And now from the fertile mind of Joel Gilbert, the man who gave us Paul McCartney Really Is Dead: The Last Testament Of George Harrison, we now have his latest release, Elvis Found Alive. So in the world of Joel Gilbert, Paul McCartney is dead and Elvis Presley is alive, and may I say, “Oh lord and away we go.”
Elvis Is Alive, which will be released January 24, is being advertised as a documentary. A documentary film can be historical, express an opinion, carry a message, and be dramatic but at its foundation it is based on fact. Fiction, on the other hand, is imaginary and not factual. Let’s see where Mr. Gilbert’s latest release falls.
Joel Gilbert visited Graceland and became suspicious as to the validity of Elvis’ death. He made a Freedom of Information Act request for U.S. government files about Elvis Presley. Lo and behold documents arrived from the FBI revealing an address for Federal Agent Jon Burrows, which turns out to be Elvis’ alias. After a brief confrontation, Elvis agreed to an exclusive interview.
Elvis talks about how the social unrest of the late 1960s and terrorism by the Weather Underground drove him to ask President Nixon to make him a Federal Agent. His battles against the Weather Underground finally lead him to fake his death in order to go undercover. He now wants to return to his singing career, but the Obama administration is preventing it.
The production values are right out of the Ed Wood School of Cinematography but without the amusement factor. One thing that Gilbert is very good at doing is taking modern myths and legends and combining facts and fiction to create his stories. I guess a fictionalized documentary would be the best definition of his approach. Some people may find it interesting or at least amusing but at 128 minutes, either of those is a stretch.
First there was Paul McCartney and now Elvis. Can Marilyn Monroe be far behind? There may be some appeal for hardcore fans of the king or people who keep the hope alive that he really is still with us. So, if you really gotta, grab a 12 pack and have at it.