Bubba Ho Tep showcases an “Elvis” we’ve never seen
You had me at “Bruce Campbell plays Elvis in a retirement home.”
Based on the short story by Joe Lansdale, Bubba Ho Tep stars Campbell as Elvis… or is he a senile Elvis Impersonator who just THINKS he’s the King? Campbell is absolutely brilliant in the film, and the sight of Campbell in his white jumpsuit – and walker – chasing after a mummy wearing cowboy boots is a joy to behold.
Oh, yeah… he fights a soul-sucking zombie. With the help of fellow retiree John Fitzgerald Kennedy… who is played by Ossie Davis. Yes, THAT Ossie Davis.
At this point, you have reached a decision point. Either you are thinking “What the hell type of stupid movie is this?” or “Holy cow, I have to see this!” If you had the first thought, you can stop reading now because clearly this is not the movie for you. If you had the second response, then you should stop reading this, fire up Netflix, and watch the movie immediately.
Still there? OK, I can discuss the movie some more… though I won’t discuss plot details, because this is a film that you need to encounter with as little spoilers as possible. Directed and written by Don Coscarelli, and the movie features many of he actors from Coscarelli’s Phantasm movies (look for some cool cameos). Campbell and Davis are great together, and Davis (in one of his last roles) plays JFK in a way only he could. The scene where they chat about Marilyn Monroe is a highlight.
Bubba Ho Tep has moments of humor, poignancy and horror. It’s a sweet, unique movie that is worth seeing. More than once.