Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train consists of three parts. It takes place in a curiously de-populated Memphis where the ghost of Elvis Presley is ever-present. The segments are ”Far from Yokohama”, ”A Ghost” and ”Lost in Space”.
In ”Far from Yokohama” two Japanese tourists Jun (Masaoshi Nagase) and Mitsuko (Youki Kudoh) come to Memphis to see Graceland and Sun Studio. They are there to pay homage to Elvis and Carl Perkins. Through a series of circumstance they wind up at a run down hotel.
The hotel is the common denominator of all three stories, by the way. The Night Clerk (Screamin' Jay Hawkins) and the Bellboy (Cinqué Lee) feature in all three stories. The same scene replays three times from three different perspectives. The same song plays on the radio, the same DJ (Tom Waits) gives the same patter and the same gun shot is heard three times.
The second instalment ”The Ghost” follows the Italian widow Luisa (Nicoletta Braschi) who gets held over in Memphis with the casket containing her dead husband. She gets accosted in a diner by a man (Tom Noonan) who tells her a story about how he picked up a hitchhiker outside of Memphis who turns out to be the ghost of Elvis. Luisa also winds up at the hotel, sharing a room with Dee Dee (Elizabeth Bracco) who has jus left her boyfriend, Johnny, ironically nicknamed Elvis (Joe Strummer).
The third instalment ”Lost in Space” has three friends, Johnny ”Elvis” (Joe Strummer), Will Robinson (Rick Aviles) and Charlie the Barber (Steve Buscemi). Johnny has just lost his job and his girlfriend, Dee Dee from the previous segment. He is getting drunk in a bar with Will waving a gun around. As we all know alcohol and firearms are a really bad combination and Johnny winds up shooting a clerk at a liquor store. The three guys wind up at the hotel where Will knows the Night Clerk. They hide out in a completely wrecked room at the hotel.