Elvira ruled the worlds of horror and Halloween throughout the 80s and into the 90s, hosting classic horror movies and even appearing in her own feature films. At 63-years-old, actress Cassandra Peterson doesn’t look like she’s aged a day, and she’s ready to bring the buxom character back into our lives.
I gotta admit, I never much cared for Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Okay, yeah, she was hot. Not denying that. And every once in a blue moon, she was funny. Why, then, the lack of love for her? Plenty of lust as a teenage boy, watching her narrate some old cheesefest on the local TV stations. But love? Nah. Ms. Cassandra Peterson may know how to rock a slinky black dress and Morticia Adams wig—but she wasn’t the first. And that’s the reason I can’t give her my full slavish devotion.
Everything Elvira was doing in the 80s had been done before, and better, in the 1950s by the disturbingly thin-waisted “Vampira,” aka Maila Nurmi. Most famous today for the part she played in Ed Wood’s unbelievably, wonderfully hokey opus PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, Ms. Nurmi saw the derivative nature of Elvira’s shtick right off. Several lawsuits were filed and, unfortunately for her, dismissed. The courts agreed that Elvira was pretty much a blatant carbon copy of Vampira, but that such copycatting did not constitute copyright infringement. That’s too bad. Anyway, Elvira is going to be returning as a cartoon character. An ANIMATED one; she was always kind of a cartoon character. I just can’t help thinking it should be Vampira instead.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!