I Saw A Film!

I preferred my fantasy of Elvira. Apparently those in creative didn’t share my vision, and I, instead of nodding a resignation of cynical expectation, felt kind of depressed about it. Granted the whole point of Elvira was the old cheap entertainment of watching crappy films and interrupting them with jokes, what the MST3K crew would call “riffing” on them. This was a tried and true television filler from long ago, what Elvira added to the mix was sexiness and fantasy. Though I only assumed so based on her Vampirella attire. Despite the knowledge that most of the humor had to be of the lowest ebb, and the audience directed at as verdant and childish as possible, I held out hope that Elvira would maintain some sort of class of wonder and mature stylish surprise as an unusual beauty in unusual circumstances perhaps deeper than our usual situation comedy would call for. Instead of a sort of Lucy Ball in a cape, perhaps a femme fatale or object d’amor or some elegant variation who could both be sexy and in peril and be a character we could cheer for. The Munsters had more dignity.

I’m sorry to say that instead of something engaging and uplifting, Elvira is a kind of bubble-gum fart-joke. Elvira is a dork! I suppose that her amazing figure, basically that of a Barbie Doll come to life, is impressive of it’s own accord. But it really isn’t enough to support the whole story of a lass hoping for a Vegas show shot (incidentally Cassandra Peterson was once the youngest Vegas showgirl). Her job, up to that point is basically saying, “Wow that was a bad ending!” and making gag reactions to films. She is soon drawn into intrigue surrounding an inheritance from a well off relative who passed, and happened to be imbued with witchcraft, which provides Elvira a house and a spell book. When she prepares a meal for a friend, she delightfully mixes up jars of earthworms and other foul materials kept in jars (can’t you hear the kiddos going “Ewww!”) and winds up nearly getting chomped on herself by a toothy monster as she jokes, she’s never been the main course for the appetizer before. There’s a pretty good puppet effect here, but that’s about the best of the effects.

The little town is morally headed up by the very conservative Chastity Pariah, played by the fabulously funny Edie McClurg (who single-handedly saves this film for what it is). Chastity rallies her stuck up towns folk to attempt to run Elvira off as a poor influence, running entirely on her attire and make-up. The young folk of course, flock to El’s defense and help her fix up her house. The fellows are smitten, the girls have found their inspiration. A last relative is trying to obtain her spellbook but a yappy dog, actually a witch’s familiar, protects it. The townsfolk do try to burn her at the stake, and even this unfortunate happenstance only seems to cause her more terrible jokes and eye-rolling.

Eventually, a massive warlock battle erupts and our heroine uses a fancy ring to fight off the encroaching magical relative. In the end she goes back to talking over bad movies and she apparently takes this schlock to Vegas. Granted I adore the Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Riff Trax, Cinematic Titanic, The Mads) and their brand of clever film riffing, but there’s something so positively dreadful about Elvira’s material that it’s impossible to imagine it has any value beyond her sofa lounging legs.

This is another Hulu treasure, and unless you’re really an Elvira fan (I mean really a fan) there’s nothing here that anyone needs. She’s no mistress, not at all dark, nor particularly arousing in any manner. Not sexy nor funny. I’d have given anything for a dark Mae West.

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