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Archive for October 23rd, 2010

Special thanks to Wrong Side of the Art for many of these posters…

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While my last post was all about horror host icon, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, I would be remiss if I did not mention the woman who essentially started the notion of the  horror host, Vampira. Actress Maila Nurmi’s Vampira might have been the modern forbearer of sexy meets scary, her vampy, pun-laden character inspired by a series of New Yorker cartoons by Charles Addams. Her short-lived TV program, The Vampira Show, introduced the world to a character that would go onto inspire other fictional females of the dark, like Elvira, Vampirella and Lilly Munster. Although Maila Nurmi is probably most famous for her role in Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), her character Vampira, like Elvira, has inspired its own cottage industry, with legions of fans the world over.

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Elvira was the queen of the horror movie hosts. Besides Cleveland Ohio’s, Ghoulardi, she is probably the most famous, most beloved of the late night horror hosts. Quick-witted, with sarcasm to spare, actress Cassandra Peterson’s character Elvira juxtaposed her irreverent evaluations of the movies she presented with a towering bee-hive hairdo and a tightly fitting, Vampira-inspired dress that barely contained her ample bosom. Elvira’s Movie Macabre was something of a staple of my TV watching in the early 80s, and it’s not hard to understand why she was so popular.

This fall her iconic show, Elvira’s Movie Macabre, rises from the dead for a new season.

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