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  Easy Come, Easy Go Elvis Is As Elvis Does
Year: 1967
Director: John Rich
Stars: Elvis Presley, Dodie Marshall, Pat Priest, Pat Harrington Jr, Skip Ward, Sandy Kenyon, Frank McHugh, Ed Griffith, Read Morgan, Mickey Elley, Elaine Beckett, Sandy Nims, Diki Lerner, Robert Isenberg, Elsa Lanchester
Genre: Musical, Comedy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Ted Jackson (Elvis Presley) is a navy diver whose tour of duty ends in a couple of days, but that doesn't prevent him from visiting his old friend Judd (Pat Harrington Jr) at his bar as they used to perform a musical act together a while back. Once Ted arrives there with his three buddies, he can't help but notice the dancer there rehearsing with the house band, Jo (Dodie Marshall) - they're all very impressed with her moves though she's not quite as won over by them. However, Ted later gets the call to investigate a mine off the coast, and that's not all he finds...

Easy Come, Easy Go is generally considered one of the worst movies the King of Rock 'n' Roll ever made, but in truth it's not quite as bad as all that, it's actually fairly diverting for a late period take the money and run Elvis flick. Mainly this was because the production decided to move with the times and recognise that this was made during the Summer of Love, so E meets up with the local hippies, except he calls them beatniks, something that underlines how square the star was looking thanks to these machine tooled vehicles. And that was not all that illustrated, however accidentally, the world was moving on.

Not that it entirely left Elvis behind because the '68 Comeback Special was on the horizon, and it was movies like this which prompted that rethink of where he wanted his career to go from then on. He must have recognised how silly he was coming across in this film in particular, because it featured one of the most infamous musical numbers not only in a Presley flick, but perhaps of all time: The King's duet with the Bride of Frankenstein herself, Elsa Lanchester. Elsa was only in one scene, but she certainly made her mark, playing a dotty yoga teacher who orders Ted to join her class when he's seeking Jo, leaving him tied up in knots as he attempts to replicate the moves of the more limber pupils around him.

It is then when you didn't think it could get any more embarrassing that Elsa starts to trill a ditty about the practice of yoga - and Elvis joins in, with lyrics about getting twisted into a pretzel and how he's less than impressed. Well, it's hard to perform the exercises while wearing pixie boots. It barely lasts two minutes, but there it went, straight out the window: Elvis's credibility. Not that his reaction to the other hippy types was any less awkward, as he looked nothing less than bemused when confronted with body paintings and modern art, not to mention a very camp sculptor who Ted seems to realise is not straight, but has no idea how to react to him. Though that's more understandable when he's just dismantled and reassembled Ted's car as a mobile.

Actually, only about half of the plot concerned itself with the counterculture (against the odds, there's even a drugs reference in there) as the rest of this was about sunken treasure Presley's stuntman investigates in an old shipwreck that used to belong to Jo's grandfather. All he has to do is get hold of some diving equipment from an ex-television presenter, Captain Jack (Frank McHugh) who is now afraid of the water, and having the wool pulled over his eyes by a couple of opportunists, Gil (Skip Ward) and his partner Dina (Marilyn Munster herself, Pat Priest). These two wish to get their hands on the loot before Ted and company can, so a low powered battle ensues which features the inevitable fistfight between him and Gil. As to the songs, apart from the yoga one they're all much of a muchness except for You Gotta Stop, which isn't half bad (though some prefer the tune at the end). For sheer culture clash and the cluelessness that resulted, Easy Come, Easy Go was worth a look. Music by Joseph J. Lilley.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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