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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There really is nothing else quite like this
I bought this after reading some reviews and a brief interview with the star Bruce Campbell. This really is one of the strangest black comedies I have ever come across.

If you expect something serious, or a horror film, or an out and out comedy, this will not be for you. Let's face it, any film with an OAP Elvis (real or otherwise never quite answered) and a...
Published on 23 Mar. 2007 by Mr. I. A. Macpherson

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bubba No
The good news is, the King is alive, the bad news is poor fella's not too well. Elvis (Bruce Campbell, of Evil Dead fame) lives out his days in a east Texas nursing home after cracking a hip when performing as an impersonator playing himself. He regains his zest for life by joining forces with a delusional black JFK attempting to stop an Egyptian mummy from killing his...
Published on 9 Dec. 2009 by Papa Stinker

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There really is nothing else quite like this, 23 Mar. 2007
Mr. I. A. Macpherson "Macca" (Leamington Spa, Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bubba Ho-Tep [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this after reading some reviews and a brief interview with the star Bruce Campbell. This really is one of the strangest black comedies I have ever come across.

If you expect something serious, or a horror film, or an out and out comedy, this will not be for you. Let's face it, any film with an OAP Elvis (real or otherwise never quite answered) and a black guy who claims he is JF Kennedy as the CIA put his brain into the black guys head, hunting an undead mummy that dresses like a cowboy is going to be way off the beaten track. But that is what makes it so special.

I have no idea how or why someone came up with this idea, and to be honest the first 20 minutes are odd and almost play like a z rate horror movie, but when it gets into it's swing and the snappy dialogue starts it is just a complete laugh until the final frame.

The Elvis impression from Campbell is sensational, and some of his one liners are fantastic. And I have to say the scene in which he comes around the corner in slow motion using a zimmer frame almost gave me a laugh induced hernia.

People always ask "what on earth is that" when they see it on the shelf - that's all it takes for it to be put on and for them to be initiated to the Bubba club.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Ask Not What Your Rest Home Can Do For You...But What You Can Do For Your Rest Home...", 13 Sept. 2010
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
*** BLU RAY Version ***

Rewatching "Bubba Ho-Tep" is like reliving the first time you saw "The Big Lebowski". Everything about it rocks. You're left absolutely reeling - giggling like a fool and wincing in admiration. And this is before we talk about Elvis, a wart on his appendage and a 3000-year old soul-sucking Mummy...

This 2010 BLU RAY reissue is a rerun of the 2006 2DVD Edition with most of its generous and hugely entertaining extras still intact:

1. You can play the film with/without a Bruce Campbell "Intro"
2. 2.0 Stereo or DTS-HD Master Audio
3. Feature-length audio commentary by Director Don Coscarelli and Lead Actor Bruce Campbell
4. Second feature-length audio commentary by Bruce Campbell as "The King"
5. Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell
6. "The King And I" - Don Coscarelli Interview
7. Bruce Campbell - Talks Bubba Interview
8. Original Theatrical Trailer
9. Music Video
10. Photo Gallery
11. Joe R. Lansdale reads from "Bubba Ho-Tep"
12. The Making Of
13. To Make A Mummy
14. Fit For A King - Dressing Bruce Campbell
15. Rock Like An Egyptian - Interview with Brian Tyler who composed the score

As I suspected, the lo-fi independent production values of the original 2002 film are ruthlessly exposed by the unforgiving nature of high definition. But I was still more than pleased to find out that there are huge improvements on the BLU RAY print.

Most of the movie was shot indoors - his bedroom, the corridors of the home, night scenes outside on the grass lawns (all notoriously hard to get clarity on) - so the vast majority of the print has a slight parlour of blocking. It isn't huge, but it is there. However, once you get to the daylight shots (the grounds of the home in the morning, down by the river, the flashbacks to Elvis' touring past) the picture is great - even beautiful in places. And the close-ups on Campbell's heavily made-up face do now reveal just a little too many make-up lines you couldn't see before - so you know the BLU RAY is working. For me the clarity is upped a great deal - it's just worth pointing out that some might find it a little underwhelming.

So why is Bubba Ho-Tep so much fun - even poignant? A lot of the credit has to go to Bruce Campbell's performance as an aged Elvis trapped in a Texas retirement home after a 20-year coma. He is extraordinary in the part - his mannerisms, the voice, the silly karate-kick gestures, lusting after young babes with a Johnson that hasn't been functional since the passing of too many Presidents. Campbell somehow makes Elvis real. This is how The King Of Rock 'n' Roll would be thinking, ruminating on life, trying to push himself and his spirit back to its former greatness (title above). And of course Campbell's "King" taps into our almost irrational love of Elvis Presley no matter how ludicrous he looked or became. Credit should also go to Brian Tyler's guitar strum soundtrack, which adds so much to the overall vibe and giggle-factor.

