Archive for the ‘Elvis Presley’ Tag

The Chronicle: News from the Edge–Episode 20–The King is Undead (2002)   1 comment

Above:  Confirmed Sightings of Elvis Presley, 1977-2001

All images in this post are screen captures.

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The King is Undead

Canadian Television Rating = PG

Hyperlink to Episode

Aired March 8, 2002

Production Number = 5009-01-119

Starring

Chad Willett as Tucker Burns

Jon Polito as Donald Stern

Reno Wilson as Wes Freewald

Rena Sofer as Grace Hall

Curtis Armstrong as Sal the Pig-Boy

Sharon Sachs as Vera

Main Guest Actor

Joey Sagal as Jesse Garon/Elvis Presley

Behind the Camera

Writer = Javier Grillo-Marxuach

Director = Krishna Rao

Above:  Jesse Garon

Brief Summary

Donald Stern is ecstatic.  In 2002, after a quarter of a century of sporadic reported sightings, the ultimate quarry of tabloids seems within his grasp.  There is an elusive, reclusive figure with worshipers and imitators who hold rallies and rituals.  The reclusive figure always appears at the concluding rituals of these gatherings, and always between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.  Finding him would be, in Stern’s words, “Tet, D-Day, and the invasion of Grenada rolled up into one.”  The elusive quarry is Elvis Presley, who faked his death in 1977.  Tucker Burns and Wes Freewald, undercover as Elvis impersonators, get the assignment of a lifetime.

Meanwhile, Grace Hall is unhappily stuck with a story about another skid row vampire.  He turns out to be an Elvis impersonator, so the A-plot and the B-plot merge.

For once, Wes Freewald is the skeptic among the main characters.  He spends almost all of the episode not believing that Elvis is alive despite many clues to the contrary.  “Jesse Garon” is staying in room 1835 (for January 8, 1935, the birthday of Elvis Presley.)  “Jesse Garon” (the name of Presley’s deceased twin brother) has checked in as “Tennessee C. Beale.”  He is also the right age to be Elvis Presley.  “Jesse Garon” consistently denies being Elvis while fitting the description.  Tucker and Wes unwittingly interfere his plan to spray the nearly 100 vampires in the ballroom with holy water via the sprinkler system, thereby destroying the soulless undead.

On the final night of the Elvisopolis 3000 Elvis Impersonator Competition, the master of ceremonies is King Master Lobo, a vampire.  These are dangerous events that have been occurring for about two decades; there has been at least one vampire-related killing per Elvisopolis, and the undead victim has walked out of the morgue every time.  Before Grace may enter the ballroom, she must dress like Elvis, so she does.  Once there, she realizes that she is surrounded by vampires.

“Jesse Garon” takes great offense to vampires disguised as Elvis impersonators.  He has been hunting and killing them for a quarter of a century, after finding a secret hive of vampires in Las Vegas then deciding to fight back after some of the undead stalked him.  The list of Jesse’s allies grows from Wes, Tucker, and Grace to include Donald Stern and Vera, who come equipped to spray vampires with garlic.  However, the only people the guards will allow into the ballroom are those dressed like Elvis.  Vera and Donald have to wait.  Jesse and our main trio kill all but one of the vampires in the ballroom.  Tucker even shines the ultraviolet flash light onto Wes’s sparkly attire, causing UV light to kill many of the undead.  Tucker and Jesse kill Lobo.

When the police arrive, Donald Q. Stern, Ph.D. in molecular biology, provides a cover story to an officer:  there was a mass hallucination.

“Jesse Garon,” wearing blue suede shoes and still denying being Elvis Presley, departs.  Wes Freewald has not taken a photograph of him.

Above:  Elvis Impersonators

Character Beats

Of all the World Chronicle staff members, Grace Hall has the most firsthand experience with vampires.

Tucker Burns has been a fan of Elvis Presley since childhood.  He spent many Saturday afternoons watching Elvis movies the local UHF television station aired.

Wes Freewald’s parents are fans of Elvis Presley.  Wes is not.  In late May 1977, during the week Star Wars Episode IV:  A New Hope debuted, the Freewald family drove four hours one way to attend an Elvis concert.  The parents dressed Wes like Elvis, who gave him a blue scarf.  Nevertheless, Wes cared more about Star Wars.

Vera really needs a boyfriend, husband, whatever.

Donald Q. Stern may hold a Ph.D. in molecular biology.

Above:  Vampire-Elvis Impersonator

Great Lines

Grace Hall, to Donald Stern:  “How many times do I have to tell you I didn’t know he was a vampire until our second-to-last date?”

Tucker Burns, to Wes Freewald:  “Hey, man, not everybody in our generation is a raving scifi geek, all right?  I mean, in a straight fight, I would pick the King of Rock and Roll over Han Solo or Captain Kirk any day.”  Wes Freewald:  “Okay, now this discussion is over.  We’ve got to draw the line somewhere, Tucker.’

Wes Freewald:  “Even though the King never did make a scifi flick, we’ve got to help him.”

Grace Hall, to Wes Freewald:  “Why are you dressed like Little Richard?”

