The people who believe that Paul McCartney is really dead will be glad to learn that Elvis Presley is still with us. Or so filmmaker Joel Gilbert says in his latest film, “Elvis Found Alive.”
Gilbert was the guy responsible for the awful “Paul McCartney Really Is Dead” that wasn’t good enough to be satire. “Elvis Found Alive” is better than that, but barely. In the film, Gilbert shows Presley never died in 1977, faked his death, lived a hidden life as an undercover agent and later went into the witness protection program.
The story starts when Gilbert’s staff requests Freedom of Information files on Elvis Presley for a film project. When the files arrive, they’re censored with ink, much of it still wet.
Gilbert and his staff clean up the files and, after reading them, conclude someone named Jon Burrows living in Simi Valley, Ca., has a link to Presley. They go to the guy’s home and notice his car, a ’60s Chevy has a vintage “Nixon’s the One” bumpersticker and Elvis 8-tracks inside. Cue the suspense music.
After knocking on his door and questioning “Burrows” what they know, the man allows them to interview him, but with his face darkened. ”Elvis” narrates his “life” and tells how contracts were put out on his life by both the Mafia and ’60s radicals the Weather Underground, how he faked his death using a lookalike (the Elvis is dead hoax?) and what he’s been doing since.
Among other things, “Elvis” criticizes the Beatles, especially John Lennon, as drug users. What was all that stuff found with Elvis when he died?
The climax links “Elvis” to President Barack Obama, who “the singer” refers to as Barry Soetero, a name used for the president by conspiracy theorists who tried to link him to ’60s radicals, especially William Ayers, whose name is mentioned often. “Elvis” says, of course, that Obama has a socialist agenda. Of course he does.
Gilbert even manages to convince him to make a new record. A companion CD, sampled on the DVD, features ”Presley” singing songs including the Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” Michael Jackson’s ”Wanna Be Startin’ Something” (in the film, “Elvis” criticizes Lisa Marie Presley for her short-lived marriage to the singer) and redoing a couple of his old songs. The music is credited to Wayne Peet.
Gilbert’s “Paul McCartney Really Is Dead” was a sad affair that featured a horrible George Harrison impersonator telling a wild story. The climax linked McCartney’s ex-wife Heather Mills to the hoax two years before she was born.
“Elvis Found Alive” is just as silly, though way way too long. The ”Elvis” imitator, though, sounds very good. Gilbert even gets actress Celeste Yarnell, who was in the Presley film “Live a Little, Love a Little,” involved.
“Elvis Found Alive,” though, is strictly for laughs. Who’d ever believe this stuff? Maybe someone who thinks Paul McCartney is really dead.