Also running alongside Campbell is a wonderfully wry performance by Ella Joyce as "The Nurse" who gets to massage more than Aaron's ego. Even better is veteran actor Ossie Davis as a black man who is convinced that he's "JFK" abducted by aliens and with part of his brain replaced with a sack of sand. The fact that 'Jack' makes most sense about the Mummy stalking the rooms of their Mud Creek home in cowboy boots sucking the souls out of weak inmates through their ass as they sleep and writing Egyptian graffiti on toilet walls - is perhaps a tad worrying...

As you can gather from the above, Bubba Ho-Tep also has one of the most fantastically inventive and witty storylines ever. It was adapted from Texas born Joe Lansdale's short story by Director Don Coscarelli and most of the dialogue virtually screams instant cult classic. Just like "The Big Lebowski", you'll find yourself quoting it line for line at work...
"How could my plans have gone so wrong? And when are they going to serve lunch?"
"One glimpse of her panties and I felt my heart a pigeon having a heart attack..."
And there's plenty more where they came from.

How could the King Of Rock 'n' Roll have gone from having knickers thrown at him on stage to being marooned in a godforsaken Texan retirement home with a growth of his pecker and his shades semi-intact?
How did Elvis leave the building and what did the Egyptian hieroglyphics in the sky tell him when he did?
Will Priscilla still want him or will they have to 'talk' about it?
And in the end is there anything more to life than food, s**t and sex?

Buy or rent "Bubba Ho-Tep" on BLU RAY now and find out.

And I truly envy you the journey...