Jesse Garon:  “Teenage girls and scifi geeks say, ‘slayer.’ I’m a vampire hunter.”

Jesse Garon:  “Those sons of bitches have soiled the name of the King of Rock and Roll for the last time.”

Donald Stern:  “You know me–always on the look for a mass vampire movement.”

Above:  Lobo

In-Universe

This episode plays out within a few hours, from late one night to early the next morning.

There is an army of vampires bent of global domination.  See He’s Dead, She’s Dead, the seventh episode produced and the fifth one broadcast.

Above:  Vera with Donald Stern, Spraying Garlic

Comments

The King is Undead is the twentieth episode produced and broadcast.

The King is Undead contains many references to Elvis Presley’s wardrobe, lyrics, and movies in dialogue, as well as visually.  Vince, an alcoholic homeless man, points to a canine and tells Grace, “It’s just a hound dog.”  Grace, speaking on her cellular telephone, says she was “all shook up.”  Sal the Pig-Boy pleads, “Don’t be cruel.”  He also dresses like late Elvis.  Donald Stern tells Tucker and Wes, “It’s now or never.”  A group called the Blue Hawaiians wins the award for best Elvis-inspired barbershop quartet.  The list goes on and on.

An Elvis-inspired barbershop quartet?

This episode is enjoyable.  The concept is properly wacky, and the execution of it excellent.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 8, 2020 COMMON ERA

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Peer Pressure/Peer Pressure (Redux)   3 comments

Above:  Dr. Nasreen

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 1, EPISODE 6

MAIN CAST

Michael Paré as Dante Montana

Claudette Roche as Lucretia “Luc” Scott

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

SUPPORTING CAST

Laura Landauer as Dr. Nasreen

Jazz Mann/Jasbir Mann as Ajit

Peter Pacey as Dr. McIntyre

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = G. Philip Jackson

Writer = Annie Ingham

Composer = Donald Quan

Length of the original episode = 0:47:23

Length of the Redux episode = 0:44:05

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Ajit

A Screen Capture

  1. Laura Landauer is a singer and comedian who impersonates both Celine Dion and Elvis Presley.
  2. This was the first filmed episode.  The original episode from 2000 plays like a pilot episode.  The Redux version does not.
  3. We see the end of Rudolpho’s opening transmission from the original episode.
  4. The storytelling in the Redux episode is tighter than in the original episode.
  5. Dr. Nasreen, an expert in psychological traumatic stress, is insane, dangerous, and cruel.  She also has an unhealthy interest in her son.
  6. Caravaggio is a wonderfully sarcastic artificial intelligence.
  7. Dr. Nasreen developed a method of controlling hardcore criminals:  manipulating their magnetic fields to make them docile.  If they want to live, they must obey orders.  If a prisoner disobeys, his or her cerebral cortex self-destructs.  The delivery method is a red light flashed into the eyes.
  8. Dr. Nasreen is the suspect in the murder of one Dr. McIntyre.
  9. Percy is cute.
  10. Percy and Ajit flirt and have mutual puppy love.
  11. Percy does need to get off the ship and find more people to whom to talk.
  12. Dr. Nasreen orders Dante, under her control, to kill Luc and to enjoy doing so.  Then Luc, immunized from the red light zapping by Caravaggio, seizes control of the association and forces Dr. Nasreen to reverse the procedure on Dante, back at Mimas, from which Dante picked up Dr. Nasreen and Ajit.
  13. Mimas is a moon of Saturn.
  14. After Caravaggio humiliates Percy in front of Ajit, she reduces the AI’s intelligence so much that it begins to sing “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?”
  15. Ajit understands his mother’s character.  He stops her by spacing himself.
  16. Nasreen zaps herself.  Then she, back in a holding cell aboard the Transutopian, rocks back and forth and says, “Tell me what to do.”
  17. Percy mourns Ajit alone in her quarters.

REGARDING EARLY EPISODES OF THE FIRST SEASON

Above:  Percy Montana

A Screen Capture

The first season has a story arc in two parts:  the Divinity Cluster and the search for Travis Montana.  Some of the early episodes merely seem disconnected from each other, in the style of episodic television.  A few of them are so disconnected.  The relationships among many of these early episodes become clear in the fifteenth episode, Dark and Stormy Night, possibly the only good clip show ever.

Next:  Frozen, in which we see the Orchard and Etienne (from Family Values) again.  The Orchard is, overall, an assembly of amoral, sick bastards (including some female ones) who think that the ends (which are impossible) justify the means.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 20, 2019 COMMON ERA

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The Man Who Sold the World/The Man Who Sold the World (Redux)   10 comments

Above:  Dr. Novak, also known as Mr. Kavon

A Screen Capture

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SEASON 1, EPISODE 5

MAIN CAST

Michael Paré as Dante Montana

Claudette Roche as Lucretia “Luc” Scott

Tanya Allen as Percy Montana

Murray Melvin as Caravaggio (the ship’s AI)

Stephen Marcus as Rudolpho DeLuna

SUPPORTING CAST

Michael Halsey as Dr. Novak/Mr. Kavon

Noémie Kocher as Belle

Simon Fenton as Billy Ray

Timothy McNabb as Chorsky

Barry Hatt as Rusty

Kenn Hong as Buyer

George Harris as Darius Scott

BEHIND THE CAMERAS

Director = Luc Chalifour

Writer = Julian Fikus

Composer = Donald Quan

Length of the original episode = 0:47:23

Length of the Redux episode = 0:44:06

RUDOLPHO’S OPENING TRANSMISSION (OMITTED IN THE REDUX VERSION)

This one’s a corker. I found you a piece of work called Novak.

