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This movie is simply the best horror-film parody ever made. And it's also
just one darned enjoyable flick. I guess you could call it a guilty
pleasure. True, it is pure cornball, but I have grown to love it, and I
watch it regularly every year around Halloween, since (naturally) several
channels on TV routinely feature it as part of that select batch of
Halloween pictures that just scream for annual broadcasting.
Extremely well filmed (IMHO), I am always really amazed at how nice it is to see it again each year it holds up well and looks fantastic even today, after 13 years.
From a physical perspective, Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) - with that showgirl figure and that over-the-top tight-fitting black costume - just grabs your attention with both, um, *hands*, from the get go, and never lets go. But there's much more to revel in here than just her physical assets: her acting, her ditzy charm and irreverent risqué sense of humor will just have you lapping it up. In short, you'll just love Elvira from top to bottom (unlike the townies in the story, many of whom decidedly did not take kindly to her sudden arrival in their up-tight little burg in Massachusetts).
This movie is just busting out all over with titillating, slightly off-color humor (or: off-colour humour for those of you on the other side of the Atlantic) from start to finish. There are many funny and memorable lines in this movie of the double-entendre variety; it's hard to keep abreast of them all. (I'd list a few of my racier favorites here, but in the interest of not offending the delicate sensibilities of anyone reading this who is NOT into that sort of humor, well, it might be best for you to just go watch the movie and compile your own list).
I can't say anything bad about this movie at all, except that sadly it does end, and you are left wanting more (of Elvira). LOTS more. Alas, c'est la vie.
I don't doubt that the critics panned this movie, especially the artsy fartsys who need a laxative. This is a great vehicle movie in the tradition of Abbot & Costello or more recently Don Knotts. It won't shake the world or change movies forever. What it will do is entertain. When all is said & done that's the most important thing anyway. Watch this movie & forget your troubles. It even has a simple & kind moral message at no extra charge. I always loved Elvira's TV show when I lived in LA. She did not really steal her schtick from Vampira any more than Vampira did from the original, Theda Bara. This sort of mythic character belongs to whoever does it best; & Cassandra Peterson does it best. Long live Elvira; we need more of these kind of movies. There are never enough. The villain, William Morgan Sheppard, was also excellent. He exudes a wonderful refined malice. I could find no technical faults. The execution is as close to flawless as the art form gets. My profound compliments to the director,James Signorelli,& all his crew.
ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK (1988)
directed by: James Signorelli
starring: Cassandra Peterson, W. Morgan Sheppard, Daniel Greene, and Edie McClurg
plot: Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) quits her TV show and heads to the small Christian town Fallwell, Massachusettes to collect on her dead aunt's inheritance, hoping to make big bucks to open up a show in Vegas. Unfortunately for her, all she gets is a creepy old house, a poodle, and a magic cookbook. While in Fallwell, Elvira tries to make money, breathe some life into the teenagers, win the heart of a stud (Daniel Greene), avoid being burned at the stake, and keep the cookbook from her creepy uncle (W. Morgan Sheppard), who is planning to use the book to end the world.
my thoughts: I love both Cassandra Peterson and her alter-ego Elvira. She is a very successful, beautiful, and funny woman and as Elvira she's all that plus morbid and hilariously naive, not to mention she has an amazing pair of knockers. In this movie, her charms are put to good use.
I loved the whole 'fish out of water' feel to the film. You got Elvira, with her low-cut black dress, her big black hair, and her enormous 'twins', and she's in a Christian town where most of the girls aren't even allowed to wear makeup. This also makes her love story with Bob (Daniel Greene) a lot more entertaining.
W. Morgan Sheppard is equally great as Elvira's uncle/nemesis Vincent, out to steal the book to use it for evil. He has a lot of presence but still doesn't get in the way and steal scenes from Elvira.
What really makes the film is not the plot, but the many jokes. Everything from boob jokes to horror spoofing is here and makes me laugh a lot more than anything from a SCARY MOVIE sequel. I hear there are about 56 boob jokes in this film, and any fan of Roger Corman B-horror flicks will love the spoofing in this film.
If you love Elvira, you will love this flick. Also check out ELVIRA'S HAUNTED HILLS.
Any movie that starts off with the epic closing scene from "It Conquered The World" is going to be a great movie! Essentially a movie of one Elvira routine after another, playing off of an uptight town of puritans, siding with the kids who just want to have a good time and see Elvira ham it up to schlocky old movies at their local theater. If you like Elvira's style of comedy, this is the movie for you. No pun is left unacknowledged, no breast reference unaccompanied by a stare down at "the twins". Low-brow, silly and schlocky, just like the movies she hosts and celebrates. Edie McClurg is here in her perennial role as uptight busybody, she seems typecast as this in every movie she does, but this has become her image and she is marvelous at it. Great Halloween party movie, would go well with a few B Horror Movies from the 1950s. Recommended!
OK, this movie is stupid. I mean that in a good way though.It was
stupid on purpose, and was one of the better "stupid" movies I've seen.
