Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Cop: Do you know you were doing fifty in a twenty five miles per hour zone?
Elvira: No, but if you hum a few bars I’ll fake it.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark begins with a clip of a cheesy 1950s horror movie (It Conquered The World). If you are giggling by the end of it, you’re going to enjoy the film. If you’re staring in po-faced disapproval, it’s probably best to turn off now. Elvira is a very, very silly little film.

Elvira is the hostess of a late-night TV horror show, who needs to raise funds sharpish so that she can get her own show in Las Vegas. With uncanny timing, her great-aunt drops dead and leaves her some goodies in her will, so Elvira immediately takes a trip to a slightly more straightlaced version of the town from Footloose. Elvira’s disappointed to find that her inheritance amounts to a delapidated house and a rather unusual recipe book. The beehived goth is soon corrupting the town’s bored youth with bad puns and creature features, much to the consternation of the outraged Morality committee, and her creepy uncle who’ll do anything to obtain that book.

Made for a shoestring $7.5 million, it earnt just $5 million at the US box office, though I recall it being everywhere on VHS. Cassandra ‘Elvira’ Peterson was unfairly nominated for a Razzie for Worst Actress, though I don’t think they were shooting for any Oscars in an outing that’s slightly campier than your local branch of Millets. It actually reminds me a lot of kids’ flick Hocus Pocus, only with a script that would make the Carry On team blush.

Incredibly, they made a sequel – Elvira’s Haunted Hill – which premiered at the International Rocky Horror Fan Convention in 2001, and was made for just $1.5 million. I’m guessing the acting didn’t get any better.

If you enjoyed such classics as Earth Girls Are Easy, and love “that’s what she said” jokes, you’ll get a kick out of this. (I tried to think of a pun to end this, but it was just too hard.)

… (That’s what she-)

Elvira: Bloody Mary
Bartender: No hard liquor served past eight o’clock. Do you want a virgin?
Elvira: Maybe, but, ah… I’ll have a couple of drinks first.

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