I Saw A Film!

It’s a little confusing, Elvis starts out on leave from his job as a naval officer dismantling mines, kind of like The Hurt Locker (just kidding, not even close), but within a few minutes you’re dismissing his navy buddies and he’s released from the navy to go sing and look for treasure and do yoga with Elvis movie regular Dodie Marshall (we need to bring that name back, Dodie). As soon as Elvis manages to locate a treasure (while decomissioning a mine he notices a treasure chest) he’s beset upon by a rival crew of blondes (one of them Marilyn Munster) who suss out –Elvis correctly surmises they’re guessing–that he’s treasure hunting.

The music. It’s bad. Elvis made a name for himself (and what a name!) creating that jittery rock n’ roll sound. Let’s talk about it for a bit. Guitar, upright bass and himself. They did blues but did it faster. The upright bass produced, because of the triplet slaps the bassist did, a kind of percussion that you can hear clearly on the early records. Ticket-a ticket-a ticket-a ticket-a. It was a model that would inspire thousands of kids to play and sing, and bands were launched. But the music in this film has little to do with that brilliant sound. It’s 1967 and they’ve been steadfastly peddling Elvis in these films as more of a crooner. Of course, the idea is to appeal to as wide a selection of the public as possible. But again, this is silly, they should have just aimed at his fans, those are really the people coming to see these jejune movies. What I’m saying is, it’s a shame we aren’t being allowed to have Elvis rock and roll. Hell by the time this film was made the British invasion had happened and rock music was established as the cultural powerhouse totally replacing Jazz. In fact, the big Jazz names would quickly hybridize their playing and create “fusion”.

So the music in Easy Come Easy Go isn’t very good. And when Elvis slides over and picks up a bass guitar and starts miming that he’s playing some kind of line on it, we hear nothing, and chuckle at the result. When he sits in on a “yoga” class the clown instructor, basically a Victorian chubby lady demanding Dancing Shiva positions (which is people sitting cross-legged with their hands up) it gets horribly embarrassing. When already cornball films reach for jokes the results are worse than drunken Dad Jokes. The yoga instructor lady launches into a song with the refrain, “Yoga is as yoga does” and it goes on to suggest that Elvis will never get it. He sings in response that it hurts and whatnot and we’re unsure what this alien non-yoga and cornball “beatnik” scene is making fun of. Later on we meet a creepy artist named Zoltan (could have been a great early role for someone like Klaus Kinski) who disassembles cars and turns them into mobiles. He does this to the necessary car at an inopportune moment, and no one gets particularly mad about it. Zoltan then lends his car, which is of course the most modded dragster imaginable, with surf board seats. Of course, it immediately runs out of gas, and gets a flat (these are basal level jokes). Another artist at the center, which is hoping for a real place to establish their art, paints with girls in bikinis, rolls them along an upright canvas with paint on their bums. You get the picture a kind of candyfied version of real artistry and culture. Later when our Dodie tries to tell everyone something really amazing, someone yells out, “Cinderella was a junkie”. Huh? Meanwhile we get a lot of further jokes from an old feller who is continuing his discontinued kiddie show called Captain Jack (played by Old Timey entertainer Frank McHugh) where he pretends to go undersea and pilot ships. The rival treasure hunters make use of him because he has diving gear to rent.

Eventually, after a few more boring songs, and very little romantic interest, the kids manage to locate the treasure and bring it up. Turns out to not be very valuable after all. But it’s enough to fund the arts center! A great schtick would be for some modern comics to remake one of these things and fill with flat pure sexuality and real counter-culture, making it utterly dangerous.

This one runs free on Prime (usa) and This movie ain’t the Living End, you dig?

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