Elvis from Outer Space is a film answering the question we have all wondered: What would it be like if Elvis faked his death and went to live with some aliens for a few decades?
The film is written and directed by Marv Z Silverman and Tracy Wuischpard. I was initially drawn in by the premise. It seemed fun in an over-the-top sci-fi comedy way. I really wanted to love this movie. I was hoping for another The Velocipastor, but ended up with something that didn’t quite capture that same B-movie joy.
The film stars George Thomas as Elvis, who now has a new body built by aliens, as he returns to Earth to find his daughter, Linda. Once on Earth, the CIA chase him down, he joins an Elvis impersonator contest and does too well, and very briefly, he uses some sort of lighting superpowers.
Narration and Story
Elvis from Outer Space could have been an enjoyable ride with Space Elvis and his superpowers that come from having a body designed in a different gravity than Earth, but instead, the film relies heavily on narration from one of the other Elvis impersonators.
This narration glosses over moments that would have been interesting to see, and favors showing the audience slow-paced conversations and Elvis impersonator performances that never use any Elvis songs.
Most of the runtime utilizes this narration technique and some of the few moments that move away from it take the form of a public access television show covering the Elvis impersonator contest.
The superpowers set up as Elvis escapes the CIA are fun, and that escape is one of the moments in the film that I enjoyed. But for most of the runtime, these powers are forgotten, and the idea of this being a space Elvis at all is left behind with them.
The first time this public access introduction was shown, I laughed. Every other time, the same introduction played throughout the film, I groaned. This narrative technique of using a local talk show to move the story forward could have been entertaining in a way reminiscent of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, but the segments fall flat. They don’t build on each other but play the same beats every time the film revisits Barry and his talk show.
Elvis from Outer Space works in a few moments throughout the film, but never with enough strength to make the rest of the film feel worth watching. When the film comes closer to the end, the idea of banding together a group of Elvis impersonators takes center stage.
This concept should have been more present throughout the film because it is one of the few moments that I felt the premise really came forward and felt as entertaining as I anticipated from the film. This is also the only moment when Elvis’s special powers come back after being hidden through most of the film. Seeing Elvis fight and kick some butt once again was a welcome surprise, but most of the film still felt too slow-paced and boring to make up for this one moment.
There is a little bit of joy watching so many different Elvis impersonators perform, but those moments would be funnier and more memorable if they performed Elvis songs.
Another aspect of the film I had some fun with was the animation of the aliens. It felt like a 1990s Windows screensaver, which is terrible, but it was one of the only aspects of the film that brought a little bit of humor along with its lack of budget.
If you are interested in seeing something that utilized a similar animation style in a very entertaining and wonderfully comedic way, check out the Adult Swim Infomercials segment “Skeleton Landlord.”
There are a few moments where the use of color and shapes stands out, but these all come during the beginning of the film, but these fade away the further Elvis gets from his alien buddies.
Depiction of Elvis
I enjoyed seeing the different impersonators and how they depicted the 1970s, Elvis, at the center of the film’s impersonator contest. I liked the choice to make the contest centered around 1970s Elvis, but even this falls flat with the central premise and the central Elvis.
None of the impersonations really stand out, but I did think the centralized idea behind the contest was a nice one. Even the ‘real’ Elvis didn’t seem to nail the impersonation, but he did say a phrase we all associate with Elvis a few times throughout the film.
Part of the premise involves Elvis being sent to aliens by the CIA where he gets a new, younger, and skinnier body. This works directly against the aim of the contest to celebrate 70s Elvis since the only one in the film deemed ‘good’ aims to be a younger version of The King.
While watching Elvis from Outer Space, I generally felt a desire to watch Bubba Ho-Tep, which offers a fun, B-movie style premise, memorable performances, and respect for this later-in-life image of Elvis.
Elvis from Outer Space takes a fun premise and manages to make a boring film that feels long, even with a 90-minute runtime. No performances stand out, but there is a tiny slice of fun to be had with the moments depicted a super-powered Elvis. Nothing can make this one worth checking out, but I wish I could say there was.
Which films depicting or heavily influenced by Elvis do you recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Elvis from Outer Space will be available July 7, 2020 on DVD and Blu-ray.
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