The jokes and gags are purposefully bad, but delivered in a way that it
struck all the right notes with me. The supporting characters were
pretty shallow and mediocre. There is a pretty weak plot, but it works
Elvira's character is the focus here.She is lovable and adorable.Cassandra Petersen has a world of acting talent that just glows in this movie.On top of that acting talent she had physical attributes which were frankly, stunning. Few men could disagree with that. The parts that show off her figure were also some of the funnier scenes in the movie.
I had a smile ear to ear from the first scene to the last.
Highly recommended to fans of comedy, and to fans of beautiful women. I wish they had made a dozen more Elvia movies.
"Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark" is a sort of "Harper Valley P.T.A." with touches of the supernatural. Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) walks off her job as television horror movie hostess after the new station's owner gets fresh with her. She's now relying on a Las Vegas show to carry her through, but learns she needs to come up with more money to get the show started. Things look hopeless to raise that money until she receives notice of her aunt's death, which then takes Elvira to Massachusetts for the reading of the will. A house in need of repairs, a dog, and a cookbook are all that is left to her by her aunt, and again it seems Elvira is having trouble coming up with the money for the Las Vegas show. The adults of the small and narrow minded town make things worse by making things more difficult for Elvira. Only the local hunk (Daniel Greene), and a group of teenagers will befriend her. Elvira's Uncle "Vinnie" (W. Morgan Sheppard), presses to make a deal with Elvira for the cookbook, but Elvira soon learns of her powerful heritage that includes spellcasting, and a couple very effective casseroles. Elvira no longer wants to sell the cookbook to her uncle, but he is determined to get his hands on it knowing of its power. Elvira then faces being burned at the stake on the town's old charge of witchcraft, and the showdown between her and her uncle. The plot is pretty simple, but the humor and well developed characters keep it moving at a nice pace. "Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark" is full of cute, gross, bawdy, and clever humor carried through by the many sight gags, puns, props, songs, and parodies. The film's touches of the occult make this one of the best horror parodies ever made. It is a well made film with terrific acting by all performers; including Edie McClurg, and Jeff Conaway (of "Grease.") There are also nice special effects. Many people (including myself) wondered if the Elvira character could carry a feature film, and the answer is delightfully, YES!
I highly recommend this movie. The movie is funny, entertaining and well,
it's something only Elvira can deliver!!! Edie McClurgh (Ferris Bueller's
Day Off) is great as Chastity Pariah. The movie is chock-full of
sexual innuendo (56 boob jokes!) and visual slap-stick gags. Elvira's
is to perform in Las Vegas, but to do that she needs 50,000$. She heads
the Puritanical town of Falwell to pick up her great aunt Morgana
inheritance....a measley book. But the book holds the secrets of the
plunging Elvira into a battle of metaphysical proportions! I cannot
recommend this movie enough!!!! It's corny, it's campy, but that's
Elvira aka Cassandra Peterson stars in this hilarious film. Elvira has just received word that her aunt has just passed away and she stands to inherit something she's unsure of but hopes it's money so she can achieve her dream of having her own Las Vegas show. Soon she's in Fallwell, Massachusetts which is a dead end town where nothing exciting ever happens, until Elvira shows up. There she falls in love with a local named Bob and receives her inheritance, her aunt's house, dog, and a book of recipes that contains spells which her evil uncle is trying to get from her. I laughed a lot and I'm sure you will, too.
The basic plot: Shlocky horror movie hostess Elvira goes to a
small,uptight,puritan town where she encounters an evil
a hunk, some disgruntled teenagers, and some black magic.
The praise:Elvira. She is the smoky, the sexy, campy, the shlocky, the shticky the great one. The entire movie is a send-up of shlock horror, horror, porn,sex,porn,breasts,supernatural movies, show-biz movies, Camp,80's movies, materialism, Vegas, british horror,teen movies,middle-aged horniness, and horror parodies. All with a great soundtrack, a lot of yuks, and the smoky, the best, and better, Elvira. I don't know why I like it all,moreover it being my favorite movie,but who cares!It all ends with a great shlocky, glittering Vegas number! The must-see movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Those who are not familiar with Cassandra Peterson's alter-ego Elvira,
then this is a good place to start.
"Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" starts off with our heroine with the gravity defying boobs receiving a message. It seems that a great aunt of hers has died and that she needs to be present for the reading of the will. Anxious to raise money for a show she wants to open in Las Vegas, she decides to go in hopes of getting lots and lots of money.
Unfortunately, the place she has to go is the town of Fallwell, Massachusetts. Having to stay a spell due to her car breaking down, she finds out that her great aunt left her 3 things: a house, a dog and a cookbook. The town residents have mixed reactions:the teens like her, the women hate her, and the men lust after her (Although trying to remain moral pillars of the community). Her worst problem turns out to be her great uncle Vincent (W. Morgan Sheppard), because he wants her cookbook. Seems that the cookbook is a book of spells that will make him a more powerful warlock.
The film is actually pretty funny, with Peterson a.k.a. Elvira using her "endowments" and sexiness as a joke ("And don't forget, tomorrow we're showing the head with two things... I mean the thing with two heads"). Especially funny as Edie McClurg as Chastity Pariah, the woman that works her hardest to keep the town in line, but ends up looking ridiculous (The picnic scene is the perfect example). Deserves a peek (The film, not her boobs, of course).
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