Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Los Angeles TV horror hostess Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (Cassandra Peterson) quits her job after an outburst involving sexual harassment with the station’s new owner. She discovers she has been included in the will of her late great-aunt Morgana. Which entitles her to all of Morgana’s worldly possessions, a mansion in Fallwell, Massachusetts, a Bichon Frise who doesn’t really seem to be what it appears, and a book of what she considers cooking recipes. Despite her brazen and seductive exterior, she is determined to start a life in this conservative town and even striking up a friendship with Bob Redding (Daniel Greene), the local theater operator, and her “assets” and good nature also attract the attention of many of the town’s teenagers, much to the chagrin of their closed-minded parents who see her as a bad influence. Bob’s infatuation with Elvira also infuriates his love interest Patty who, with the help of several members of the school board and PTA sabotage Elvira’s good name and her attempts to open a late night film fest using Bob’s theater, the last straw breaking when in a Flashdance scene, she is covered in tar instead of a bucket of water and feathered by Patty, humiliating her. All the while, Elvira’s uncle Vincent Talbot (W. Morgan Sheppard) appears harmless, but he is in fact a warlock bent on finding Morgana’s secret “recipes” and using them to take over the world, and he is largely responsible for the suspicion of the town adults and their hatred toward Elvira.

Elvira tries to console herself and impress Bob by cooking dinner using one of Morgana’s recipes, and despite the oddity of the ingredients she succeeds, only to have herself and Bob attacked by a creature created from the mixture. Elvira discovers that the recipe book is actually a spellbook and plots to use the same creatures at the PTA picnic that weekend. The plan doesn’t go accordingly, however instead of being attacked by monsters, the adults lose their inhibitions and are suddenly tearing each other’s clothes off in promiscuity at the park, eventually being arrested for indecent exposure. Patty and Chastity, the head of the PTA, use this as a catalyst to accuse Elvira of witchcraft and the townsfolk decide to set an example and arrest her. The fear and hatred escalates, and despite the teenagers rallying to help her, they end up breaking into the wrong cell and become trapped. Elvira is taken to be burned at the stake and her dog transforms into a mouse and escapes to the mansion and obtains her great aunt’s ring who brings it to Elvira. Elvira casts a spell to make it rain and put out the fire that’s about to burn her and with Bob’s help she manages to escape. Discovering that Vincent is behind this, she tries to face him, but loses her ring and runs to retrieve her spell book from the house to combat him. Vincent gives chase and when they arrive, their combat lights the house on fire. In the fray, Vincent loses Morgana’s ring and Elvira uses it on him, expelling him to the underworld. She and Bob manage to escape the house before it is completely engulfed in flames.

The next morning, Elvira, whose house was salvageable, and all of her aunt’s possessions and magical objects were destroyed is ready to leave town. She is approached by Chastity who apologizes for their behavior and a shamed Patty who was embarrassed by Elvira the night before, as well as all the teenagers who, with Bob try to convince Elvira to stay. As she has nowhere to stay, she opts to leave town, but not before kissing Bob, hinting at a blooming relationship. The scene follows Elvira’s experiences as portrayed in a suave and sexy song and dance number on a Las Vegas stage, now officially labeling her as “Mistress of the Dark

REVIEW:

First off, Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope that you all have a safe night out there trick or treating!

Now, on to business…I remember, back in the day, that Elvira was a hot commodity. What I mean by that is that everywhere you look, you would see her, or someone trying to impersonate her. I don’t know about you, but I had no idea she was the star of her own film, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. I guess the question now is whether or not it is worth watching, right?

What is this about?

When her great-aunt dies, famed horror hostess Elvira heads for the uptight New England town of Falwell to claim her inheritance of a haunted house. But once the stuffy locals get an eyeful of the scream queen’s ample assets, all hell breaks loose.

What did I like?

Ample bosom. Look, if there are a couple of things Elvira is known for, it is her ample bosom which are prominently on display. Being a guy who is a fan of large breasts and cleavage, of course this is going to be something that I like. That is not to mention that there really isn’t much to like about the rest of this film.

Witchcraft. Elvira developed this character as a horror queen, but not really any particular type of “monster”, for lack of a better term. Looking at her, I can’t help but think of Morticia Addams. They even have similar facial features. It turns out that Elvira is a witch, even if she doesn’t know it. That little added bit of her history brings some depth to her already vapid character.

Evil. Ever notice whenever there is a will reading how there is that one person, usually a relative, who turns out to be the villain? Elvira’s “uncle” is no exception. This guy is apparently an evil warlock that is responsible for the death of her great-aunt, Morgana.

What didn’t I like?

Acting. I can’t sit here and not mention how bad the acting is in the film. It isn’t the worst that I’ve seen, but it is pretty bad, even for a B-movie. I wasn’t expecting great performances, but everyone either over or underacted throughout this whole picture. I have to wonder if this is partially due to the script, or just the lack of acting talent these so-called “actors” have, or both. There is a reason this was nominated for a Razzie.

Cookbook. The cookbook that is at the center of the plot doesn’t really serve as big of a purpose as it should. When it was introduced, I half expected Uncle Vincent to do everything he could to get it and then come close to either taking over the world or bringing it to the brink of destruction. Instead, he just makes it known that he wants the book and that is has magical powers, afterwards, he is gone for half of the film, only to resurface in the last half of the picture to begin his final quest for the book and attempt to destroy Elvira.

Townsfolk. The kids I have no problem with. As a matter of fact, as with most towns that are like this, they are the opposite of their parents. Speaking of the parents, the whole moral, holier than thou thing that they have going just didn’t work. It actually hurts the town more than anything, just look at how sheltered everything is, and how business, particularly at the movie theater, is almost non-existent. You would think someone would get the picture, but I guess not.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is not a good film, but it is decent enough to make it a cult favorite. There isn’t much to recommend about it, but if you’re in the mood for something a little lighter than your typical horror, slasher stuff this Halloween, then this could be something to get you warmed up for the gorefest you’re set to enjoy this evening. Other than that, unless you’re a fan of Elvira, there isn’t a real reason to watch this.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

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