Bubba Ho-Tep is an obscure little film and most folks never noticed it when it was released over a decade ago. So why am I bringing up this picture now? Well, it’s a perfect addition to my “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” series, as it’s so unique, so mind-bendingly strange that you have to see it to believe it!! And, unlike some of my recommendations, this one is a lot of fun!
Bubba Ho-Tep has a plot that you won't believe and it makes you wonder if the filmmakers were either on some serious drugs or perhaps they had been dropped on their heads too many times when they were babies!
The story opens in a nursing home in the present day. One of the residents is Elvis (Bruce Campbell)--though everyone thinks he's just an Elvis impersonator and he cannot convince them otherwise. Soon a series of killings occur in the home and it turns out it's all due to an evil mummy! Naturally, no one believes Elvis when he tells them what is afoot--so he gets his friend, John F. Kennedy, to help!! Now, mind you, JFK is played by Ossie Davis--a VERY black actor! According to 'JFK', after he was shot, the surgeons somehow turned him black and left him to rot in this crappy nursing home!! Considering that the destruction of evil and the future of humanity rests on the shoulders of two, we appear to be completely screwed!
Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce
10 October 2003
Martin's Grade: A
This is just an exercise in bizarreness--albeit a very clever one. Campbell is very memorable as a foul-mouthed Elvis and his army of fans (due to his cult-like Evil Dead movies) must have loved every minute of this picture…though others probably never heard of it. Davis is also quite good--and it's a terrific two-man show. Amazingly, the budget was practically nothing and dollar-for-dollar, it is one of the best comedies I’ve ever seen. Well worth seeing--and young filmmakers should see this to see how much film they can make for a mere pittance.
By the way, at the end of the credits, it announces a new film--Bubba Nosferatu: Curse of the She-Vampires. Sadly, this film has NOT been made--and a decade later there's little evidence that it's coming any time soon. It’s a shame, as Bubba Ho-Tep is quite the trip and deserves much more attention than it has gotten so far.