An Homage to Elvira: the True Queen of Halloween
Photo Source: Bloody Disgusting
Halloween is my favorite month of the year. It’s autumn, my birth month, and a license for me to dress up in something spooky and watch scary (or not-so-scary but fun) movies. One of my favorite properties that I revisit is Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. Elvira is absolutely someone who deserves way more love than she gets, as she currently has more of a dedicated cult following at the moment.
Elvira is a character played by actress Cassandra Peterson. The character first appeared on a local LA television show called Elvira’s Movie Macabre, where Elvira would introduce and show an old B-list horror movie and lightly make fun of it (Biography). In the original run, she would act more like bumpers to the actual movie and not often interrupt it. The popularity of Elvira’s character took off, and she began showing up as a cameo in different TV shows and movies such as CHiPs and The Mario Bros. Super Show. She also starred in the 1986 Coors ad campaign, making her the first woman to host a national beer ad campaign. In 1988, she co-wrote and starred in her own movie, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, a movie that garners cult-status even today. After Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, there have been plenty of other appearances and tie-ins. In 2001, Peterson would again co-write and star in another Elvira movie, Elvira’s Haunted Hills. There are also Elvira pinball machines, video games, comics, and more products.
My first experience with Elvira was with the 1988 movie. I had heard of her, but only in the context that I knew my parents really liked her movie. However, I was never actually prepared for how much I would love her. When I saw the movie, I actually made time to see it again the same weekend. Elvira creates a great balance of humor and horror while altogether keeping things light hearted and a little sexy. Whenever I feel down, I try to seek out either interviews or clips of Elvira or check out the various Elvira-themed merchandise (one of my goals is to seek out a casino with an Elvira slot machine and blow some cash on it).
If you’re interested in diving into the Elvira rabbit hole, I strongly recommend starting out with her first movie. It’s a fun, breezy horror-comedy movie that doesn’t require a safety flannel but does have a nice helping of horror elements (the trailer to it will be placed down below). If you like B-list horror movies, Elvira’s Movie Macabre is a great next step. I like saving these for a rainy day, and Shout Factory has a couple of episodes available for free on their website (you can find them here). If you’re still interested in checking out more Elvira-themed content, a good ole’ fashioned youtube search would be your best bet. I’ve spent many a time while I couldn’t sleep watching interviews or Comic Con panels. If you’re looking for something new to get into this Halloween, definitely try Elvira on for size. You definitely won’t regret it.