Plot: What’s it about?
As she has grown tired of her late night monster movie show hostess tasks, Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) has decided to leave the station for good. Of course, her new boss has very friendly hands and tries to use them on her, which also played a role her in decision. She has plans to work in Las Vegas, but when she is forced to come up with fifty-thousand bucks to help finance it, she finds herself between a rock and a hard place. She has no real funds to use and she refuses to take her old job back, so it seems like she’s out of luck, until an unexpected telegram arrives. It seems her aunt has passed on and named her in the will, which Elvira assumes mean serious cash, so she trucks off to New England, to collect her newfound fortune. But when she ends up with a rundown house, prissy poodle, and dusty old cookbook instead of riches, she has to formulate a new plan. As she fixes up her house to prepare to sell, she is hassled by the uptight locals, who’d like to burn her at the stake. Can she avoid this cruel fate, all while keeping her income high and stopping an evil plan that could threaten all of existence? Oh yeah, and will the local boys ever forget her and her massive mounds?
If you’re a fan of that gothic babe Elvira, then you’re in luck, as Anchor Bay has released her debut picture, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. The focus here is on Elvira’s ample talents and of course, I don’t mean her traditional acting skills, if you catch my drift. So while some folks might not like a flick loaded with humor based around Elvira’s breasts, fans of hers should be in heaven here, without a doubt. I admit this film wears a little thin at times, but I like Elvira and her antics, so I think it holds up well enough. As Elvira fans should already know, she loves to use corny jokes and puns, so expect a lot of those, as well as all sorts of other bad jokes also. But this all ties into the Elvira persona and if you like her, then you should be pleased with her movie, at least I think so. If you don’t like her however, then I doubt this picture will make you a fan, as this is her turned up to eleven, to be sure. If you’re interested however, I recommend you give this disc a rental and if you’re a fan, a purchase is a wise choice, as this one is fun to watch time and again.
She might be a two trick pony, but Elvira has two of the biggest & baddest tricks in show business, so she handles herself quite well. I remember having my doubts about this movie, as she had only been in commercials and hosting positions, but she does very well here, much better than I expected. I’ve seen this movie a few times since then and while her jokes have grown into full groaners at times, her persona still remains strong, as well as her massive breasts. Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) knows her limits and sticks to what she does best, horror, humor, and huge mammaries, none of which are disappointing in her feature film. You can also see Elvira in such films as Elvira’s Haunted Hills, Dead of Night, Stroker Ace, Fellini’s Roma, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and Superstition. The cast also includes Edie McClurg (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Carrie), Daniel Greene (Me Myself & Irene, Weekend Warriors), Susan Kellerman (Beetlejuice, The Devil’s Advocate), and William Morgan Sheppard (Needful Things, The Elephant Man).
Video: How does it look?
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The image here shows some wear, but still looks more than solid, especially when compared to prior home video editions. The main issue here is grain, which is always present it seems, though usually in very light form, which isn’t too bad. It sometimes gets a little thick, but never to the point of distraction, so no real cause for concern here. The colors look bold and bright, while Elvira’s pale flesh has never looked better, to be sure. No issues on the contrast front either, as black levels remain consistent and trust me, this movie has a lot of black hues. This is not a pristine transfer, but given the age and nature of the material, I think fans should be pleased with the results.
Audio: How does it sound?
A new Dolby Digital 5.1 option has been included, but this isn’t the kind of movie that needs the juice, so the results are a little mixed. A few scenes dig in and let the surrounds go, but these sequences are few and far between, due to the material involved. I imagine this is about as dynamic as this movie will ever sound though, as the surrounds are used when needed, but never forced in the least. I like these new surround mixes, but not when they sound gimmicky and in this case, the mix is well crafted in all respects. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, in case that better suits your home theater needs.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a talent file on Cassandra Peterson, as well as the film’s theatrical and teaser trailers.