PS: "Bubba Nosferatu - Curse Of The She-Vampires" is due in 2011 - can't wait!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All is well..., 10 Nov. 2005
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bubba Ho-Tep [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Many of the great films deal with old age and the ending of an era: The Wild Bunch, Citizen Kane, The Leopard, Once Upon a Time in America, The Lion in Winter, Touchez Pas au Grisbi, Unforgiven, Ride the High Country… and Bubba Ho-Tep comes surprisingly close at times to making the cut alongside them. On the surface an outrageous schlock movie with a premise that even Troma might find dodgy – an elderly Elvis and a black President Kennedy team up to destroy the soul-sucking Mummy in cowboy duds killing residents in their old folks home and defacating the remains in the visitors toilets – the reality is a surprisingly moving reflection on old age, unfulfilled expectations, loss of dignity, loss of self and the emptiness of celebrity in a culture that doesn’t want its heroes to ever age. Bruce Campbell’s Elvis-in-a-Zimmer-frame is a truly remarkable performance, never mocking, never going for cheap laughs, capturing the public face of the legend and the private disappointments of the man as he slowly realises he’s treated his life a lot worse than life has treated him and finally gets the chance to really be the hero he always wanted to be. There’s an epic dimension to the character that never spills over into grandiose mythmaking, firmly grounded in the horrible everyday reality of living in a place where friends regularly die or can’t remember you, where family ignore you and other residents will steal from the more vulnerable. It genuinely is one of the great performances in independent movies.
Kudos too to Ossie Davis’ President Kennedy, similarly playing it straight despite the lion’s share of absurd dialog and character quirks: when, in the film’s most iconic moment, the King in his Rhinestone suit, cape and Zimmer frame and President Kennedy in his best suit and wheelchair make their way down the corridor for their final confrontation, they really are genuinely heroic figures that you’re rooting for even if they do have mobility problems. The downside is that the horror side of the movie is less considerably effective, the jokes never as funny as you’d like them to be, the fun never frantic and one scene too many with the would-be comic hearse drivers. But the compensations more than outweigh the cons (not least of them a versatile electric guitar theme from composer Brian Tyler that has the flexibility to be both tender or stirring depending on the orchestration). This is a film with real emotional weight – indeed, the ending is genuinely touching in a lump-in-the-throat, I’ve-just-got-something-in-my-eye kind of way.
Anchor Bay's 2-disc set improves on the US edition with more extras, and compliments the film perfectly. All is well...
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant on oh so many levels - TCB with the Big E, 15 July 2004
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
How can you not love a movie called Bubba Ho-Tep featuring the King of Rock 'n' Roll taking on a cowboy mummy - especially when you have Bruce Campbell playing the role of Elvis? Add in a remarkable performance by Ossie Davis, one of the best soundtracks in recent years, and a huge number of extras on the DVD, and you've got a movie of must-see status. This film was actually a lot different from what I was expecting; I went in looking for comedy, and I got comedy - but I also got a really quite serious film that speaks to the audience on all sorts of meaningful levels. Bubba Ho-Tep gets better on multiple viewings, as well, and I suspect some folks who weren't that enthused with the film might change their minds if they were to watch it again.
It's sort of hard to classify this thing. Sure, there's a 4000-year-old, soul-sucking mummy and some nasty scarab beetles killing people, but this is not just a horror movie. It's a poignant look at the way old people are pushed aside and forgotten by the younger generations, a poignant look at one man's reflections back on his life, and it's also wickedly funny. Here's the story; bear with me on this. Elvis Presley is stuck in a nursing home in Mud Creek, Texas; back in the 1970s, he switched places with Sebastian Haff, one of the best Elvis impersonators, and now his new life is entering its final, loneliest phase. He is now a little old and feeble, he has a bad hip that forces him to use a walker, but he's mainly just feeling old and used up and worthless. When his roommate dies, he watches the guy's daughter (Heidi Marnhout - who is quite a looker, by the way) come and basically toss the old man's life and memories right in the trash. Then some old folks around him start dying mysterious deaths - deaths caused by a soul-sucking mummy in snakeskin boots and a cowboy hat. Hey, even Elvis has a hard time believing it until he sees it for himself. His only ally is President John F. Kennedy, played by Ossie Davis. Okay, I know you're saying "Isn't Ossie Davis black?" What happened, see, is that, after the shooting in Dallas, "they" dyed JFK black and filled his head with sand (his brain is still in Washington, running on battery power) - that's what Jack thinks, anyway. Well, these two old guys load up for bear and go out to kill themselves a mummy.
The plot may sound stupid, but this is in no way a stupid movie. Unfortunately, the things that make Bubba Ho-Tep such a great film are impossible to describe and quantify in words. It's an Elvis redemption story, as he gets up out of the bed and sets aside his age and, uh, problems, to become the hero he always wanted to be - he finds a reason to live again. Ossie Davis really makes the movie work; it takes a really great actor to play a black John F. Kennedy, and this movie may have failed utterly without his contribution to the project. Bruce Campbell is, of course, superb. One critic called his performance one for the ages; I'm not sure I would go that far, but he does an amazing job, one which only furthers his cult status among his growing number of fans.
My hate is definitely off to Don Coscarelli for his vision and determination to make this film. The studios wouldn't touch this thing with a ten-foot pole (which says a lot about what is wrong with the studios), the actors' agents weren't exactly keen on their guys taking the roles being offered, and there wasn't much money at all in terms of budget, but Coscarelli really makes the magic happen. The makeup job on Campbell was pretty good for the most part, and the man pretty much becomes the King. The soundtrack, as I've mentioned, is just incredible, thanks to composer Brian Tyler - even if you hate the movie, you may have to go out and buy the soundtrack. Bubba Ho-Tep did enjoy a limited distribution in theatres, earning film festival kudos in the process, but this independent film release is really one of those things that starts with word-of-mouth advertising and then just spreads like wildfire.
The DVD is incredible. Along with several featurettes on the making of the movie, theatrical and TV trailers, a music video of the theme song, deleted scenes, and a reading by Joe R. Lansdale from his original Bubba Ho-Tep short story on which the film was based, you also get two commentaries. The first one, featuring director Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell, is as informative as it is fun, but the second commentary is something special as it features "The King" himself - this is one of the funniest things I've ever heard in my life and definitely my favorite commentary of all time. This movie is worth buying for this alone, as The King's reactions to different aspects of the story and his frequent observations about the differences between this and his own films will have you rolling on the floor.
I wish I could communicate just how poignant this film really is. Despite of all the humor and farcical action going on, this movie addresses a lot of serious themes in a remarkable way. You'll laugh, you might even cry, and you will almost definitely go around doing Elvis impersonations of your own for at least a week. This is entertainment of the highest order, my friends.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern cult classic!, 16 Sept. 2004
