Hey, guys! It’s Dash Jordan here. Sorry for starting things off like this and I promise I won’t take long. I just want to give a brief disclaimer to anyone who’s under the age of 18 or easily offended. The following movie doesn’t feature any actual nudity or gore, but there are plenty of suggestive and downright oblivious sexual references and scenes that I would still consider NSFW. Just giving you guys a fair warning if you’re not into scantily-clad goth women with breasts bigger than their own heads. Anyway, thank you and enjoy the review…and Happy Halloween!
Hey there, fellow freaks! It’s the spirit of Halloween himself, Dash Jordan. It’s the eve of Halloween, good people! Tonight, is a beautiful night…the night air is feeling quite nipply, massive pumpkins on every doorstep, that cream-white moon looking bigger than ever, the stars hiding behind these big clouds and just barely revealing itself, and why am I so turned on right now? Oh well, let’s just start the review…no tricks, boys. Today’s a real treat…and you’re welcome.
To all of you horror newbies out there, allow me to introduce you to…
MISTRESS OF THE DARK!!! BA-DA-DA-DA-DAAAAAA-DA!!!
‘Elvira, Mistress of the Dark’ is the 1988 horror-comedy based on, co-written by, and starring Cassandra Peterson’s iconic character of the same name. The film follows the titular Horror hostess as she travels to a small town in Massachusets to collect what she thinks is enough inheritance money from her recently-deceased aunt to help open her Las Vegas act…but instead inherits an old house, a magic poodle, and a secret “recipe book” that her not-so-subtle uncle wants for himself; not to mention the many hijinks and misunderstands she gets caught in with the many radical conservatives who run the town. Even though the film opened to mixed reviews and only made a little more than $5 Million back from its $7.5 Million budget, it has become a cult favorite among cheesy-movie lovers and Elvira fans alike. Gee, I wonder why…
Not now, Punk. Anyway, I suppose that I should talk about the comedy aspect of the film. Because let’s face it, a movie like this is not going to scare anybody. There are tons of horror elements, but they come off as B-grade horror cheese; much in the same vein as Elvira’s shows and the B movies showcased on said shows. As for the comedy, I was actually surprised at how funny it was, even though the film is nothing but cheap laughs and sexual innuendos. It’s no ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ or ‘The Big Lebowski’ in terms of quality laughs. But the film doesn’t take itself seriously, it knows fully well how dumb this movie is and runs with it like an ax murderer. I can respect that self-awareness, personally.
When I mentioned cheap laughs earlier, I wasn’t just talking about the story or the jokes. I meant the effects, as well. Nowadays, it’s hilarious to look at, although I’m pretty sure it was funny back in the late 80s as well. I commend the filmmakers for sticking mainly to practical effects for most of the horror stuff and only utilizing special effects rarely. With a movie as unapologetically cheesy as this, you can’t expect any more or any less.
As far as the acting goes…nothing special for a movie like this, it was all hokey for the most part. What else were you expecting? Well, to be fair, there were two standout performances…and no, I wasn’t going there…
No, really. I’m referring to the two antagonists of the film; Vincent Talbot(played by W. Morgan Sheppard) and Chastity Pariah(played by Edie McClurg). Vincent is your typical British villain and was perfect for a movie like this.
Although, I think that Pariah was a slightly more interesting and funny villain, especially since it’s basically a mockery of all those self-righteous, politically-correct, conservative hypocrites that you just love to hate, and who takes enjoyment of making Elvira’s time in the town a living Hell.
But who am I kidding? I’m only talking about the rest of the cast in this movie. We all know the true reason why we watch this movie. To say that Elvira steals the show is an understatement…a massive, alluring, and gorgeous understatement…anyway, it’s obvious that the character of Elvira is the best part of this movie, so I’m not going to bore you with the reasons as to why.
…alright, fine. As I’ve mentioned before, the film was co-written by Elvira herself, Cassandra Peterson. So it’s no wonder as to why Elvira has probably the best lines in the whole movie as there was a lot of thought and care put into the character. People don’t seem to realize just how smart this woman is, how well she understands her own creation, and how to entertain her fans.
This time around, there’s slightly more to the gothic Valley girl than just being voluptuous eye-candy on an old red couch watching bad horror movies. We get to see the full extent of Peterson’s comedic chops and as well as how much of a badass Elvira can be, especially by the end of the movie. Not to spoil the whole witch angle or anything. *ahem* Anyway, normally with certain movies or TV shows, it’s always the secondary characters who end stealing the spotlight. So it’s great to see the titular character being the best part of their own movie or show; this being is one of those cases. Trust me, boys, you’re not going to take your eyes off Elvira regardless but at least you’re also getting a good performance…among other things.
Umm…okay, let’s just end thing right now before I turn into a damn Tex Avery cartoon.
Anyway, I’m sure you guys are familiar with the old saying “you get what you pay for”. If goofy horror-comedies aren’t your thing that’s understandable. Boring side characters, dated special effects, and an obvious subplot that’s obvious, I get it. But if you’re looking for dumb horror campiness to watch with your buddies on Halloween, look no further than ‘Mistress of the Dark’, it’s a lot more fun than you’d think. Corny jokes, 80s cheese, witchcraft, decent villains, and of course, that lovely gal with the curves that’ll tingle your nerves, Elvira; at her absolute breas-best…her absolute best.
Damn it, Elvira! You’re making it very hard for me to focus and not come off as some sexist pig! Hell, I’m probably already on the death lists of the two most evil women on the planet as it is.
…God Bless America, and Happy Halloween. Until next time…you know what, baby? I’m gonna let you take over.
Written by Shane Moose
A very special thanks to the three big F’s in my life(Friends, Family & Fans) for helping me get this far, pushing me to go even further and for putting up with me when I try going further than that. To hell with my limitations!
Videos & Photos:
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark(owned by New World Pictures & NBC Productions)
Mistress of the Dark(music video)(owned by Ghoultown & Angry Planet Records)
All WWE related clips and images are property of WWE
I, Robot(owned by 20th Century Fox, Davis Entertainment, Laurence Mark Productions, Overbrook Films & Mediastream IV)
Tex Avery’s Red Hot Riding Hood(owned by MGM, Turner Entertainment Co. & Warner Bros. Entertainment)
Feminist Frequency(owned by Anita Sarkeesian)
Elvira’s Movie Macabre(owned by Panacea Entertainment)