I had the distinction of seeing this film in a movie theatre. Well, sort of a movie theatre. It was called the Lighthouse Cinema on Suffolk street in Manhattan. If I remember correctly, it was sometime in 1996. The film was listed in the New York Daily News. I was the only person who showed up for the Saturday afternoon screening. The theatre owner, who was also the projectionist, screened the 35mm print for me anyway. The documentary featured Maila Nurmi, the Finnish-born actress who created the character "Vampira." She had her own show on a local Los Angeles TV station in the 1950's, and is believed to be the first "horror" hostess. Her show was canceled after one season. She tried to sue Elvira for stealing her act, and lost. SEX, DEATH & TAXES reveals Nurmi to be homophobic, paranoid of her "fans" who try to get in touch with her, and living on welfare. No longer in the small apartment she had for years, she now lives in a modest house. At the end of the documentary, the filmmakers create a short, scripted narrative for Nurmi to "star" in. I'm not quite sure what to make of this, as the filmmakers don't seem to be very objective. The film was financed by Finnish television, and features a Finnish-born subject, and doesn't really explore Nurmi or her mystique as deeply as it could have.
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