SEATTLE–Newcomer Rick Barnes, who directed, produced, wrote and edited this indie item, presents a potentially humorous plot in “The Enquirers,” but execution falls far short of promise. It’s a dubious bet for theatrical release.
Basic premise is: What if all those Elvis sightings reported in the likes of the National Enquirer are real? What if Elvis really is alive and has just returned from another galaxy, where he has been entertaining for the last several years until his contract ran out and he decided to escape back to Earth?
Story centers on alien entrepreneur Eudie (Brian Finney), who is in Seattle not only searching for his errant client, the real Elvis, but also doing a little interplanetary talent-scouting when he discovers a struggling comic, Bussy (Stephen Lohrentz), and offers him a chance at the really big time–lightyears away from Earth. Eudie also discovers Marlin (Rick Barnes), a very droll Elvis impersonator, whom Eudie likewise offers a contract in the hope that such impersonators will become popular on his planet now that “The King” is gone — and he can’t find him.
Also entering the picture is Ramona (Toni Cross), a barfly who delivers an incredible, out-of-nowhere harangue against television and serves as Bussy’s sounding board. Throughout the pic, one wonders why this character is even included. Her purpose becomes clear in the end, however, when it is strongly suggested that Ramona really is Elvis, who was tired of the gig and did a body swap.
The pic’s inability to deliver any kind of comedic punch–the jokes aren’t funny, monologues become boring speeches–and lack of action underscores its lethargic pacing. Shot on extremely modest means, tech credits are adequate at best.