Comedy / Reviews

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) DVD review

When horror TV host Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) quits her job over sexual harassment and a desire to have  Las Vegas show, she finds the her great-aunt Morgana has left her something in her will; Elvira travels to a small conservative town in Massachusetts and hilarity ensues (or is supposed to).

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is a truly terrible film.  Honestly, I am actually surprised I was able to sit through the whole thing.  Filled with boob jokes, sexual innuendo that would make a porn star blush, and a decidedly non-horror plot line, there really isn’t anything worth watching here.  The jokes fall flat (pun most certainly intended), and the characters are silly bordering on inept bordering on mentally retarded , the worst offender being Elvira herself.  My biggest question while watching the film is why would you take a TV horror host and put her in a straight up comedy?  The audience who knows Elvira know that she is a HORROR host and expect a horror film.  What you get is a terrible comedy with a witch sub-plot that doesn’t even truly kick in until the last 30 minutes to provide some slight dramatic conflict.  That and so you can get a scene of Elvira busting through some chains using nothing but the power of her bust.

After quitting her job after getting her boobs grabbed by the new owner of the TV channel she works at, and the hopes of getting her own Vegas show, Elvira discovers that her great-aunt Morgana has passed away and left her something in her will.  Needing $50,000 to get her Vegas show up and running, she heads off to Massachusetts to collect her inheritance.  Of course, once she arrives she is not welcomed by the conservative locals who view her appearance as a threat to their god fearing community.  Her good nature and provocative appearance draw the local teenagers to her side.  To go into more plot than that would be a disservice to me to have to write it and to you to have to read it.  Needless to say, she discovers that she is a descendant of a powerful witch and her uncle, a powerful witch, wants a recipe book that she has inherited to keep out of his hands.  Yes, the movie is as dumb as it sounds.

I remember seeing this when it was originally released on VHS.  I also remember not liking it then due to the lack of horror.  I re-watched this hoping that I had just missed something when I was younger.  I should have trusted my younger self.  The film is actually worse now that I am an adult.

The major problem with the film is that it tries to be a silly ‘fish out of water’ comedy.  While the humor isn’t necessarily slapstick, it should have been.  While Elvira herself is pretty good at making comedic statements that take a moment to register with the audience, (A waitress asks her if she wants a virgin, and Elvira replies maybe after a couple drinks) the rest of the cast is playing the film as completely serious.  There is never a glimmer of understanding from anyone other than Elvira that this is a silly movie.  Everyone else was playing it straight in a thoroughly silly film. This actually kills some of the humor because no one looks like they are having any fun.  They all know the film is bad and that the main draw is going to be Elvira’s low cut, slinky goth dress and her knockers, so they put no effort into it.

I do have to say, if Elvira’s boobies are what you want to see, this movie has that in spades.  Elvira’s knockers.  The film takes every opportunity it can to zoom in on them.  Sadly, this is a PG-13 film, so you never get to actually see her boobs.  That might have added half a star to my rating.  Probably not, but maybe . . .In fact, as I mentioned earlier, there is a scene in the film where she is running from her uncle through a cemetery.  She gets to the gate and it is locked with a chain and padlock.  Pushing her boobs between the gate and lock, she pops the chain right off.  Busting the chain with the power of her bust.  That is really the kind of humor you get throughout the film.

I really can’t see where this film would appeal to anyone.  If you are an Elvira fan, you expect some dry-witted, quick humor.  She is good at that.  You also expect more than a passing witch sub-plot.    You expect a bad horror film, not a bad ‘fish out of water’ comedy.  Unless you are only interested in seeing close ups of Elvira’s cleavage, I cannot recommend this film.  It is not funny, and it is not risque.  It is a thoroughly PG-13 film filled with poor sexual innuendo and miserably unfunny comedy.

* out of ****

*NOTE*  I watched this on Netflix.  I cannot even recommend watching it for free on there . . .

*NOTE 2*  This is posted in the DVD review area of my site.  That is reserved for standard definition releases, not matter where they come from.  If I watch an Ultraviolet copy of a film, that’s where it will be posted.

*NOTE 3*  For the love of god, if you value your sanity, do not watch the last scene with her dance number in Vegas.  Unless you want to see Elvira rap.  Yes, really.  Oh, and she spins tassles on her boobies.  Ok, that may actually be the best part of the movie.  I take that back, watch nothing BUT the Vegas scene.  See video 2 below!

Vegas Tassel Dance- Prepare yourself!


7 thoughts on “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) DVD review

  1. I LOVE this movie, have ever since I was a kid. I never took it as a horror film though just as straight up B-cheezeball fest because I never felt Elvira took herself so seriously, she seemed to know exactly what people expected of her (boobs) and delivered. As slapstick, it’s ridiculous but I’ve seen FAR worse.

    • I understand that it HAD to be cheezeball. I just didn’t think it had to be a ‘comedy’. I expected a soft horror comedy, silly like “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” that she shows in the film.

      • Hmmm…were those expectations based off of her hosting horror movies? I was too young to watch her hosting the horror movies show (hell, I was probably really too young to watch this movie, lol) so I didn’t have any expectations associated with it. I just knew there was this crazy cool woman who dressed different and everybody thought she was a freak and I could relate.

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