#176 – Hurtin’

(1990, US, 80 min) Dir Bryce Tasco. Cast Jeff Bridges, Dennis Quaid, Paul Haltmann.

Directed by Bryce Tasco from his own play, the little-seen Hurtin’ follows the last days of an Elvis-alike superstar as he roams his mansion, clearly at the end of his mental and physical tether. He’s visited by his drug dealer Amos (Quaid) and his hot-shot manager Phil (Haltmann) who has taken over from his recently deceased long-term one but, for the majority of the film, is alone and talking either to the pictures on the walls or to the TV or to phantoms that we can’t see. Apparently starring Bridges and Quaid as favours to Tasco – a friend to both – and filmed in the Beverly Hills mansion of a third unnamed friend (rumoured to be none other than Jack Nicolson), Hurtin’ has been virtually unseen by any kind of audience since it was made as while the main character is never named as Elvis Presley, his estate evidently felt the likeness to be sufficiently close for litigation and the producers agreed. It’s a slight film either way though it’s attempt to bring depth to a death that has been mostly regarded as little more than a joke is laudable.

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