Friday, May 23, 2014

Elvira's Haunted Hills (2001)

Director: Sam Irvin

Writers: Cassandra Peterson, John Paragon

Composer: Eric Allaman

Starring: Cassandra Peterson, Richard O'Brien, Mary Scheer, Scott Atkinson, Heather Hopper, Mary Jo Smith, Gabi Andronache, Jerry Jackson, Theodor Danetti, Lucia Maier, Constantin Cotimanis, Remus Cernat, Mark Pierson, Rob Paulsen

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Evil. Terror. Lust.  Some girls really know how to party!

Plot: Set back in 1851 in the Carpathia Mountains of Romania, Elvira the Mistress of the Dark" en route to Paris with her maidservant Zou Zou for a can-can revue, stop for the night at a haunted castle owned by a certain Vladimir Hellsubus whose long dead wife bears an eerie resemblance to Elvira.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

I really dig Cassandra Peterson.  She's sharp, she's a B-movie nerd and she's fucking hilarious.

OK, that, too.

Her comedic timing and sense of humor is tops.  She takes stupid, corny jokes and makes them funny.  Yeah, she's not for everyone's taste but, for my money, she delivers the goods.  I laughed quite a bit but the picture does suffer from a little drag now and then.  It could use some trimming for sure but at its core, it's a fun, sweet homage to the Roger Corman Poe pictures of the sixties.  The sets are amazing and the setting of mid-nineteenth century Romania is fantastic.  And how about Scott Atkinson's (as Dr. Bradley Bradley) superb George Sanders impersonation?  Holy shit was that fantastic! You can tell this is a labor of love for Peterson.  She sunk her own money into this when no studio would touch it.  They might have been right that this could be a hard sell to audiences but then I'm glad she made it anyway.  I should probably get my hands on some of her TV show episodes.  That was some really funny stuff.  She's super talented and it's a damn shame she's not still active with Elvira.  It's a wonderfully creative character that's so entertaining it should last forever, even past her eventual death.  They could do a TALES FROM THE CRYPT Crypt Keeper kind of thing.  I'll volunteer to work the metal rods to move her arms and shit.  Why not?

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