Bubba Ho-tep (2002)
October 22, 2022 8:40 AM - Subscribe

Bubba Ho-tep tells the "true" story of what really did become of Elvis Presley. We find Elvis (Bruce Campbell) as an elderly resident in an East Texas rest home, who switched identities with an Elvis impersonator years before his "death," then missed his chance to switch back. He must team up with JFK (Ossie Davis) and fight an ancient Egyptian mummy for the souls of their fellow residents.

Directed by Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, John Dies at the End). Screenplay by Coscarelli, based on the short story by Joe Lansdale.

79% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently available for digital rental and purchase on Vudu. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (10 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have a real soft spot for this movie. When it was released, the closest theater it was playing at was across the US border in some small town in Washington state and I convinced a few friends to go with me (I did not have a car at the time). Got to have some American fast food (again), and drink supersized soft drift with high quality (thick walled!) plastic straws.

Sure, it's hokey, but that's precisely the charm. Elvis and Jack really felt like child actors from a 80's children's action movie, ie., making up (plausible but incorrect) stories from observations. Thinking back, I think this was deliberately lampshaded by Jack's delusion/ dementia (and possibly - but I prefer to think this is the real Elvis - Elvis') and lights up mainstream conspiracy theorists (of the time, this was before the Tea Party went full delusional?).

It does also speak to the difficulties of senior living, and touches on the (lapsed) responsibility of some offspring.

Delightful movie, overall, if bitter.
posted by porpoise at 9:32 AM on October 22, 2022 [7 favorites]

I like to believe that it really is Elvis and JFK. And I'd have never imagined that a Joe R. Lansdale story would get me all emotional, but it did.
posted by MrBadExample at 10:52 AM on October 22, 2022 [4 favorites]

File this under movies which have always intrigued me but which I've somehow never actually seen. I need to fix that and soon.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:15 PM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

I saw this on the first business trip I took. I was young and alone in a strange city and I wanted to go out and do something, but I also didn't want to get into trouble. So I went to a dodgy cinema and watched Bubba Ho-tep. It was a memorable movie for a memorable night.
posted by Quonab at 2:39 PM on October 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this movie. I think I just like anything Bruce Campbell is in.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:20 PM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

We're watching this on Halloween in the MST Club room at 8:00 pm ET if anyone is interested in seeing it in a convivial environment. Details here.
posted by valkane at 3:41 AM on October 23, 2022 [5 favorites]

I've always loved this film. It's such an wild premise, and it's executed perfectly.
posted by mikelieman at 5:18 AM on October 23, 2022 [4 favorites]

I have seen this a few times, and it always makes me tear up at the end. Yes, it has a wacky premise, but it uses that to say a lot of serious things about aging and how we treat elderly people here in the USA. I think I'm going to have to join that watch on Halloween.
posted by rednikki at 3:42 PM on October 23, 2022 [5 favorites]

I like to believe that it really is Elvis and JFK.

My favorite detail of this movie is that JFK's room in the retirement home is much fancier than anyone else's.
posted by Ragged Richard at 8:46 AM on October 25, 2022 [3 favorites]

Jesus christ, this all had happened 20 years ago. Sheeet.
posted by porpoise at 11:14 PM on November 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

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