Sunday, May 20, 2012
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Occasionally, the TVCU will discuss a character whose origins are a little askew of the norm. Elvira did not start of in some film or tv storyline, like most of our characters discussed. If anything, she falls in the ranks with such an assortment of characters as Father Guido Sarducci, Kermit the Frog, Jose Jiminez, Pee Wee Herman and mostly, the Shadow.
Elvira started out as the host of a local network's horror movie programming. This fictional Vampira knock-off was a goth valley girl who would introduce the films and the commercials, and occasionally interrupt the film with her sarcastic remarks, ala MST3K.
She became such a hit, that soon she started appearing, as Elvira, in guest spots n a variety of TV shows, was featured in numerous commercials, and even finally got that TV series and a few films.
She is an icon of my childhood who seems not to have aged one bit, and I'm very pleased to write this blog.
1851--ELVIRA'S HAUNTED HILLS--An ancestor of Elvira's, who must be part of the group that splintered from the witch kin and lost touch with their magical abilities long ago, is in Romania where she is sought after by a vampire who wants to make her his bride.
1981--ELVIRA'S MOVIE MACABRE--Elvira is hired to host her own show that plays old cheesy B horror films. She's perfect for the role.
1982--ELVIRA AND THE VITONES 3-D TV--Her first music album release.
OCTOBER 1982--CHIPS--"Rock Devil Rock"--Ponch and Hot Dog (yeah, they jumped the shark at this point) meet Elvira.
April 1983--CHIPS--"Things That Go Creep In the Night"--Not even October and Elvira shows up, but it is a horror themed episode.
1983--VINYL MACABRE--Record album.
October 1983--THE RICHARD SIMMONS SHOW--Richard Simmons and Elvira in what to me sums up the 80s.
1984--LAST OF THE GREAT SURVIVORS--This is a TV movie. Not sure what it's about, but Elvira appears.
1984--MOVIE MACABRE--"The Human Duplicators"--June Cleaver meets ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK.
October 1984--FALL GUY--"October the 31st"--Colt Seavers meets Elvira.
February 1985--SUPER BLOOPERS AND PRACTICAL JOKES--Elvira guests.
1985--THRILLER VIDEO/ELVIRA'S MIDNIGHT MADNESS/BOX OF HORRORS--Elvira begins doing pre-recorded intros for VHS movies. (Of course, only the worst of the worst.)
1985--GET OUT OF MY ROOM--Elvira appears during the events that coincide with another film, BORN IN EAST L.A. (and the music video of the same name.)
1985--BOB HOPE BUYS NBC?--Elvira appears in this telethon to save NBC.
OCTOBER 1985--SUPER BLOOPERS AND PRACTICAL JOKES--Elvira guest again for the Halloween episode.
October 31, 1985 to December 1986--ELVIRA'S HOUSE OF MYSTERY--Following some sort of cosmic Crisis, a house becomes available and Elvira moves in, unaware that this house is a portal to THE DREAMING and that the former occupant was CAIN, a being created by Morpheus THE SANDMAN using some dream essence of the immortal KANE thousands of years ago. Note that Elvira has appeared in other comics by other publishers as well.
November 1985--FALL GUY--"October the 32nd"--Colt once again encounters Elvira.
1986--WRESTLEMANIA 2--Elvira is one of the celebrity guests at this sporting event.
OCTOBER 1986--ELVIRA'S HALLOWEEN SPECIAL--Elvira plays MTV VJ for a day.
1987--ELVIRA PRESENTS, HAUNTED HITS--Record album.
October 31, 1987--SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE--Elvira appears on Weekend Update.
1988--ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK--Elvira inherits the family home in Salem, MA when her aunt dies and learns that she comes from a long line of powerful witches. She must learn to master her own innate powers to combat her uncle Elmo, who also wants the house and the spellbook left within it. Note that Elvira's aunt's last name is Talbot, not a common name in the TVCU, but whenever does seem to have that name, it usually implies a family connection to THE WOLF MAN.
1988--THE MAGICAL WORLD OF DISNEY--Michael Eisner hosts this retrospective on Disney, with lots of commentary by real life TV celebs, including Elvira.
October 31, 1988--NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL--Elvira is at the game. (Colts vs. Broncos if you're interested.)
March 1989--JUST SAY JULIE--Elvira is a guest.
1989--HEAVY METAL HEAVEN--Elvira hosts this Rockumentary.
