Elvira,
Mistress of the Dark


Dir: James Signorelli
Starring: Elvira, W. Morgan Sheppard, Jeff Conaway, Edie McClurg

The most fitting tribute to this movie is that, fourteen years later, I still borrow lines from it: "Nice jacket - who shot the couch?" is a personal favourite. No doubt about it, this is cheese, but it is a block of the finest Cheddar. I almost used the word "mature", but that would be wholly inaccurate, since the comedy in this film revolves largely around innuendoes which barely reach single, never mind double. However, Elvira has the personality and charisma to pull it off (and she does - frequently), making for a highly amusing experience. Well, providing you find things like a toast of, "Here's to my big opening!" funny...I know I do.

There's some pointed digs at morality too; the neo-Puritan community in which Elvira lands is "Fallwell" (inspired by Fundamentalist preacher, and cousin to Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Falwell), while the town's moral guardian, wonderfully played by McClurg, is named Chastity Pariah. The main plot has two threads: Elvira vs. Pariah, and Elvira vs. her Satanic great-uncle (Sheppard), which mesh nicely, leading to a climax only slightly marred by some woefully lame digital effects and a tacky Vegas song-and-dance routine. The latter does allow Elvira to display her undeniable tassel-twirling talents, so we'll let it slide. This is perhaps the closest America has come to making a Carry On film, with Elvira as Babs Windsor, Kenneth Williams and Sid James, all rolled into one, and it can only be applauded as such.

B


Elvira gets a good fingering
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