Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Pete Vonder Haar
    I loved this film; from the opening “Ben-Hur” nod to the hieroglyph subtitles, it's simultaneously hilarious and poignant, with great performances.
  2. Reviewed by: David Hunter
    A zinger-filled crowd-pleaser that open-minded Elvis fans (but by no means all) will have fun with.
  3. 80
    Campbell is flat-out great, muting his beloved Sam Raimi shtick in favor of a genuine character turn, an act of transformation that makes you wonder why he's never been called on to interpret Elvis before.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A one-of- a-kind horror movie: hilarious, a little scary and strangely poignant. Campbell’s cranky, valiant, sad-sack King is a soulfully funny creation.
  5. A charming surprise, the kind of neat little low-budget movie that seems more like a collaboration among friends than it does a corporate investment.
  6. 75
    Endearing and vulgar in about the right proportion. The movie doesn't exactly work, but sometimes when a car won't start, it's still fun to look at the little honey gleaming in the driveway.
  7. 75
    It's a credit to the actors, particularly the superb Campbell, that completely preposterous material can be made strangely touching.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Surprisingly good as a quirky triumph of human spirit.
  9. 75
    As a satire and an off-the-wall comedy, Bubba Ho-Tep hits the bullseye. As a horror movie, it's less successful. Maybe we're too busy laughing to be scared.
  10. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    A wildly creative amusement, thanks mostly to Campbell, whose weathered yet still-taking-care-of-business Elvis is alone worth the price of admission.
  11. Not a comedy of guffaws and goofy gags, but a wry, underplayed little piece with an undercurrent of loss and abandonment.
  12. This horror-comedy about an aging Elvis in a haunted rest home proves not only is "Evil Dead's" Bruce Campbell a good actor, but possibly a great one.
  13. Much of the film is sub-sophomoric, but Campbell and Davis give hilarious deadpan performances.
  14. 63
    The film's good humor is often betrayed by its low-budget roots, however, as though it couldn't afford to be more original or ambitious than its premise.
  15. 60
    Based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale, this low-key oddity stresses character over broad laughs and shock effects, allowing Campbell and Davis to develop a quirky rapport that's a real pleasure to watch.
  16. Reviewed by: Chris Hewitt
    Diehards might be disappointed at the lack of chainsaw wielding, but this is Campbell’s finest hour since you-know-what.
  17. 60
    Playing against rubber-faced type, cult icon Bruce Campbell grounds his Elvis in a wry, understated swagger that holds the film's wacky excesses in orbit and does more honor to the legend himself than a thousand Vegas lounge-show wannabes.
  18. Reviewed by: Kevin M. Williams
    Coscarelli, the man behind the long-running "Phantasm" splatter series, can't quite conjure a complete movie out the concept and stretches the material until its humorous conceits repeat ad nauseum.
  19. 50
    It's the sort of sophomoric exercise that will be appreciated chiefly by viewers already convinced they love it even before they've bought their tickets.
  20. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Mismatched marriage of offbeat character study and unimaginative horror riffs. Most compelling element by far is Bruce Campbell's inspired performance as a nursing home patient who insists he is the real Elvis Presley.
  21. A leisurely paced, subtly funny, though verbally crude chamber piece.
  22. 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.
  23. Reviewed by: Ed Halter
    Though unpainfully entertaining, its greatest dose of otherworldly mojo must have been spent warding off straight-to-video status.
  24. 40
    There is a grungy high spirit during the first third of this film, but then it dissipates like a mist from an aerosol can.
  25. Adapted from a story by Joe R. Lansdale, this might have squeaked by as a half-hour "Twilight Zone" episode, albeit with jokes about toilets and erections in old age.
  26. The film stars Bruce Campbell of the "Evil Dead" series as Elvis in a touching, funny and at times grotesque performance that is actually the best thing about the movie.
  27. Davis contributes his usual dignity -- not easy when you're playing a character who thinks he's John F. Kennedy dyed black -- but it's not enough to save this silly thriller-comedy.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. Jul 11, 2012
    This is one of my all time favorite films. From the subtle horror to the warm and genuine relationship that the two main characters develop this movie has more heart in it then just about anything you see today. Many think it's a horror film about about a mummy but the real horror is just what we as a society do to our older generations. Fantastic film. Full Review »
  2. Sep 23, 2013
    Elvis vs The Mummy.

    This movie couldn't be any more B-list horror movie if it tried. The acting is average, the plot is absurd and utterly
    unbelievable and the effects are average at best. Yet, like anything with Campbell in it, it has a certain charm to it.

    As absurd as it might be, this movie is allot of fun and works better as a comedy than as a horror.

    You go into this movie expecting it to be bad. The name and the premise should be enough of a clue. Yet, low expectations do have a way of making something bad seem good. And in this case, that is exactly what it it. This is a fun enjoyable crap movie (if that makes any sense.)
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 30, 2012
    Considering the title, you'd expect the film to truly bloody awful. In fact, it's weird, wonderful, funny and surprisingly tender. Bubba Ho-tep is the best, and only film about an elderly Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) defending his retirement home from an Egyptian mummy wearing a stetson, with a little help from a black JFK (Ossie Davis). The first half of the film is well-paced, funny and rather deep and emotionally compelling for a film with such a seemingly lowbrow premise. Campbell is absolutely captivating as The King, who swapped lives with an impersonator (who was the one who eventually died on the toilet) to escape the increasingly suffocating attention of his fans. He lives out his twilight years in obscurity, regret and extreme depression in an isolated nursing home in Texas, until something odd begins to happen. The film explores mortality and memory in an unexpectedly intelligent and sensitive way (it's ultimately left to the viewer to decide whether Campbell's character is really Elvis or just some old codger with mental health problems), but at the same time it's not above the odd crude joke and some brilliantly trashy comic horror set pieces. The final few minutes of the film are admittedly a bit of a drag, and are appear to have been put together rather hastily, but you'll hardly care when you've had such a good time throughout. Bubba Ho-tep is a superb, surprisingly clever and heartfelt A-quality B-Movie, with Bruce Campbell's best performance outside his Sam Raimi collaborations. Full Review »