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Mud Creek, Texas, is about to get all shook up. When mysterious deaths plague the Shady Rest retirement home, it's up to an aging, cantankerous "Elvis" (Bruce Campbell) and a decrepitand black"JFK" (Ossie Davis) to defeat a 3,000-year-old-Egyptian mummy with a penchant for sucking human souls! Can the King show the world that he can still take care of business?
Don Coscarelli directs and Bruce Campbell stars as the King of Camp in this intentionally over-the-top schlockfest. Bubba Ho-Tep is partially about Elvis Presley and partially about the title character, an Egyptian cowboy zombie, but mostly it is about camp. The movie is equal parts story and back story. We learn through narration and flashback how Elvis didn't really die, ending up instead in a rest home in East Texas with JFK (played by Ossie Davis), who was dyed black and had his brain removed, presumably for reasons of national security. Campbell and Davis realize that something strange is going on when their rest-home compatriots start dropping off suspiciously. The whole movie leads up to a final showdown to the death with the Egyptian cowboy zombie who has been sucking the souls of their fellow residents because he thought no one would notice. The movie unfolds a bit slowly; it is, after all, a geriatrics-fight-Egyptian-cowboy-zombie movie. However, one wishes this self-conscious movie's pacing took its cue from the atypically fast-moving zombie instead of from the senior-citizen Elvis and JFK. In the end, though, Campbell is flawless as the aged King; his accent, intonations, glasses, and trademark karate are at the same time sincere and over the top. --Brian SaltzmanSee all Editorial Reviews
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These are characters you quickly grow to care about (cantankerous though they may be). While the "outside" world and families may have already forgotten about them, they connect with their fellow patients an become their OWN type of family.
Enter the soul sucking mummy, Bubba Ho-Tep.
What does the aging "Elvis", and "President Kennedy" say to this???
I have to add that the way Landsdale pulled this novella together was fantastic! He took a brief look at how our society treats the elderly in cases, and quickly morphed it into an almost "uplifting" story--if you ignore the soul sucking mummy part... How could you not love hieroglyphics that read "Eat the dog '?' of Anubis, you '??"!"?
These old codgers stumble across a body, quite literally, of a resident that passed away - but, more keep dying and Ossie spies a furtive movement of a spectral figure. The spectral figure turns out to be the animated corpse of a guy that died in a motor vehicle accident during the theft of an Egyptian mummy that is cursed. At the same time, Elvis has also been noticing odd happenings and the two get together and gradually figure out the creature is an ancient Egyptian soul-sucking demon. Which, of course, they set out to destroy. Like I said, it is SO bad that it's kinda good, in a perverse way.
No, it's not for everyone, but it is the type of cult film that may, someday, give rise to a cult following such as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." So, if you're bored, have read as much as you want, are out of dvd's to watch, nothing is worth watching on tv and can't or don't want to sleep, give it a try - you'll likely have no problem falling asleep after watching it! Oh, and the dvd really does have some good extras...
Both are residents of the Shady Rest old folks home. Elvis is still alive because he'd gotten tired of the life and switched withe best Elvis impersonator. The idea was when he was ready to return, they would swap back. A contract had been drawn up to that effect. But then the impersonator had died of a heart attack and Elvuis's contract had been lost in a fire.
The two men battle a soul sucking mummy to save the lives and souls of their fellow residents.
How does a mummy get into an East Texas rest home? Read the superb story and find out.
And if you find yourself smiling knowingly the next time someone mentions Elvis or JFK, so much the better.