Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)


Reviewed by Melissa Antoinette Garza

“There‘s nothing wrong with G rated movies as long as there‘s lots of sex and violence.” – Elvira (Cassandra Peterson)

When I was in elementary school, some girls idolized She-Ra, some lived for Rainbow Brite. The young intellectuals of the bunch may have even thrown Nancy Reagan‘s name around as their role model. I wanted to be the female horror icon, Elvira (Cassandra Peterson).

Elvira was the fun, sexy in-your-face host of Movie Macabre. Every horror fan should be very familiar with her work, but for those not, Movie Macabre was a program which would show old and generally enjoyably bad B-horror and sci-fi films where Elvira would add commentary and In between segments, she would tell jokes. What made her stand out and become a household name, was her amazing personality and absolute IT factor. Her original style was as captivating as her unsurpassed talent. She wore a seductive black dress, similar to Morticia’s from the Addams family. Of course, Elvira’s was much more revealing. She wore a large black wig, bright red lipstick and dark eye make-up. She was the definition of pale beauty and provided hope for an entire generation of dark-haired girls who always saw the Barbie doll blondes portrayed as the sexy ones while those with darker locks were just seen as plain (a.e. Splash, Mannequin, Date with an Angel, Teen Wolf).

In the 80s feminism was still something that often presented a persona of anti-sexuality. It became so focused on presenting women as something other than objects, it stripped the sensuality away. Many times, women fit into one of two categories. Those who were merely present to please men and often portrayed the standard damsel in distress, or on the other side, they would be the fierce take- no-prisoners, suit-wearing men-hating feminists.

In “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark,“ the character of Elvira was explored on a whole new level and added much depth to the persona. She revealed herself as a complete different entity. She was tough and could take care of herself, but was also unafraid of celebrating her body and sexuality. She could beat the hell out of a guy who was out of line an then seduce one she wanted to sleep with. It was always apparent she was in charge and in control. She had wit and charm and truly shows that being a strong woman and being a sexy woman are not exclusive to one another. She represented the best of both worlds.

More than that, “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” is a wonderfully fun dark comedy that makes light of hypocrites who pretend to be God fearing Christians but are nothing more than backstabbers who

Scared Stiff Rating 8/10