film pits Elvis against an Egyptian Mummy!
Spotlight On The King....on a regular basis EIN examines a new
release or issue in the Elvis world. In this edition we shine our
spotlight on one of the most unusual films with an Elvis theme:
Bubba Ho-Tep - The King of Rock versus The King of the Dead!
a twist on the Elvis replaced by an impersonator theme, a pounding
rock score, some hilaroius scenes (including the opening scene replete
with heiroglyphic sub-titles!) and a climax beyond belief, it all
sounds, and is bizzare, but Bubba Ho-Tep is receiving rave reviews
at film festivals and in independent media reviews around the world.
from The King's own 33 feature films, the Elvis character
has appeared in or inspired countless documentary movies and
around a dozen narrative films. From Elvis: The Movie (starring
Kurt Russell) to the more recent releases, Finding Graceland
(Harvey Keitel and Bridget Fonda) and 3000 Miles To Graceland
(starring Kevin Costner and again, Kurt Russell) the movies
range from straight biographies to poignant tales of personal
breakthrough and fanciful caper heists.
the latest film featuring the Elvis Presley character is easily
the most bizzare in concept - Bubba Ho-tep is a horror film
from the Silver Sphere Corporation pitting its chief protagonists,
Elvis and JFK against a soul-sucking mummy!
la la! This is a different sort of movie! And a highly enjoyable
the Toronto Film Festival hundreds of Elvis fans and film lovers
were turned away with the full-house sign being quickly posted as
more than 1,000 people took their place to enthusiastically receive
the film. And in his performance as The King, Bruce Campbell delivers
what many are saying is the best ever portrayal of Elvis on-screen.
the $64,000 question is: will any movie distributor take a chance
on an Elvis inspired film with such a strange premise or will it
be relegated to only a DVD and video release?
PR: The King of Rock vs. The King of Dead Based on the Bram
Stoker Award nominee short story by acclaimed author Joe R. Lansdale,
Bubba Ho-Tep tells the "true" story of what really did become of
find Elvis(Bruce Campbell) as an elderly resident in an East Texas
rest home, who switched identities with an Elvis impersonator years
before his "death", then missed his chance to switch back. Elvis
teams up with Jack (Ossie Davis), a fellow nursing home resident
who thinks that he is actually President John F. Kennedy, and the
two valiant old codgers sally forth to battle an evil Egyptian entity
who has chosen their long-term care facility as his happy hunting
in its originality, Bubba Ho-Tep transcends the "late-night cult"
genre by virtue of captivating performances by Campbell and Davis,
and the assured direction of Don Coscarelli. Coscarelli handles
the bizarre material with such precision that you actually believe
that Elvis and JFK are alive and not quite well. He treats the characters,
and old age for that matter, with such respect that no matter how
absurd things become, you are completely with him. Bubba Ho-Tep,
with its cinematic flash and terrifically offbeat humor, is a fantastic
story of redemption, courage and friendship.' (2002 CineVegas International
Ho-Tep is a wonderful fim with a bravura lead performance that doesn't
deserve to leave the building until everyone is aware of it' (Erik
like the ultimate B-movie - fun, funny and raucous. Elvis, dude,
you're still the man. And Don Coscarelli, thank you, thank you
very much' (Lynn Jatania, Cinema Scene)
significant piece of American cinema (Nick Dijilio, WGN Chicago)
goddam ass kicking Bruce Campbell film! (Harry Knowles, Ain't It
received at its world premiere and seeking distribution -- which
it deserves even if it isn't exactly a masterpiece -- "Bubba Ho-Tep"
stars Bruce Campbell ("Spider-Man") as the remorseful, sad-sack
King in a performance for the ages. Somewhat held back by its budget
in the finale and in glimpses of ancient Egypt -- where the cowboy-duds-wearing
title creature (Bob Ivy) comes from -- it's still a zinger-filled
crowd-pleaser that open-minded Elvis fans (but by no means all)
will have fun with.
voice-over ruminations over not knowing his daughter, wondering
if Priscilla would still love him if she knew he was alive and obsessing
over his deteriorating physical condition, Elvis and Jack observe
the lumbering, not-very-scary Bubba Ho-Tep enter the rest home at
night and consume souls in a very nasty way..........(with) the
help of Brian Tyler's rock score that makes one not miss Elvis'
music, the final showdown depicting the King in one of his trademark
Vegas-era costumes, barely mobile with the help of a walker but
being a hero and paying the price, is inspired goofiness and takes
care of business' (David Hunter, Las Vegas, June 2002)
HO-TEP SilverSphere Corp.
on a story by: Joe R. Lansdale
Don Coscarelli, Jason Savage
producer: Dac Coscarelli
of photography: Adam Janeiro
designer: Daniel Vecchione
Donald Milne, Scott J. Gill
designer: Shelley Kay
Elvis: Bruce Campbell; Jack: Ossie Davis; The Nurse: Ella Joyce;
Callie: Heidi Marnhout; Bubba Ho-Tep: Bob Ivy
time -- 92 minutes. No
can check out the film's website for more information: www.bubbahotep.com
time will tell if Bubba Ho-Tep if any distributor is willing to
take a chance on such an original and strange concept as Bubba Ho-Tep
and give it a theatrical release. EIN is keeping its fingers crossed
for an early general release of this very unusual film which is
destined to make the Elvis world "all shook up".
edition of Spotlight on The King was prepared by Nigel Patterson.
Bubba Ho-Tep was finally picked up by MGM and released on DVD in
mid 2004. A limited edition release came with a smorgasbord of extra
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