Halloween Movies: “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”

Happy Halloween!

A lot of people wonder how I even know about all the classic horror and monster movies that I do… and the obscure ones, too! Well, the answer is horror hosts, like Svengoolie and…

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)!

Fair warning, “ladies and Dobermans”: accidental (and deliberate) double entendres will be busting out of this entry! (Oh boy, here we go…)

Make sure you check out Elvira’s website!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer…

I wrote about how I discovered Elvira here on Terror from Beyond the Daves.

As I seem to say all the time, I saw this amazing movie by accident. My younger brother’s actually the one who found this one. I returned the favor later by finding her second film, Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001), which is just as fun. They make a fantastic double feature! (Oh geez…)

I first saw Elvira, Mistress of the Dark before I’d seen any of the classic horror and monster movies that I love so much, and before the revival of Elvira’s Movie Macabre (which you should definitely check out) hit the boob tube. I was also just at the age where I could actually understand the double entendres and suggestive visual gags I was about to witness… along with my younger brother… and my parents.

None of us had seen this movie before. In fact, I’d never seen anything even remotely like this movie before. Basically, Elvira was my first exposure to double entendres. (Oh boy…)

This is another movie you’re going to want to watch more than once. You’ll be laughing so hard the first time around (or otherwise distracted…) that you’ll miss at least half of the rapid-fire humor.

Here’s the basic, spoiler-free rundown…

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)
Plot: A horror movie host who dreams of headlining in Las Vegas suddenly finds herself one of the heirs of a deceased relative; when she goes to a conservative town to collect her inheritance, she’s forced to stay when her car breaks down, but all is not as it seems…
Villain(s): That would be a spoiler!
Scare Factor: The scares are mostly played for laughs here. If something does manage to creep you out, Elvira will surely put a comedic twist on it within seconds.
Gore Factor: There’s some gore, but it’s relatively minimal.
Family-Friendly Factor: This is Elvira we’re talking about here. Double entendres, suggestive language, and her own ample assets––– you know: her sarcasm and comedic timing––– abound.

Wow! Elvira’s really HOT!

Wow! Elvira’s really HOT!

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is a heck of a lot of fun. Parodies of and references to horror movies and the horror genre in general are everywhere, but even if you’re not a horror aficionado, you’ll still love this movie. You’ll love the “fish way out of water” story that gradually takes a supernatural turn.

Edie McClurg is a delight as the uptight Chastity Pariah. W. Morgan Sheppard gives a great darkness to Vincent Talbot that makes him a superb straight man to the colorful characters around him. The rest of the cast is also solid and fun.

Of course, the selling point of this movie is Elvira herself. Her big… uh… hair definitely draws attention, but what keeps you invested in her is her personality. She’s sarcastic, street smart, hilarious, tough and overflowing with infectious confidence. She’s the kind of person everyone wants to hang out with.

Having met both Elvira and her alter ego, I can personally vouch for the fact that she’s just as cool in person. I’ll never forget interviewing her via e-mail for a school project… nor will I forget meeting her for the first time, and she remembered who I was and even asked me how I did on the project! By the way, I got an A+! (Insert your own joke about Ds here…)

By the way, check the opening credits: Cassandra Peterson herself is one of the writers!

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is insanely quotable. So You’ll definitely have your favorite lines that you’ll be reciting forever. Here are just a few of the many highlights…

“You know, those things’ll kill ya.” (It’s really what happens immediately after that really… burns this one into your memory.)
“Listen, sister, if I want your opinion, I’ll beat it outta ya!”
“Sorry, I left my magnifying glass at home.”
“A bunch of real preservatives, aren’t they?”
“Oh well there’s nothing wrong with G-rated movies. As long as there’s lots of sex and violence.”
“Well, it is a pot luck. And believe me, when they open that pot they’re gonna need all the luck they can get.”

Elvira also has a terrific speech to the town’s teenagers that I don’t even want to spoil… even though I already warned you that there would be spoilers here!

Even as the situation becomes more serious, the humor and fun never let up. Let’s face it: whether it’s Halloween or not, we all need some Elvira in our lives to shake things up.

… Is it physically possible to write about Elvira without opening a Pandora’s Box of double entendres?

… I guess not.

Thank you for reading, and “unpleasant dreams,”
Jamie Lee

2 thoughts on “Halloween Movies: “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”

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