Saturday, October 29, 2011

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

I think I’ve been infected, Sporefans.

I don’t know how else to describe it. I was watching this amazing film, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, and ever since then I just keep making inadvertent jokes about breasts.

How did this happen? Well, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is pretty much 96 minutes of boob jokes.

Correction; 96 minutes of awesome boob jokes.

Now I understand that some of my readers may not know who Elvira is, so lets take a moment to educate today’s youth. I know, many of you are thinking “how could they not know about Elvira?” But trust me Sporefans, there are many people out in the world who can’t recognize great cultural icons of the 80’s which shape modern society in subtle ways. Or not so subtle ways. One such incident occurred during a conversation I had with a younger reader recently, and it has opened my eyes to our rapidly diminishing cultural awareness.

Spored: So Flash Gordon was on last night. I haven’t seen that movie in years! It was awesome.

Anonymous reader: Flash what?

Spored: Flash Gordon. You know... Based on the old TV show?

Anonymous reader: Ummm....

Spored: Music by Queen?

Anonymous reader: Who?

Spored: What do you mean “who”? Queen. Freddie Mercury? They did the music for the first Highlander movie too.

Anonymous reader: Umm....

Spored: Highlander. You know... “There can be only one!”

Anonymous reader: Only one what?

And then I wept.

Nice... car.

You have to understand Sporefans, that Elvira holds a special place in my bosom. I’ve seen this movie before a long, long time ago; but I completely forgot that it existed. Watching it again not only brought back fond memories of my days as a wee mote, but also brought about a completely new appreciation for the film. It’s buoyantly funny and largely unappreciated; which is why I feel the need to educate the younger Sporefans so that they too might recognize the large contributions that Elvira has made to the dual spheres of culture and cinema.

So before we begin the review proper, I think a little history lesson is in order.

Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) started down the dark path of terrible movies with Elvira’s Movie Macabre in 1981. From 1981 to about 1986 Elvira subjected the public to hordes of B movies injecting her opinion in the spaces bookending the commercial break. The list of films has some great movies; and by great I mean by my standards, not most peoples. Some of the better movies are Village of the Damned, Gamera: Super Monster (I told you it was by my standards) and Empire of the Ants.

If you're going to watch horror movies, you're going to need a good seat.

Now I hate to boast, but the rest of films of her run in the 80’s are not that terrible. I think this is due to the fact that viewers at home had to actually watch these movies with Elvira, and thus were shielded from anything too horribly horrible.

That is... in the 80’s.

You see, Elvira is still out there and still working; and as of 2010 she has another season of Elvira’s Movie Macabre whose film line up starts to fall a little more in sync with mine. There are some great oldies like Don’t Look in the Basement (I liked that one) and Bucket of Blood as well as some really awful stuff. The Satanic Rites of Dracula and of course the classic Manos: the Hands of Fate. Not that I’m saying you jump ship and watch her stuff and not read mine... but even an egotist such as myself must give a nod to such a distinguished set of, um... shows.

There are two of us, and I'm sure you can split your time between us equally. You wouldn't want to neglect a set of reviewers like this, would you?

96 minutes of boob jokes, Sporefans.

There is really no reason for me to put this picture here Sporefans. I just really like it.

In a truly inspiring marketing tactic, Elvira broke the fourth wall going the other way. She took her fictionalized character and made a movie in 1988 about abandoning her life of watching horror to inherit a house bequeathed to her by her long lost grandmother (also played by Cassandra Peterson, but without the wig). The movie takes some inspiration from some classic horror movie tropes, mostly from the comedic variety but with a heavy helping of 1950’s youth antiestablishmentarianism. You can see that concept pretty well developed in Elvira’s interactions with the character Chastity Pariah (played by Edie McClurg) as they wrestle for the attention of the town’s youth.

If you were looking at Elvira's face you'd think there would be a fart joke here.

But you weren't, were you?

Elvira spends most of her time in the movie in the town of Falwell; a sunny, PG rated community with high moral standards and an authoritarian town council who keep all the teenagers from getting to PG-13. Elvira inadvertently tempts the town’s teens with a strange new concept called “fun,” which drives a wedge between the youths and the town elders. The elders are also goaded into harassing Elvira by her great uncle Vincent who wants the tome left to Elvira by her great aunt; which turns out to be a witch’s grimoire. The town elders eventually conclude that all of this “fun” is a product of witchcraft and decide to burn Elvira at the stake.

Will Elvira burn at the stake? Or will she bust right out of trouble?

Will her dog ever get all of it’s fur to grow back?


Will the town’s teenagers ever be able to reproduce without a working knowledge of adult intimacy?

Will I answer any of these questions?

No, actually I won’t. If you want to find out what happens, you’ll have to tune in to the next exciting installment of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark! Its a fun, campy movie which takes from all of the good of the B-movie genre, wraps it up in the bright and wild colors of the 80’s and leaves you laughing. While you’re checking out Elvira, you might also want to take some time to check out Elvira on her website; or if you reside in an area where the show is on television you can always go old school and check it out there. But don’t spend too much time checking out Elvira because she hates it when you stare, even when her tassels rotate in opposite directions at speeds high enough to make an airplane take off.

Oh, and Ms. Peterson, if you’re reading this... what is that delightful movie that appears in a clip in the begging of your first film? The one where the monster gets hit in the eye with a blowtorch? I really want to check that movie out.

Monday, October 17, 2011



I must apologize for not getting the new post up. I had intended to get one ready for mid-October but lately I have been very ill for the last couple of weeks. I am feeling better and I will try and get something ready before Halloween. 

In the meantime, why not have some fun with this game I found? I promise it will keep you amused for at least five minutes.