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Eddie Presley (1992)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  March 1992 (USA)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 241 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 9 critic

An Elvis impersonator with a wounded psyche, unflinching in his quest to keep the King's spirit alive bets it all on one night of glory, a headlining spot at dingy Tinseltown dive.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Robert Lowden ...
...
Enrique Angel Torres ...
Patric Zimmerman ...
Cook (as Pat Zimmerman)
...
Sid
Melissa Cooper ...
Aspiring Actress #1
Stacie Randall ...
Tyranny (as Stacie Bourgeois)
Julie Rohde-Brown ...
Foxey (as Julie Rhode-Browne)
Lee Zimmerman ...
Will Huston ...
Ace (as William Leon Edwards)
...
...
Gilberto Rodriquez ...
Guard (as Gilbert Rodriguez)
...
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An Elvis impersonator with a wounded psyche, unflinching in his quest to keep the King's spirit alive bets it all on one night of glory, a headlining spot at dingy Tinseltown dive.

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Comedy | Drama

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Unrated
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March 1992 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
The movie Lawrence Tierney calls 'Eddie Depressly'
31 March 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

There are a number of reasons to see Eddie Presley; it strikes a realistic if depressing tone, and doesn't dive out of this realism for the sake of the third act. The film portrays the monotony of living life on the ropes, and the futility of seeking fame that eludes so many. Whitaker is convincing as the main character in the film based on the play which he wrote. His attachment to the writing is clear; he allows the audience to see all sides of his character, uncomfortable yet involving viewing.

Ultimately though, the film refuses to make judgments on its principal character; his narcissism and vanity go unchecked. We see him totally ignoring the advances of a woman who is meant to be his perfect match; the caring co-worker type who indulges his self centered fantasies. We see him use the services and faith of his friends without thanks. We see him expect fame rather than truly deserve it. The main character is so deeply flawed, yet the film only reflects on his depression and possible mental handicap (portrayed in incongruous flashbacks), without judging his motivations. Long shots of Eddie whimpering or sighing to himself, losing himself in the past, do little for the film. The audience of his show within the film are rightly falling asleep, but he continues his ramble about how sad it is for him, his past etc. This faces the film's actual audience with a difficult choice; do we too simply fall asleep while this man feels sorry for himself? The filmmakers are too in love with their central character to detach themselves from him enough to actually make a satisfying flick. I admit I became attached to the character, particularly in the first hour (significantly stronger than the second half, where Eddie plays his show to a bored audience). However, as the film progressed I found myself getting frustrated at Eddie's self delusion; one which the filmmakers become so involved with, its hard to see whether they themselves were even conscious that it's a delusion either. It's hard to even refer to this flick as a character-study, since it rarely actually studies the character - rather it gets swept along by his narcissism, before ultimately drowning in his own self-interest. This is reflected by the movie's initial running time of 3 hours, which was inevitably cut down to a more manageable 95 minutes.

Those seeking the tooted cameos will probably be disappointed by the blink-and-you-miss-it appearances of Bruce Campbell and Quentin Tarantino, which are literally glances. Neither has a line in the film either. More entertaining is Lawrence Tierney's cameo; a role he was made for. Also on show is Ted Raimi, brother of 'Evil Dead' director Sam Raimi, who is amusing as always but catastrophically miscast.

Overall this is a picture that wears its faults on its sleeve, much like Eddie himself. Whilst it never quite reaches the melancholy brilliance of a Jarmusch movie, it does have its moments, and is worth checking out. It's also of interest to the low budget filmmaker, given its shoe-string budget.


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