Elvis from Outer Space Movie Review

Blue Suede Saucers

"ATTENTION! ELVIS has left the planet! Elvis has left the planet!" Yup. A completely predictable remark you could expect from pretty much anybody after hearing the title of this movie.  Fortunately, the predictability of "Elvis from Outer Space" stops there. Instead, first time writer/directors Marv Silverman and Tracy Wuischpard have crafted a wonderfully original story that pushes aside all caricatures and tropes and replaces them with a fun and clever romp that fully lives up to its kooky title.
Yes, the roaring concert crowds are really the same 20 people in repeated shots. Yes, the CGI aliens are the typical big-eyed "Greys" that look like the animation sequences in between levels of a mid-90's computer game. Yes, some of the actors are at the beginning of their career - and giving it their best, for better or for worse.  And yes, if you are the type of person to press PLAY on a movie called "Elvis from Outer Space," you won't care about any of that at all, as the originality and entertainment value here far outweigh any apparent production limitations.  Plus, the way Silverman and Wuischpard work around these limitations reveals a knack for developing a unique and entertaining movie.

The iconic 1970s Elvis found ways to keep surprising his fans, and "Elvis from Outer Space" is equally unexpected. It fuses science fiction, alternate history, fantasy, and rock and roll to tell the story of one man's quest for unattainable reconciliation. The basics: after spending 30 years entertaining galaxy via a UFO piloted by friendly aliens, Elvis is longing to return to Earth to meet his estranged daughter. This journey home is not without risk: the CIA made a deal with the aliens to take Elvis just before he died. His return would reveal all the agency's UFO secrets, so they don't want Elvis back, dead or alive.  Worse, the aliens transferred The King's "energy and essence" into a thinner and younger body that will unfortunately deteriorate after prolonged exposure to Earth's gravity, killing Elvis for good.  Now, there's a hunka hunka burning plotline.

You might expect an Elvis-themed movie to be riddled with the kind of corny catch phrases you'd dread hearing from an unoriginal upper management co-worker in a rented Elvis costume at the company Halloween party. But "Elvis from Outer Space" avoids such nonsense by providing us with a low-key, subdued Elvis, possibly reflecting the serious nature of his visit. However, "low-key" is definitely not case when our Elvis hides in plain site at the Las Vegas "1970s Elvis World Crown Competition" coincidently taking place as he arrives home. The genuine Elvis performs under the pseudonym of John Burrows, surrounded by other contestants with varying non-Elvis body shapes, backgrounds, hairlines, wigs, and weight. However unlikely some of the competitors are, the tone is one of friendly rivalry based on a shared love and respect for Elvis, not an attempt to make fun of him. In this movie's world, no matter who you are, being an Elvis impersonator is a tribute, not a farce played for cheap laughs.

The filmmakers deserve a lot of credit for an original story, as well as a unique approach to it. They efficiently engage different cast members to provide narration, including one of the Elvis competitors providing overall narration, and an excitable Area 52 (yes, 52) security officer guiding us through the CIA's hunt for Elvis. Emceeing the Elvis Competition is the host of popular Vegas TV entertainment show "Barry Live," and the daytime tv-style art direction here really works, as does the character's enthusiasm. If you're looking for a way to provide exposition in a movie, this strategy is spot-on.

Another clever choice is the use of new songs during the Elvis Competition, easily avoiding pricey licensing fees and any potential comparisons to the real Elvis. The resulting music is one of the highlights of the movie and provides a great rock and roll groove. There is also a love interest between Elvis and the glamorous manager of the Vegas competition, and as Elvis is aware that his alien-supplied body is a ticking time bomb, their relationship goes from hello to hot to heavy in short order.  However, the filmmakers keep it light: no nudity, folks. It is not necessary in this movie and would have cheapened the film overall.

Fun casting surprises include Sammy Fox, Elvis' former head of security playing himself as "Space" Elvis gets his old team back together. Fox's emotional performance when meeting Elvis again has some real feeling behind it. And CIA Chairman Townsend is played by Alexander Butterfield, the real live secret agent who apparently supervised the installation of a secret taping system in the Oval Office of the White House during the Nixon administration - and we all know that President Nixon was an Elvis fan.

"Elvis from Outer Space" isn't a multi-million dollar production. Some scenes might be a little rough around the edges, and it may be the kind of script that Tinseltown would have passed on. But Hollywood rarely produces hidden gems anymore, and with their unique, fun, and entertaining debut, Marv Silverman and Tracy Wuischpard have done just that. Viva Space Elvis!

BONUS GEEK INFO
  • In this movie, Elvis uses John Burrows as his name. Allegedly, when setting up the meeting with Richard Nixon in 1970, Deputy Narcotics Director John Finlator arranged for Elvis to come to his office under the name of John Burrows.

  • The film's opening credits feature Elvis descending from a flying saucer to the theme of 2001: A Space Odyssey (Strauss op. 30, Also Sprach Zarathustra). Wayne Newton descends from a flying saucer to the same music during his 1989 "Live from the Las Vegas Hilton" show (see YouTube). Coincidence?
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Elvis from Outer Space Movie Review Elvis from Outer Space Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, July 05, 2020 Rating: 5

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