The thing that's great about this movie is that it's subtle, it's not got the initial punch of a stunt filled opening scene like a James Bond flick, nor has it got the out and out gore of an Evil Dead movie, if you're expecting either then clear your mind before sitting down to watch!
What you have here is an engrossing and serious (yes, serious!) movie about what could have happened to Elvis if he'd lived (and switched lives with an Elvis impersonator and wound up in an old folks home with a dodgy hip and a cancer in one of the last places you'd want it!) The film cleverly pulls you in, slow, but sure, to the plight of the aged rocker forgotten by friends, family and time.
Director Don Coscarelli has delivered a movie that's multi-layered; poignant and respectful, reflective and humorous, sublime and ridiculous, this film should rightfully wind up as a cult classic. As a brit I spotted this movie on some of the movie news sites and as soon as it was available got a copy sent over, I was not disappointed - the film looks and sounds good, ok some of the effects do occasionally look cheap but that's in comparison of big studios and their big budgets, but on the whole the effects work well, we need more indy films like this in my opinion.
As far as the acting goes the leads (Ossie and Bruce) give the characters depth and soul whilst the supporting cast just add to the feel, I particularly liked the (literally) scene stealing Grandma and the funeral home guys chatting as they load the bodies of the dead into the Hearse.
Even my mother is itching to watch this film! Bring on the sequel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis and JFK take on a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy, 15 July 2004
Lawrance Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
The idea here is quite simple. Elvis (Bruce Campbell) is not dead; he switched over with an Elvis impersonator and was living a carefree life (as an Elvis impersonator) when he broke his hip. Now he is in a rest home in East Texas, concerned with an abnormality on a particular part of his anatomy, and hobbling around on a walker. But then giant scarab beetles start showing up and he learns from John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis), who is also in the rest home, having been dyed black by the assassination conspiracy, that there is an ancient Egyptian soul sucking mummy named Bubba Ho-Tep killing off the members of their less than happy little home.
Is it really Elvis? After all, it is not really JFK. But then there really is a Bubba Ho-Tep, so at least it is a fifty-fifty proposition. If only there had not been that barbaque accident that destroyed the only proof Elvis had in his possession about the switch. But the important thing is that this 2002 film works either way. When Elvis talks about his regrets over running out on Priscilla and Lisa Marie or about how bad his films were, there is some resonance. Besides, there is something heroic about the King heading out to do battle with a mummy puffing along behind his walker while JFK zips along in his motorized wheelchair.
Campbell's performance as the aged and infirmed Elvis avoids caricature; the accent is never laid on too thick, which is key. Like the short story by Joe R. Lansdale on which it is based, this film from director Don Coscarelli has an affection for the character of Elvis. The point was not that Elvis disappeared, but that by pretending to be an Elvis impersonator he could perform without having to put up with the rest of the circus (it reminds me of the Elvis from his television comeback special, where he sits in a circles with the guys playing his guitar and singing his music, long before the became the bloated figure in the white star spangled jump suit).
You keep thinking that "Bubba Ho-Tep" is going to be a camp horror movie, but it does not go this way. Yes, this film is actually on the conservative side of things like "Men in Black," which had tongues more prominently in cheeks. But then these two old codgers have lots of problems besides the soul-sucking mummy and this film ends with a knock down drag out fight between our heroes and the title character. Campbell and Davis take their characters serious, as does the film, and that is why it works as well as it does, which is a lot better than you would ever think. At the very least, you have to celebrate the film's audacity and say, as would the King: "Thank you. Thank you very much."
As you would expect the extras on this DVD are above average. You have two commentary tracks, the first by Coscarelli and Campbell, with the second being by "The King." Lansalde reads from his original story and you also get theatrical trailers and TV spots, deleted scenes, and several featurettes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Don't make me use my stuff on you, baby!" (4.5 stars), 17 Jun. 2004
In the tradition of the "Evil Dead" movies, Bruce Campbell is back in true form in this horror/comedy/drama flick that's a roaring good time. You just don't know what to expect next once you start this bad boy. Filled with laughs, horror and surprisingly, heart, "Bubba Ho-Tep" is everything you'd want from a B-Movie and more.
Campbell stars as an elderly Elvis who lives in a Texas retirement home. People keep thinking he's just an impersonator off his rocker, but in reality he had traded places with an "Elvis" impersonator so he could get away from all of the fame and hardships of a rock-n-roll star. However, something strange has been happening in this retirement home. Folks are dying mysteriously every night without any clear explanation. As it turns out, an Egyptian mummy is the cause for the deaths and it needs to feed on their souls to stay alive. It's up to Elvis and his buddy, JFK, to take on this monstrous foe before it slaughters every living person in the retirement home. The end results are unpredictable and off-the-wall.
The premise alone intrigued me to see it. That, and Bruce Campbell. I'm always in the mood to see a good funny horror movie, and this movie did a great job of fulfilling that need. Not one minute went by where I was bored or disappointed. While the story may be over-the-top, it's done in such a creative and clever way. The movie has fun with itself and it's very easy to see. Bruce Campbell does a marvelous job as "Elvis," and let's not forget the great Ossie Davis as the one and only "JFK." The movie combines elements of comedy, drama and horror. It doesn't know what it wants to be at times, but the cast knew that from the get-go and they even goof on that fact (watch the featurettes and listen to the commentary).
The DVD has some outstanding features. The movie sounds and looks really good for a flick that was done under such a low budget. The commentary tracks are definitely worth you time, and you MUST listen to the commentary track where Bruce Campbell does it as "The King" and stays in character the entire time. It is the funniest thing I have ever heard. Other extras include featurettes, a music video, deleted scenes, the original trailer and more. All of this makes one heck of a great package.
"Bubba Ho-Tep" is a great time from Campbell and company. Any fans of the "Evil Dead" movies will definitely want to put this on their list. Just keep in mind that this is a movie that you watch to be entertained and nothing more. This movie was pure enjoyment from beginning to end. It's bound to become a classic sooner or later. The King still lives, Baby! -Michael Crane
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What exactly were you expecting?, 18 July 2006
This review is from: Bubba Ho-Tep [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
If you were after a simple horror movie, why pick one with Bruce Cambell in? C'mon, you know exactly what you're getting! On the face of it, the concept is wierdly original - Elvis (lumbered with his dead imposter's identity) lies in an old peoples' home with a dodgy hip gotten whilst 'pretending' to be Elvis, and with a wierd growth on his penis. Add a black John F Kennedy, obsessed with being assassinated by Lyndon Johnson, and have them both assaulted by a zombie mummy that sucks the souls out of old folks.It's great!

