B R I E F   S Y N O P S I S
Based on the Bram Stoker Award-nominated short story by acclaimed author Joe R. Lansdale, Bubba Ho-Tep tells the "true" story of what really did become of Elvis Presley. We find Elvis (Bruce Campbell) as an elderly resident in an East Texas rest home. He had 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 grounds… From Don Coscarelli, director of Phantasm and The Beastmaster.
  The Jumpsuit
   
 

They say that Elvis began wearing his famous jumpsuits in the 1970s because he was overwhelmed by his own power over fans. It's a fact that Elvis had such a profound effect on people that with just a nod, a wink or a twist of the hips, he could cause them to swoon. As the years went by, the King decided to poke fun at himself by donning the wide, studded belt, the gabardine jumpsuit and the studded cape, which made him appear more like a comic book superhero than a rock icon. Elvis could still perform his trademark moves, but the jumpsuit gave the impression that he was just having fun, not taking himself so seriously. It allowed Elvis, and his fans, to experience these later performances with a certain level of sanity, if not dignity.

The jumpsuits are an integral part of my new film, Bubba Ho-Tep, based on the short story by acclaimed cult-author Joe R. Lansdale. Bubba Ho-Tep tells the "true" story of a seventy year-old "Elvis" (still alive after trading places with an Elvis impersonator years before his "death") who finds himself stuck in a rest home in East Texas. Elvis teams up with another elderly resident, played by the legendary Ossie Davis (who believes himself to be President John F. Kennedy, dyed black!), to challenge a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy which has targeted their long-term care facility as his happy hunting grounds.

Early on, our costume designer, Shelley Kay, teamed up with the
top Elvis jumpsuit fabricator, B+K Enterprises, to create the three authentic jumpsuits worn in the film by our star, Bruce Campbell.
As Bruce was preparing for the role, we met with an authentic Elvis impersonator, who had the distinction of having a long-running show on the Vegas strip. This impersonator had some good ideas for Bruce's onstage performance sequences, but what was most interesting was his story about an encounter with one of the genuine Elvis jumpsuits.

Evidently, as I recall, our impersonator was booked to appear at a charity function and one of the big donors owned an Elvis collection with some of the original jumpsuits. The donor offered to let our impersonator wear one for the charity show. This was as near to God as an impersonator could get…to actually wear a stage-worn, vintage Elvis jumpsuit. As he related the story to us, he was onstage performing at the charity, really getting into his groove and heating it up, feeling this jumpsuit, actually worn by the King, form-fitting around his body… when he started to notice an odor wafting up from the suit. It was Brut…the aftershave.

Only a die-hard fan would know the following obscure fact, but Elvis' jumpsuits could not be cleaned. You could not even hand wash them as it would damage the fabric and jeweled studding. So, according to legend, at the end of a show, when Elvis was all sweated up (and toward the end, he really got sweaty), the King would dump half a bottle of Brut aftershave all over the suit to mask the smell. So here's our impersonator relating to us with an almost religious fervor about his experience immersed in the real, vintage aromas of Elvis Aaron Presley.

If you plan on seeing one Elvis vs. Mummy movie this year I hope that Bubba Ho-Tep is it.

   

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