Crimes against humanity. They don’t get bigger than that.

Civil war on Callisto. They’re still killing each other over differences. I guess we’re still the same old species even out amongst the stars. Hatred still the tie that binds.

But today that human bond, love, has reared its lovely bottom, and I am off to “The Love Derby.” Of course, I might actually only taking about lust. Nope. No. No. No. No. I am actually talking about the messy stuff. Well, actually really what I’m talking about is deceit.

Whoever really knows what lurks in the human heart? Well, I know, now that you ask. Along with all that sunshine and puppies and kittens and pretty coloured balloons, crap. There’s also the dark nasty bits of creepy crawly things, that scatter away when you flip that rock over. Your heart carries it all. It’s the only sure thing I know. And anyone who doesn’t believe that our hearts are filled with eternally warring angels and devils is leading with their glass jaw just waiting for a round house right.

Another great truth from my tower of wisdom is you get your heart broken then you gotta pick yourself up and make sure the next time you get them before they get you. I mean, who out there thinks that it’s better to be on the sharp end of the love stake as it plunges into your heart?

Gotta nasty piece of work coming your way. So quick step, stay sharp, ’cause this evil, evil bastard Novak hasn’t a shred of love in his black, black heart.

GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE EPISODE

Above:  Belle

A Screen Capture

  1. The crew of the Transutopian has been eating the “same slop” for a week.
  2. Percy, who dislikes studying history, has been skipping Caravaggio’s tutorials.
  3. Rudolpho dispatches the Transutopian to Pluto, to capture Dr. Novak (now calling himself Mr. Kavon), the “Butcher of Callisto.”  Novak/Kavon has been selling ores on Pluto and keeping the company of Belle (his girlfriend, whom he pretends to love, but really tolerates) and Rusty (a bodyguard).
  4. The settlement on Pluto is possible because of Core Magnetic Resonating Technology, or the projection of electromagnetic domes, beneath which terraforming is possible.
  5. Belle remains in denial about her boyfriend (for whom she kills bounty hunters) until the second half of the episode.
  6. Novak/Kavon has devised a way of fooling DNA identity tests.
  7. Callisto is a moon of Jupiter.
  8. During the Callistian Civil War (2254-2257–or was it actually 2264-2267?), Novak, a member of the Hand of God, a group of scientists obsessed with purity and with accelerating the pace of human evolution, experimented on more than 20,000 victims.  As Novak told Luc, “I once had a very different calling, bioengineering.  I was going to create the new man, something divine.”  Later in the episode, Novak said, “The Cluster lives.”  Subsequently, Novak, speaking to Luc, described the Divinity Cluster as “the most important, most deadly game that’s ever existed.”
  9. Luc, as a young Ranger, helped to liberate a concentration camp on Callisto when Martian and Lunar forces ended the civil war.
  10. I have been pondering the internal chronology of Starhunter.  The main story opens in 2275 (in the original version) or in 2285 (in the Redux version).  In The Divinity Cluster, the first episode, Darius told Luc that Eccleston had discovered the Divinity Cluster three years prior, so in 2272 or 2282.  Yet Novak was working on the Divinity Cluster in 2254-2257.  He even isolated the genes for telepathy and consciousness before he had to flee.  On the other had, as Darius told Dante in Dark and Stormy Night (episode 15), early research on the Divinity Cluster was underway for at least two decades prior to the first season of the series, and the Orchard did not use the term “Divinity Cluster” yet.  We could have a case of retroactive continuity (retconning).
  11. Speaking of internal chronology, how old is Luc?  She was 20 years old in 2257 or 2267.  If we accept the Redux timeline (as we should), she is 48 years old.  She looks closer to 38, though.   Perhaps Luc takes care of herself and ages gracefully.
  12. Simon Fenton was delightful in Matinee (1993), one of my favorite movies, one with a charming movie (Mant–“Half man, half ant, all terror”) inside the movie.  As the Elvis-aping Billy Ray computer virus, however, he is annoying.  This plot is the weaker part of the episode.
  13. An Older Wave, or an electromagnetic wave which one Dr. Older predicted, intersects with the orbit of Pluto every 28,693 years.
  14. Belle kills Luc.  Either Dante or Luc kill Belle.
  15. Rudolpho receives double the bounty for Novak.
  16. Michael Halsey portrays the evil Dr. Novak very well.
  17. The special effects for Pluto and the Older Wave in the Redux version are better than those in the original version.  A good story, however, is not about special effects.

Next:  Peer Pressure, with perhaps the worst mother since Medea.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 19, 2019 COMMON ERA

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