The pace is slow to start, but it fits the scenery of the home. Cambell's elderly Elvis is fabulous, and Ossie Davis is superb! It has comedy, horror (some, mild, infrequent) and Elvis fighting a zombie mummy who dresses in cowboy boots and a ten gallon hat. It had cult classic written all over it.

I URGE you to buy it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird, funny, and surprising, 3 May 2005
This review is from: Bubba Ho-Tep [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
On the face of it this film has one of the most dodgy plots ever: Elvis(Bruce Cambell) is secretly living out his old age in a bad texas retirement home, where his best friend is a black man claiming to be JFK. The old people start dying and it transpires that an ancient egyptian mummy (dressed as a cowboy???) is sucking the oldies' souls out of their rear ends. So Elvis and JFK team up with Zimmer frames and wheelchairs to defeat the creature. The film is strangely ponderous, with Elvis philosophising about his life quite a lot. But when the humour does come it is hilarious, especially the one liners provided by JFK. If you like this kind of heavily tongue in cheek humour and performances you'll really enjoy the film, but avoid if you want a predictable slasher movie. Give it a chance though and you'll love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Is Well - TCB Baby, 28 July 2005
This review is from: Bubba Ho-Tep [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Bubba Ho-Tep is a modern masterpiece. Simple as that. Considering the budget that the director had for this film you begin to wonder how it ever got made in the first place (they couldn't even get one Elvis song for the soundtrack because if they did - all of their budget would be gone).
This film has everything the movie-goer wants:
1. An original story
2. A story that flows at a neat pace
3. Wonderful characters that grow on you
4. Comic relief
5. A suiting soundtrack
6. An ending that leaves you satisfied
Bubba-Ho-Tep has all of these. This movie shows the viewer how low-budget movies should be made. You don't need a heap of special effects and overatted/overpaid actors. What every viewer wants is a film that grips you and gives you great viewing experience.
Bruce Campbell was born to play Elvis. He gives a fantastic and unforgettable performance that will stay with you long after the film is over. The late Ossie Davis as JFK also gives a great performance as the paranoid 'ex-president' - its worth buying the film just to hear him explain why he really is JFK and how the government covered up his death by dying him and removing a piece of his brain.
Words can't describe how much I love this film. Buy Bubba-Ho-Tep. Buy it. Buy it. Buy it! If you don't buy it you are missing out on a whole lot of fun.
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Bubba Ho-Tep [DVD] [2002]
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