Tying in with the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death, a mammoth 24 of his films are being released on DVD, many of them for the first time. Despite occasional hokey moments (the numerous reenactments), This Is Elvis is actually a decent bio, with a wealth of performance footage. This release packages the original theatrical film, notorious for its shambolic performance of Are You Lonesome Tonight?, with the later home video version, which cut Lonesome, but runs 40 minutes longer.
Girl Happy and Kissin’ Cousins are available both individually and as part of the 6-DVD set Elvis: The Hollywood Collection. The former has the King as a musician, sent to go Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to keep an eye on the daughter of a Mafia-esque nightclub boss. There’s a noticeable lack of good songs; trivia buffs need only note that the infamous Do The Clam appears in this film, not the equally lightweight Clambake. Kissin’ Cousins is so campy it almost verges on parody. Elvis plays an Air Force lieutenant trying to convince his blondehaired, lookalike-cousin (also played by Elvis) that a missile base should be built on his beloved Big Smokey Mountain, while a gaggle of sex-crazed country gals called the Kittyhawks provide ample comic relief.