Monday, October 20, 2008
Day 15 and 16: Double Dose of Elvira
Let me take you back to a day in October. October, 1983 to be more precise.
My family was watching the tv show 'Real People', which we were big fans of. I especially liked the shows near Halloween when they were more likely to have stories about ghosts, aliens, and other creepiness. I would have 13 years old. And I was about to be introduced to one of the most fabulous women ever.
Elvira. Mistress of the Dark.
I tried to find a clip of Elvira on Real People, but no such luck. And no big surprise either, since this was back in the dark ages when if you wanted to watch something on TV, you actually had to be home and in front of your set when it was on. Crazy, I know. How did we live?
What I remember from her segment is that they talked about her TV show, Movie Macabre, and that it was on public access TV in California. They talked about how her and her boyfriend produced the show and found movies, and what she went through to turn into Elvira. I wanted to know two things.
Who was this woman?
And why was she not living next door to me so I could become HER BEST FRIEND????
I was simultaneously in love and pissed off at the same time. How wonderful it was that this Elvira woman was hosting horror movies and how much did it suck that I couldn't see them since I lived in the MIDDLE OF FREAKIN' NOWHERE WITH THREE CHANNELS TO MY NAME.
Fortunately for me, Elvira began to become popular, and showed up on late night talk shows and other places, especially around Halloween time. And during the lifetime of my mom's video store, Elvira hosted a set of movies for Thriller Video, where she provided the intro to the movie and then returned at the end for a few final parting words and her famous goodbye. 'Unpleasant Dreams.....' There were also a few other shorter films that she hosted in this series that I now recognize as being part of the Hammer House of Horror TV Series- another old favorite of mine.
Here's one of her intros (and outro) for one of the Hammer shows, 'Witching Time'.
I watched this particular movie, Monster Club, so many times I had Elvira's entire monologue memorized. With enough margaritas, I could recite it for you to this day. Monster Club was finally released on DVD a couple of years ago (I'm actually rather fond of this particular movie) but I do miss the Elvira intro. (so I just do it myself when I watch it, hee hee)
Over the years I've been a loyal Elvira fan.
I've watched and enjoyed both of the Elvira movies (the first one is easily the superior of the two- but if the Mistress of the Dark is in it, I'm there.
I've also enjoyed some other offbeat Elvira products:
The first issue of Elvira's House of Mystery!
I still own all of these things, somewhere, tucked away in my attic. If I remember correctly, I bought Evil for myself and my mom for Christmas, and my mom definitely bought the beer for me. Thanks, Mom!
I got to go on the Elvira Superstition Ride at Six Flags a couple years ago.
Just today I discovered Elvira Checks!
If I still didn't have over a hundred Universal Monsters checks (after all, how often do you write a check these days?) these puppies would be MINE.
I even watched the reality show last October, The Search for the Next Elvira. As if. It was a dumb show, but it was good to see Elvira at Halloween again. Some chick won, but nobody cared. Because there is only ONE Mistress of the Dark.
I've saved the BEST Elvira news for last. In case you didn't know, about a year ago someone had the GREAT idea to release the old Movie Macabre cable tv shows.
(Thank you, DVD Gods!) And the happy ending to this story is that I FINALLY was able to see the show after TWENTY-FIVE years of longing.
There are 12 movies released so far- available as either single or double packs. The best deal I found so far was through Deep Discount DVD with the double packs. I have them all, but I haven't watched them all....yet. Like my special October Dreams book, I dole them out for special occasions.
This is the website-I can't find anything about future releases.
The movies all contain the movie with Elvira's introduction, comments throughout the movie, and outros. All the movies also have the option to watch the movie without Elvira, which is just crazy talk. If you REALLY want to watch Werewolf of Washington without Elvira to soften the blow, so be it.
I also found out recently that this box set contains Elvira commentary:
I was aware of it but didn't know that Elvira was actually HOSTING the movies. Since they're all public domain movies like Little Shop of Horrors, Night of the Living Dead, etc, I didn't see the need to buy them again.
But if Elvira is in the movies, then excuse me while I add this to Mother Firefly's Christmas List......
I made this Halloween suggestion to last for two days because, frankly, Elvira deserves it. It's amazing that she's been doing this since 1981, and looks good as ever.
Here's to another twenty five years of Elvira!