Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

bubba ho tep poster 2002 movie bruce campbell
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Weird story, fun characters

Obviously cheap, ending is a bit of a let down

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Bubba Ho-Tep

Studio:  Silver Sphere Corporation

Genre(s):  Horror/Comedy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  June 9, 2002

MPAA Rating:  R


Elvis has NOT left the building!

Elvis (Bruce Campbell) is alive!  He is living in the Shady Rest Retirement Home in East Texas under the name of Sebastian Haff, and no one even knows it.  How he got there is no mystery, but the mystery is what is killing people in the retirement home.  Teaming up with an older African-American man named Jack (Ossie Davis) who says he is JFK, Elvis discovers an ancient horror preying on the souls of the elderly.  A mummy has come to Shady Rest and no one is safe!

Directed by Don Coscarelli, Bubba Ho-Tep is based on the short story by Joe R. Landales.  The movie had a positive response from critics and over the years has gained a cult following.


Beetle attack!

Bubba Ho-Tep is by the creator of Phantasm and like Phantasm, the movie seems to be weird for weirdness sake.  A mummy, Elvis, and an African-American JFK just isn’t your standard movie…and that is a good thing.

The story for Bubba Ho-Tep (minus the weird aspects) is kind of dull and doesn’t live up to the great surrounding story.  By making the characters old, the pacing of the story also feels a bit sluggish.  The final battle with the mummy in the yard also is lacking…especially since it is a kind of cool mummy.


It’s mummy-time!

Like The Evil Dead series, the movie really is about Bruce Campbell.  Campbell gives his all as the real Elvis who gave it up for his anonymity.  He doesn’t quite get the “old person” movement down like some actors who have played old, but he still is fun.  I wish that Ossie Davis actually had more of a role in the movie.  I love his JFK and the paranoia that comes from it (the scene where he confronts Elvis about his rumored opinion of him is a great moment).  The little interludes by Daniel Roebuck and Daniel Schweiger as the coroners really didn’t do much for me, but I did like the nurse played by Ella Joyce.


You don’t need to know Egyptian to translate these hieroglyphics!

Visually, the movie is obviously low budget but tries to make the best of what it can.  The movie did make a good mummy (a western mummy at that) and does some interesting stuff with the hieroglyphics especially at the end…with another example of the humor.  I wish however that the cool mummy went out better instead of like a chump.

Bubba Ho-Tep is if nothing else an interesting film.  It is a type of film that shows anything can be woven into a story if one tries.  After the initial release of Bubba Ho-Tep there was talk about making a sequel or prequel (Bubba Nosferatu:  Curse of the She-Vampires was tossed around).  Unfortunately this never happened, but with continued interest in the film and a mini-release with Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End in 2012, there’s always hope that Elvis will live again!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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