Author: Nathan, Ian
Date published: September 1, 2010
It 's a movie uh huh huh
MADE FOR TV ONLY TWO YEARS after The King passed on Io the great Vegas in the sky at the age of 42. this compelling three-hour biopic (available on DVD for the first time) is the John Carpenter/Kurl Russdl col labora! i on everyone forgets. Avoiding the genre excesses that would eventually swallow Carpenter's talents and setting aside some tinny TV production values, here was a sighting of a grown-up filmmaker immersed in a personal passion.
While it slops shuri ?G I he burger-fed death on the can (it ends in 1961J), all the major touchstones are covered: the rise Io fame, dubious management by The Colonel (Pat Mingle), the under-age and then abusive marriage io Priscillu. the movies, and the .struggle to comprehend fame on a godlike level. All the while and as Carpenter's central psychological thesis - he mourns for his stillborn twin brother Jcsse.
Russell is the revelation. It's a full-on, nearperfect Elvis impression, and if it required former King-coliaborator Ronnie McDoweil to re-record the classics, you'd never catch it from Russell's lip-synching. He was perhaps too young to fully incorporate the slowing gears and bloat of the twilight years, but the Emmy nomination was fully warranted. Ever spotted the sparks of Elvis in Snake Plissken and R. J. MacReady? Now you know why.
EXTRASA 'making of 'from 1979. with notorious grouch Carpenter on surprisingly genial form. The commentary only features McDoweil and Presleycousin Edie Hand, who politely gloss over everything.
FILM **** EXTRAS ***