THE RETURN OF THE KING would have made a clever film school short. Drawn out to 70 minutes, the finished product reveals the pitfalls of parodying subjects that have been lampooned ad nauseum.
In the form of a true-life TV expose program, THE RETURN OF THE KING examines the Elvis Presley sightings that have proliferated since his death on August 16, 1977. Hosted by smarmy Brad Willard (Steve Strangio), this mockumentary dredges up conspiracy theories by questionable sources like
supermarket clerk Clem Mildermo (Dan Walsh), who received a crank phone call from "The King." In addition to resurrecting the rumor that Elvis is in a witness protection program because of blabbing against mobsters, the documentary contends that large footprints in the backwoods belong to Elvis,
and not, as previously assumed, to Bigfoot.
Professor Baxter (Michael Calomino) unequivocally states that evidence of an Elvis-like figure dates back to prehistoric cave drawings. Was the original Elvis part of a vanguard of alien visitors? Are extraterrestrials now cloning Elvis in record numbers? As the film's suppositions pile up, THE
RETURN OF THE KING grasps at one last straw; Elvis is indeed deceased, but can be photographed by ghost-shutterbug Kay Willagher (Jennifer McGinn). Unfortunately, Kay's snapshots of Elvis's spirit on the toilet don't develop at Fotomat. Dead or alive, which is it? All that remains is the
collective hope of the faithful that Elvis still swivels among us.
Sporadically amusing, THE RETURN OF THE KING suffers from its creators' amateurishness. Although their glee in trashing Elvis devotees is infectious, any goof-ball tabloid gets just as much of a response with only a sensational headline. On the plus side, the filmmakers fashion a dead-on parody of
cheesy, talking head documentaries. They also hit hilarious heights in the Sasquatch section, particularly when a Bigfoot travel pattern turns out to be a foot impression of Elvis's Vegas choreography. Scattershot in its approach, this likable misfire milks lousy dramatizations and shoestring
reenactments for cheap laughs, but chooses to broadly lampoon rather than intelligently satirize the ghoulish Elvis death cult.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: THE RETURN OF THE KING would have made a clever film school short. Drawn out to 70 minutes, the finished product reveals the pitfalls of parodying subjects that have been lampooned ad nauseum. In the form of a true-life TV expose program, THE RETURN OF TH… (more)