Owen Gleiberman
October 08, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Bubba Ho-Tep

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
92 minutes
Limited Release Date
09/26/03
performer
Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis
director
Don Coscarelli
distributor
Vitagraph Films
author
Don Coscarelli
genre
Comedy, Horror

We gave it a C-

Why is Elvis Presley living in a convalescent home in East Texas? Because 30 years ago, he escaped the fortress of his fame by trading places with an Elvis impersonator. Why is Elvis doing battle with a mummy who haunts the rest home so that he can suck out the souls of the dying? Because Don Coscarelli, writer-director of the logy, fatuous Bubba Ho-Tep, is trying to will a cult movie into existence — which, of course, never works. It’s a small plus that Bruce Campbell, from the ”Evil Dead” films, refuses to play Elvis as a joke, but he’s stuck chewing over a litany of old-hat regret (he should have dumped Colonel Parker, etc.). Besides, how much fascination can the King hold when he’s attempting to smash a giant scarab with a bedpan?

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