Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988) — Driving Mrs. Crypt-Keeper

“Revenge is better than Christmas!”

DnaError’s rating: Fun wears double-D

DnaError’s review: Ahhhh, Elvria! B-Horror movie hostess and buxom beauty. How quickly history forgets you! I missed the Elvria heyday of the ’80s since I was busy super-gluing my hands to the NES controller to play Zelda. Luckily, my friend’s dad was a big Elvira fan and had the tapes of her hosting some of the worst movies ever made. While it may seem creepy in retrospect for a 40-year-old man to have all these tapes, it’s also easy to see why Elvira was so beloved among mutants and norms. She’s sweet and innocent while still ripping apart the campy classics. Just a genuinely fun and talented person to hang out with (and man, what talents she has)!

In Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, she gets to run around in a dangerously low-cut outfit and enough make-up to kill a horse. The plot seems to have been taken from any of the B-movies she hosted. Elvira, having left her show, inherits a fortune and a Creepy Old House from her dead aunt Morgana. She heads to town, only to find the local morality police doesn’t approve of her sexy dresses and showing B-grade horror films to local teenagers while she makes witty comments. (Which makes her a bit like a sexy, sexy MST3K bot… not that I didn’t find the bots sexy!) Also thrown into the mix is an old sorceress, a love interest, and Gunk, the world’s only punk shapeshifting dog!

The plot is pure trash, and the filmmakers knew it. Happily, the movie never takes a serious tone or drama, just off-the-wall antics and ample bosoms. Of course, what really makes this movie rise above the horror schlock it’s based on is Elvira herself. The character created by Cassandra Peterson is just so darn likable. Sure, she’s a sexy woman who mixes double entrees and wit, but also dreams of stardom in Las Vegas and mixes that sense of movie cynicism and naivete so brilliantly that you just want to see her succeed.

So, mix a campy horror-movie plot with an extreme sense of fun, some clever one-liners, and a character you really like — and you’ll want to stay until the end!

Didja notice?

  • The most colorful dog in the world
  • Lil’ Baby Elvira!
  • The ripping of Horror-movie cliches (broken heel in the graveyard..)
  • Her.. *ahem* interesting show at the end, complete with rap!

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