Saturday, October 10, 2015

80's Trash(?): Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Sorry, but Svengoolie doesn't have a Movie (that I know of).  Today's Films is Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, a 1988 Vehicle for the Horror Hostess of the same name.  It was Produced by Roger Corman's New World Productions, so we are just layering on the cheesy and sleazy.  Is that a bad thing though?  The Film stars Cassandra Peterson as her own TV Identity, so she's not exactly branching out.  She is in desperate need of money to play Vegas- about 2 Decades before Britney Spears and Celine Dion!- and just may have one.  Unfortunately, it involves going to an unfriendly Town and facing off with her evil Uncle (of sorts).  I've owned this one for a long time and watched it before, but it has been ages.  Does it still stand up like Gremlins or suck like Nukie?  To find out, read on...
Elvira here is hosting her TV Show when she gets fed up with her boss- TV Producer Cliche #2- and quits.  She wants to play Vegas, but needs some dough.
Her Agent shows up with a letter explaining that she has inherited something from her never-before-seen Aunt's Estate.  She comments on how convenient the timing us.

Breaking the 4th Wall?  Why now?
She arrives in the town of Falwell (get it?), Massachussetts, where she doesn't exactly fit in.
She inherits an old house, a dog and a 'cookbook.'  Her Uncle wants it badly and she has no connection, but the dog hides it to keep this Film from being only 20 minutes long.
She has a big impact on the local kids in this Footloose-style Town.  Hey look- old Pepsi can!
She later learns the strange tale of her birth and that she is tied to some old tradition that is threatened by her obviously-evil Uncle.  Cute baby.
As you can see, things don't go well.  Even still, our heroine manages to keep going...
While being pursued by the Uncle (who wants the Book to gain ultimate power during the Full Moon), she is stopped by a gate.  This leads to arguably the most famous part of the movie...
In the End, she stops her evil Uncle and inherits HIS Estate (hurray for her Lawyer!), allowing her to play Vegas.  Huzzah!  The End.
Dumb, silly and fun.  This is not meant to be Citizen Kane.  Hell, it is not even meant to Meatballs!  This is Meatballs IV (yes, there are 4) levels of dumb and cheesy.  Even so, I can't be mad at it.  Yes, some of the jokes are dated- like naming the Town Falwell or parodying Rambo-, but that doesn't keep the Film from being fun.  Elvira/Cassandra does a good job of playing her own Character, but isn't exactly the greatest Actress here.  This walks that fine Troma-line of 'Is she just acting badly or acting badly for the joke?'  I tend to lean towards the latter here.  Everything about this screams 'silly movie' from the Acting (from everyone), the Story and the Effects.  The Computer Effects are pretty primitive by today's standards, but still effective (see above).  You know what they are supposed to represent and they aren't designed to look life-like, so all is well.  If you like Elvira and her 6,000,004 Public Domain DVD Releases, this won't disappoint.  If you go in expecting a silly Comedy and nothing more, you won't be all that disappointed either.  What is disappointing, however, is the DVD itself.  Look at this Menu...
Next, another 80s Film that definitely deserves more love.  Don't go drinking at night unless you want to find Vampires.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. I think I'm going to revisit this movie later this year.