joe R. Lansdale - Source Writer, BUBBA HO-TEP (2003)
Larry Pennell - Actor
Bruce Campbell - American actor/producer, THE EVIL DEAD
Theatrical Release: September 26, 2003
"...It has the damnedest ingratiating way of making us sit there and grin at its harebrained audacity, laugh at its outhouse humor, and be somewhat moved at the poignancy of these two old men and their situation..." - 10/17/2003 Chicago Sun-Times, p.37
"Don Coscarelli's horror comedy is more tender than tacky..." - 05/28/2004 Entertainment Weekly, p.109
"This absurdly clever caper is elevated by Bruce Campbell's pensive Elvis into a moving meditation on the diminutions of age and the vagaries of fame." - 06/10/2004 Rolling Stone, p.103
"[A]n instant cult classic worthy of a ROCKY HORROR-style following." - 07/01/2004 Premiere, p.119
"[With] a slow, bittersweet, almost elegiac current....Campbell, whose meditative, muttering, weary-boned narration cushions the film, is a revelation." - 11/01/2004 Uncut, p.150
"Typical of the writer, but also the mind behind PHANTASM, is the juxtaposition of wildly disparate elements that somehow gel..." - 11/01/2004 Sight and Sound, p.44