ELVIS AS A MYTHIC FIGURE has played a part in many Hollywood movies since his death in 1977. Most of these movies treat the man and the myth with respect, humor, and even irony. I am not referring to movies where a Presley track is used as part of the background music but where the “essence” of the Elvis myth/legend is integral to the plot.
Anyone who saw the original 2009 movie Zombieland had a treat. It starred Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin as survivors of a zombie apocalypse. The film follows a college kid who meets three strangers and they take a road trip across the Southwestern United States trying to find sanctuary.
Like so, so many follow-ups, Zombieland – Double Tap is nowhere near as good as the first one.
There was no Elvis in that movie but it was a hoot anyway. (Yes, it’s a comedy-zombie-apocalypse movie.) The movie was a hit, making everybody lots of money.
So, of course, a follow-up followed. Zombieland – Double Tap, ten years later. Like so, so many follow-ups in Hollywood’s checkered history, it’s nowhere near as good as the first one.
In fact, I would suggest you stay away from it and keep your fond memories of the first movie untainted by the second one.
Woody Harrelson as an Elvis wannabe in ZOMBIELAND 2. He sings “Burning Love” as part of the movie’s soundtrack and doesn’t embarrass himself.
It takes a real man to double tap
Unless, of course, you’re an Elvis fan, like Woody Harrelson is in real life and his character, Tallahasse (they’ve all dropped their parent-given monikers and are called by the place they are from). No spoilers here, just that Woody gets to dress like a bad Elvis impersonator and act out his Presleyan fantasies. It’s dumb as schidt on a stick but Elvis fans will get a kick out of it anyway.
The group finds a 1957 Cadillac Series 62 and it’s painted pink, causing Tallahassee to quip that “It takes a real man to drive a pink Cadillac.” They use the car to continue their journey in search of a safe respite.
The real Caddy was a 1955 Fleetwood Series 60, seen here in front of the real Graceland, a 1939 Colonial mansion.
I relied on Wikipedia’s entry on Presley’s pink Cadillac for the nutshell history of that car:
• In March 1955, Elvis bought a used, pink 1954 Fleetwood Series 60 to transport himself, Bill Black, and Scotty Moore to their gigs.
• In June 1955, that car was destroyed when a brake lining caught fire between Hope and Texarkana, Arkansas.
• In July 1955, Elvis bought a new blue Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60 with a black roof. He had the car’s body repainted a customized pink (dubbed Elvis Rose). Elvis gave this car to his mother but, as she didn’t drive, he again used the car to drive his band around. This may rank as the most famous car in the world that was actually used in everyday life.
• In September 1955, an oncoming vehicle that was in the process of passing a pickup truck drive into the Fleetwood, causing considerable damage. Elvis had it repaired.
• In March 1956, Elvis had the roof painted white.
• In late 1960, Elvis bought a white 1961 Cadillac Coupe de Ville with a pink roof.
• Elvis loaned the ’55 Fleetwood 60 to new buddy Joe Esposito.
Presley bought more Cadillacs through the years but none as famous as the pink Cadillacs. Many sites state that the original pink Cadillac remains on permanent display at Graceland, including the Graceland site. Yet the car on display in Memphis is the 1955 Fleetwood, Elvis’ second Cadillac. Also, the model car that is sold as a replicated version of the Elvis car is a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible!
Mary Kay Cosmetics has their top representatives drive pink Cadillacs. This leads me to another movie with Elvis as an essential part of the backdrop: Elvis Has Left The Building with John Corbett and Kim Basinger. Basinger plays a salesperson for a cosmetic company who drives to all her meetings in a pink, 1973 Fleetwood Eldorado.
But let’s save that movie (and the fact that Denise Richards plays an Elvis impersonator) and for another article . . .
FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is a scene from Zombieland – Double Tap with Woody Harrelson behind the wheel of a pink Cadillac. Finally, according to Wikipedia, a double tap is “a shooting technique where two shots are fired in rapid succession at the same target with the same sight picture. Instruction and practice of the double-tap improve overall accuracy as shooters often do not have the gun fully extended on the first shot meaning the second of a double-tap is usually the better.”
Finally, to hear Woody sing Burning Love, click here.