Upon completion of this documentary, I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface insofar as getting to know this fascinating, totally unique woman. Eccentric and charming, Ms. Maila Nurmi was capable of carrying the piece, and she did, but there’s so much more, so many details, so many more areas of her life the movie left untouched. I give this one my stamp of approval, then, but only as an instalment. There remains a lot of ground left to cover.
Filmmaker Kevin Sean Michaels chose to let this one play out without a narrator, jumping from interview to interview with Ms. Nurmi (who left us in 2008, one year after this film was completed, at the far-too-young age of 85) and the people who knew her, or of her, and in one case, where they interviewed Elvira (imagine me spitting to clear my mouth here), one who totally ripped her off. It’s all good stuff. But you finish it with the same feeling of having eaten a really good meal but still being hungry. You still want another serving. And desert.
I wish I could have met Vampira. Of all the menagerie of larger-than-life individuals involved with Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi, only Tor Johnson equals her in terms of the fascination she holds for me. I’ll see you in the next haunted world, my dear Vampira.