I Saw A Film!
Elvis is Mike, a working-class fellow who works winding ropes up on a yacht where he talks shit to a tween-ager and eventually finds himself between her and her daddy when she accuses him of buying her adult beverages at a night club. Just fine, as now Mike can pursue his nightlife of singing terrible songs and doing nothing with two ladies, one Ursula Andress who never stops complaining that he’s popular with the ladies, and the other Elsa Cardenas, who we’re told is a bull-fighter. We have to take her word for it as we don’t actually see any of that. With Elvis she sits in a sports car and takes the parking brake off and nearly kills them by having the car roll off a cliff as they chastely kiss. This sequence ends with them driving back with Elsa saying they need her station wagon.
Things are going just fine until a life-guard/ cliff-diver loses some of his hours to Elvis, and possibly some of his lady affections. This eventually leads to three things: First, the revelation that Mike was a high-wire circus performer who accidentally dropped his brother, killing him, and causing Mike forever PTSD (which is wholly understandable but hilarious). Second, to win over the ladies in Acapulco you have to be a cliff diver, and so he’ll have to put aside his understandable phobia and dive off a perilous cliff. Third, he’ll have to get into a very goofy Elvis fist-fight with the other guy he’s displacing. These are generally Captain Kirk-epic fights.
Along for the ride is a cute, little, extra precocious Latin boy who speaks like Tarzan and installs himself as the wise manager of Mike’s swinging singing career. Got all that?
I end up feeling rather bad for the young fellow who was sort of king of the area until Elvis arrived, but then, it’s all just a kid-show anyway, and probably time to give up the super-star dreams (unless you’re Elvis of course).
As far as the film goes, Acapulco is mostly a green-screen affair behind the actors. It doesn’t look much like Elvis went outside for most of the show, though IMDB says they filmed on location (it doesn’t mean Elvis was there though!). Adult audiences, I’m sure, were mostly fed up with these goofy movies which effectively slowly ground Elvis’s gravitas to dust, forcing him near the end of the sixties to relaunch an actual artist career (he did that with resounding success). The songs are painfully twee, quasi-mariachi numbers that never need rehearsal. Elvis is just a magical being from whom music and lyric spring forth entirely formed and sort of relevant to the moment. Though, you won’t be singing any of these tunes seconds after they end, they’re just not those sorts of ear-worms. I often wonder if it hadn’t been Elvis who would have been making these films? It’s possible they’d have foisted them on other youthful actors in the Frankie and Annette stable, but I feel more certain that many of these films would have just evaporated before they were even conceived without the potential money-making mug of Elvis. It is a question!
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