Orion – The Man Who Would Be King (2015) Dir -Jeannie Finlay
Firstly, let me acknowledge Mr Frank Duffy, a talented horror fiction writer based in Poland for turning me on to the existence of this documentary some time back while the film was still being edited and seeking funds for completion. (Please check out his facebook page and buy his latest short fiction collection Hungry Celluloid on Amazon.)
The story of Orion is one that was completely unknown to myself despite having a father who is a lifelong Elvis acolyte. Jimmy Ellis was a singer from Orrville, Alabama who had the fortune/misfortune to be born with a voice that sounded identical to Elvis Presley.
This heartbreaking documentary by Jeannie Finlay tells a strange and familiar tale of thwarted ambition and cruel fate as Ellis is signed by The Kings original record label Sun Records in the late 70’s and agrees to wear a mask and becomes Orion, a stage persona all but Elvis in name and created by Sun to exploit the mania for all things related to the King of Rock and Roll in the wake of his death in 1977.
Check it out now on BBC iplayer, on your ol timey telly visual schedule or on Jobs worshippers itunes.