The buxom horror hostess Elvira (played by Cassandra Peterson) first appeared on a local Los Angeles station (syndicated to other markets). It wasn’t long before she was appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, guest starring on television shows, and serving as the October pitchwoman for a major beer company. It was only a matter of time before Elvira found her way to the big screen. That came to pass with Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, which opened in the fall of 1988. While the film didn’t exactly set the box office on fire, business was reasonable, and it went on to amass a significant cult following.
Having quit her hosting gig thanks to a gropey new boss, Elvira decides to reinvent herself as a Vegas act thanks to an inheritance from her great-aunt Morgana. To claim it, Elvira must travel to the prim and proper town of Falwell, (get it?) Massachusetts, where all the adults preach morality, and all the children are well-behaved and bored.
No surprise, Elvira agitates the locals with her provocative outfit and freewheeling personality. She finds a friend in the movie theater owner, who likes having another movie lover in town. She helps himself up a late-night movie series. And the kids want to embrace Elvira more than their parents. She does have to worry about her crazy Uncle Vincent (W.W. Morgan Sheppard) who could ruin her chances of ever getting to Las Vegas.
Cassandra Peterson obviously plays Elvira very well. The screenplay offers a few assorted laughs, but it’s all predictable even with SNL vet James Signorelli helming the film. If you’re a fan of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is a worthy add to your Blu-ray collection.
Presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, Arrow Video’s 1080p transfer is beautiful. The 4K scan of the original interpositive is a marked improvement over the previous Blu-ray releases. Clarify is top notch, colors are bold and vivid, blacks are inky. Detail is impressive throughout.
The LPCM Stereo track sounds just like you would have heard in the theater. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.
English SDH subtitles are included,
The following extras are available:
- Director’s Introduction (HD, 1:10) Includes a blooper.
- Audio Commentary with Actors Cassandra Peterson, Eddie McClurg, and John Paragon
- Audio Commentary with Director James Signorelli Hosted by Tony Timpone
- Audio Commentary with Elvira Webmaster Patterson Lundquist
- Too Macabre: The Making of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (HD, 97:04) A feature length documentary about how the movie happened. She talks about taking her character from a horror movie hostess to a real live movie character. Nearly everyone involved in the film is talked to here.
- Recipe for Terror: The Creation of the Pot Monster (HD, 22:13) A breakdown of the creature that lurked inside the serving dish. They discuss doing the special effects on a budget.
- Image Galleries: includes production stills, behind the scenes, original storyboards, New York Premiere coverage and miscellaneous. Cheech Marin, Peter Falk and Linda Blair showed up at the after party. You get to see the party passes and World premiere tickets.
- Original US Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:49)
- Original Teaser Trailer (HD, 1:05)
- Booklet: Featuring new liner notes by Patterson Lundquist and comments by Sam Irvin on the 2012 audio commentary.
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)
Movie title: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark
Duration: 96 min
Director(s): James Signorelli
Actor(s): Cassandra Peterson, Larry "Flash" Jenkins, Edie McClurg, Pat Crawford Brown, William Duell, William Morgan Sheppard
Genre: Horror, Comedy