Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Goth Mae West for the 80’s, or Thoughts on Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

How can you not love Elvira, the wise cracking, yours cruelly, buxom ghost host with the most with her pink punk rock mohawk poodle and her custom black 1959 Ford Thunderbird with the leopard print interior?  Cassandra Peterson, who made her big screen debut as a dancer in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) before creating her Elvira personae in 1981 and finally unleashing her considerable assets on an unsuspecting public in Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988).
The plot is relatively straightforward and dovetails nicely with Footloose (1984); Elvira inherits a mansion in Fallwell Massachusetts from her great Aunt Morgana where she locks horns with the conservative townsfolk while concurrently winning over all of the teens.   Of course she’s ultimately (not to spoil a 28 year old movie here) put on trial for witchcraft. 
With sight gags, double and triple innuendos and more boob jokes than a Russ Meyer film, Elvira comes across more like an 80’s hair metal rock star than some moody gothic Britpop vampire.  With her Southern California Valley charm she’s closer to Kiss than Bauhaus, and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is a sentimental and largely forgotten tribute to that decade.
Look out Susan Kellerman from Beetlejuice (1988, she was in the Day-O scene), Death Becomes Her (1992) and The Devil’s Advocate (1997) as Patty, the only lady in town who measures up to Elvira.  And save room for the sequel, Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001).




my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).