Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell), is an old man living in an East Texas retirement home, having switched identities with impersonator Dan Haff some time before his apparent death, but never got the chance to switch back. He teams up with fellow resident Jack (Ossie Davis) who believes himself to be John F. Kennedy (tinted brown) and the two of them face up to an evil Egyptian entity who has escaped during transportation and has chosen their retirement home as a hunting ground for souls on which to revive.
 

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The King vs. The King of the Dead

Elvis still hasn?t left the building for many people, Don Coscarelli being one of them, the cult filmmaker best known for the grave-robbing horror flick Phantasm (1979) and ongoing movie/TV series, The Beastmaster (1982). In his latest Coscarelli asks us to imagine ?The King? aka Elvis Presley, languishing in an old-folks? home after having swapped identities with an impersonator years before, to gain freedom from the chains of mega-celebrity. The only problem is old Elvis forgot to swap back to his regular life and finds himself now a prisoner of a walking frame and some pretty weird company inside the old folks? village. Now Elvis?s closest friends are an African-American gent who thinks he?s JFK (the late, great Ossie Davis) and a sour-faced nurse with cold hands (Ella Joyce). Just to add insult to injury, a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy (?!!) has moved to into the tool shed on the hospital grounds, which is threatening the lives of the inhabitants. So it?s time to put up or shut up for Elvis and JFK. With some hesitation they find their heroes within and mobilise ? electric wheelchair in tow - into geriatric action.On paper Bubba Ho-Tep shouldn?t work, but it does. (Coscarelli knows how to make it work on film). This is very much due to the commitment of one Bruce Campbell, perhaps one of America?s most recognisable cult movie actors from Sam Raimi?s Evil Dead movie series. Not only does Campbell give a credible performance as a possible Elvis ? he goes beyond impersonation - he commits 100% to this movie?s wildly eccentric premise and the role itself. He plays Elvis as a lapsed celebrity-come-good ol? boy, wondering where the hell his life went to, which makes Elvis?s eventual heroics plausible and, kind of touching. And watching Ossie Davis act is always a pleasure ? see Spike Lee?s Do The Right Thing for one of his best performances ever - and he has a ball with the ?JFK? character in what amounts one of his last screen roles before his death in February this year.Bubba Ho-Tep is a wild movie. It is vulgar, eccentric and hilarious, but you will need a healthy sense of the perverse, and cult cinema for that matter, to really ?get? it. All I can say is ?thank you, thank you very much?.

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1 hour 32 min

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