Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Movie Title: Bubba Ho-Tep

Year Released: 2002

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 32min

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Western

Director: Don Coscarelli

Writer: Don Coscarelli (based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale)

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, Bob Ivy, Edith Jefferson, Larry Pennell, Reggie Bannister, Daniel Roebuck, Daniel Schweiger, Harrison Young

Review: After falling into a lengthy coma following a freak accident involving hip gyration, a now aged Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) wakes up in an East Texas nursing home, where he befriends Jack (Ossie Davis), an African-American senior who claims to be President John F. Kennedy. After residents of their quiet retirement community start dying of dubiously unnatural causes, Elvis and Jack discover that the perpetrator is Bubba Ho-Tep (Bob Ivy), an Egyptian mummy with murderous intentions.

There is without a doubt one thing that I can promise you about Bubba Ho-Tep: It's original. I can assure you that you've probably never seen anything like it. Bruce Campbell plays a determined yet solemn, nursing-home-ridden version of Elvis Presley. If that's not original enough, his best friend at the nursing home is an African American gentleman named Jack who believes he's John F. Kennedy with his skin dyed black to live in disguise. Still not sold? When things get weird at the Texas-based nursing home, things get weirder when Elvis and JFK start investigating an Egyptian pharaoh/mummy who's clad in cowboy attire. If this isn't one of the more ridiculous premises for a movie that you've ever heard, then I don't know what to tell you. This movie is silly beyond belief, and while there are some slower periods in the film, there is enough comedy sprinkled throughout to keep you interested. Beyond that, I was more intrigued as to what wild premise, twist, or turn would flash across my screen next. Graveyard fights, flamethrowers, and a whole bunch of nonsense are all on the table!

Bubba Ho-Tep is well worth your time as a B-list cult movie. While not wildly scary, there are a fair share of frightful moments among an array of outrageousness that needs to be seen to be believed. Despite some boring stretches, the movie has a quick runtime of about an hour and a half, and is definitely a flick that is best enjoyed by those with a propensity to indulge in absurdities.

If this movie taught me one thing, it's to avoid evil mummies and Lyndon B. Johnson at all costs!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: 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.


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