Bubba Ho-Tep is probably the strangest film I have ever seen. It’s from the director and most of the crew behind Phantasm, and is adapted from an acclaimed short story by cult author Joe R. Lansdale. It stars Bruce Campbell as an elderly Elvis Presley, shuffling around a convalescent home and trying to thwart an ancient undead mummy with the aid of a black man who swears he’s JFK (“They dyed me this colour!”).
Elvis, who tired of his fame and switched places with an Elvis impersonator with a weak heart and a drug problem, is not a well man. It’s the indignity of ageing in a society that worships youth that is the real focus of this film, and it’s more poignant and sad than it is scary or funny. It’s as slow-moving and mournful as its moribund characters, but stays on just the right side of boring.
It is, after all, quite hard to be bored by a film about a mummy in cowboy gear that sucks out its victims’ souls through their butts.
If you liked Being John Malkovich … well, this is weirder.