October 1989--TOTALLY HIDDEN VIDEO--Elvira appears.
1990--ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK--Following the death of her evil uncle Elmo, Elvira, now a fully realized and powerful witch, and you, must stop Elvira's ancestor, Queen Emelda, accidentally raised from the dead, from taking over the world.
1991--ELVIRA: THE ARCADE GAME--Elvira gains ownership of her family's castle in Transylvania.
February 1992--PARKER LEWIS--"Boy Meets Girl II"--Elvira seems to randomly show up just because...
1992--ELVIRA II: THE JAWS OF CERBERUS--When Cerberus captures Elvira for her power and holds her prisoner in a move studio where every prop becomes real, her boyfriend must come to save her.
October 31, 1992--At a U2 concert, Elvira announces her candidacy for president.
1993--THE ELVIRA SHOW--Elvira moves to Manhattan. Manhattan, Kansas that is. She moves in with her wacky but less evil aunt Minerva. Things become complicated as she makes a living as a phony fortune teller selling fake love potions, and falls for the cop whose trying to bust her operation.
1994--ELVIRA PRESENTS, MONSTER HITS--Record album.
1995--ELVIRA PRESENTS REVENGE OF THE MONSTER HITS--Record album.
1995 to 1997--ELVIRA'S FRIDAY THE 13TH--Elvira seems to show up to celebrate at the MGM theme park whenever it's Friday the 13th.
1995--THE KETCHUP VAMPIRES--Elvira is caught in the middle as vegetarian vampires face off against the good old fashioned blood sucking variety.
February 1996--STRANGE UNIVERSE--This is a show that explores the mysteries of our world like Big Foot and UFOs, while under the careful watch of at least one Man in Black. In this one show, Elvira guests.
June 1996--SPACE GHOST COAST TO COAST--"Switcheroo"--Far in the future, the barriers between the TVCU and Looniverse have broken down, and travel back and forth is relatively easy, so much so that there is little distinction, and it's hard to say which characters come from which reality. In this future, there was a super-hero called Space Ghost. Now to old to fight, he hosts a talk show, where he interviews celebrities from the TVCU of the late 20th century. In this instance, Elvira is the celebrity guest.
October 28, 1996--NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL--Elvira at another game, this time Bears v. Vikings.
1997--SUPERSTITION--Know nothing about this, other than it's a cross. Elvira and the Frankenstein Monster.
April 1998--THE RUPAUL SHOW--Elvira is a guest.
2001--SCARES AND DARES--Elvira hosts a game show where the WINNERS are TORTURED!!!!!!
2005--I LOVE THE 80'S 3-D--Elvira is one of the celeb commentators.
2005--I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS--Again, Elvira is a commentator. Wonder which of the holidays she's discussing? Probably Arbor Day. She is best known for her love of trees, after all.
2006--Elvira once again announces her candidacy for president.
October 2006--THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR--"Girls Will Be Ghouls"--Elvira visits the playmates.
2007--THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT ELVIRA--Finding her schedule far too busy, and finding herself getting up there in age (gasp!), Elvira holds tryouts via reality TV for an heir to the throne.
February 2008--ZOMBIE KILLER--Elvira adds her vocals to this song performed by Leslie and the Ly's, who would later perform to an audience of zombies in a stadium named after the Mistress of the Dark.
2008--HER MORBID DESIRES--All I know is it has Elvira and Dracula (or rather a soul clone, I suppose.)
2010--ELVIRA'S GREATEST HITS--Whatever the modern version of a record album is, that's what this is.
September 2010--ELVIRA'S MOVE MACABRE--Elvira revives her show, but with some better films. (Personally, I think she should have stuck with the "classic" B films.)
October 30, 2011--Elvira is guest DJ for Chicago's 97.1 FM WDRV.
October 31, 2011--THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW--Elvira is a guest.
October 2011--LAST MAN STANDING--"Last Halloween Standing"--Ed is dating (or doing something with) Elvira.
WOLD NEWTON BEYOND--I suggest reading Chris Nigro's excellent essay on Horror Hosts in the Wold Newton Universe.
I know there is more info out there, and please, Elvira fans, if you have more details, please let me know. Info out there on the web on Elvira is actually much scarcer than I thought, but at least I hope I have established enough of a connection to cement her place in the TVCU, with her connections to CHIPS, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, THE FALL GUY, and PARKER LEWIS.