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Was This Nightmare at Graceland a Taste of Original Movies Yet to Come from AXS TV?
August 17, 2016 - By Mechele R. Dillard for TVRuckus / Elvis Express Radio
|“Elvis Lives!”: What a great idea by AXS. So many fans still wonder if Elvis Presley really died that day at Graceland. Perhaps he did; but, what if he didn’t? It was an idea AXS
planned to explore and reveal on August 16, 2016, the 39th anniversary of The King’s death.
It was supposed to be in honor of the anniversary, so the network indicated, a project greenlit by AXS CEO Mark Cuban himself, according to information released pre-premiere by
What was Mark Cuban, or anyone at AXS, thinking, releasing this so-called “tribute?” Did anyone even watch it before it was sent out over the airwaves to Elvis fans everywhere?
Apparently they did, and thought it was a great idea. According to Michele M. Dix, AXS TV’s senior vice president, programming and development, the network was not only
“pleased” to bring viewers this film, but “proud.” In a statement pre-release, Dix said:
“AXS TV is proud to partner with The Asylum to deliver the network’s first original film. The creative minds at The Asylum have put their unique spin on one of the most enduring
conspiracy theories surrounding Elvis’ passing, while crafting a story that is simultaneously dramatic and entertaining. And we’re pleased to bring this film to our viewers, as we pay
tribute to The King on the 39th Anniversary of his death.”
A “unique spin” alright; one of the words used to describe it on Twitter, which seems less ironic and more to the point, is “disrespectful.”
Jonathan Nation starred as Elvis. Not only did he look nothing like Elvis (Come on, guys; Elvis was not looking his very best in his later public appearances, but really?), he played
the role in a excruciatingly condescending manner. By the end of the movie–actually, right from the beginning–Elvis was nothing more than a joke. His memory deserved better; his
legacy deserved better; his family deserved better; his fans deserved better; especially on the anniversary of his untimely passing.
Was it supposed to be a spoof? If it was, it was a well-concealed joke, from the beginning and right up until the bitter end, which revealed nothing but horribly bad acting and
ridiculous storylines throughout. And, being that most of the movie portrayed the life of Elvis before he was found lifeless on the bathroom floor, not during what his “new” life could
have been had he not actually passed away, there is just no way to take the entire movie other than this was the man the writers/directors/producers/network/actors believed Elvis
to have been. Elvis waking up at the end to find it had all been a bad–horrendous–nightmare, or some other twist, resulting in it all somehow circling back around to make some kind
of sense? Did not happen.
It was particularly disappointing, because AXS typically puts out such good material, whether documentaries, biographies, concerts; it is typically entertaining and interesting to
watch. This, however, “the network’s first original film,” was nothing but bad. So bad. So very bad. And, yes, so very disappointing. And, if this is the future of planned AXS original