As long as I have been alive, which is exactly none of your business, Elvis has been perched upon a mountaintop in the sky, lording over us laymen like some omniscient grandpa. He’s the King and the Zeus of pop culture. I used to spend summers in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn. visiting my grandma, a massive Elvis fan—and the crazy cat lady of Memphis, because she owns a no-kill cat shelter and is notoriously awful to pretty much everyone who walks through the door. Great with cats—people, not so much!
When I was in town, I helped her take care of the cats, and on days off she took me to do classic Memphis shit like chilling at the Peabody hotel and making the short pilgrimage to Graceland. There are pictures of me standing next to the Lisa Marie airplane parked outside, next to the old ladies that walked through his home’s halls as if it were a cathedral Jesus Christ himself took a piss in. Clearly, I was being groomed to be an Elvis fan. But, like I said, my grandma is nuts and we grew apart, so for a while, Elvis went with her. Until I became a rocker with a libido.
See, as far as I can tell, the whole thing about Elvis is that everyone wanted to fuck him. Yes, he was a gifted performer and singer, and yes, the image of him as a bloated drug addict in a rhinestone suit passed out on a toilet has penetrated the collective unconscious (he also might be more collectible figurine than man at this point), but Elvis was fucking hot. When he first appeared on the scene, he was all bright-eyed and lithe, balls brimming with fresh cum, a lightning rod channeling pure God-tier fuckboy energy, fusing together the quiet heartache of white America’s country music and the hot-blooded explosiveness of Black America’s rhythm and blues. So, going into my assignment to watch and write about ELVIS, the movie, my primary focus was this: Will they keep him plastic and pristine or will they bring him to life? And more importantly, will I want to fuck this Elvis?
That question was answered before the movie even started, when the theater aired one of Austin Butler’s screen tests. (Butler is the 30-year-old actor tasked with portraying the panty-dropper.) In it, our King was decked out in peak young Elvis drag, playing guitar and singing “That’s Alright Mama.” It fucking ripped. It genuinely felt like I was watching Elvis on that screen, in some candid natural moment backstage when the cameras weren’t around and he wasn’t being drowned out by the white noise of screaming fans.
I made multiple comments aloud indicating that I was aroused, much to the dismay of the man I had brought along as my date. So, mission accomplished. (Sorry, Adam.) Two-and-a-half hours later, there are a few other things I can tell you about this movie, but none are as important as the fact that Austin Butler as Elvis is an absolute triumph from the jump. That has to be as clear as moonshine.