Bubba Ho-Tep (novella)

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Bubba Ho-Tep
AuthorJoe R. Lansdale
Cover artistAaron Lea
CountryUnited States
GenreAlternate history
PublisherNight Shade Books
Publication date
August 1, 1994
Media typePrint (Hardcover, Trade paperback)
Preceded bySteppin' Out, Summer '68 
Followed byTight Little Stitches In A Dead Man's Back 

Bubba Ho-Tep is a 1994 alternate history novella by American author Joe R. Lansdale. It was first published on August 1, 1994 in the Elvis Presley themed anthology The King is Dead and has since been re-published in various formats.[1] A film adaptation by the same name was released in 2002 and starred Bruce Campbell as the lead character of Elvis.


In this story, the real Elvis Presley switched places years ago with an Elvis impersonator. Tired of the life of drugs, women, and people who wanted nothing more than his money, he settles in to live a life of obscurity in a East Texas trailer park, where he becomes the best Elvis impersonator ever. Then his health begins to fail, and he falls from a stage and breaks his hip. His trailer burns down and with it all evidence that proves he was the real Elvis Presley. He ends up in a shabby retirement home, which is where the story starts.

Late at night, Elvis hears scuttling noises and other creepy sounds in the otherwise quiet Mud Creek Shady Grove Convalescence Home. He befriends a black man, who's convinced he's John F. Kennedy, and the two begin to piece together that an Egyptian mummy is stalking the halls and sucking up souls in the night. Together the two men confront the monster, as no one will believe them.


A film adaptation of Bubba Ho-Tep was released in 2002 and was directed by Don Coscarelli, who also wrote the film's screenplay. Bruce Campbell was brought in to portray the film's lead character of Elvis Presley and Ossie Davis as Kennedy. Due to a successful roadshow theatrical release held by Coscarelli, Bubba Ho-Tep quickly obtained cult movie status.

In 2018, IDW Publishing released a five-issue limited series prequel, Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers. The series was supervised by Lansdale, written by Joshua Jabcuga, and illustrated by Tadd Galusha.[2]


Kirkus Reviews heavily criticized Bubba Ho-Tep upon its initial release, as they considered the story to be one of the worst of the Elvis anthology as they thought that Lansdale "spends too much time on The King's hard-ons" and that "too much bad writing leaves the reader all shook up and itchin like a man on a fuzzy tree".[3]