mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

April 5, 2016

Episode 265: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)

Special Guests: Frank Collison, Sam Egan
Guest Co-Hosts: Josh Hadley, John Pilate

On a very surprising episode of The Projection Booth, Mike discusses James Signorelli's Elvira Mistress of the Dark with Josh Hadley and John Pilate. The film stars Cassandra Peterson as Elvira, a horror hostess desperate to break into Vegas. She's thwarted by the "good" people of Falwell, MA including her Uncle (William Morgan Sheppard) and henchmen.

This episode features interviews with actor Frank Collison and screenwriter . Also, be sure to check out the bonus interview with William Morgan Sheppard.

Listen / Download Now:

Bonus Interview: William Morgan Sheppard

Buy Elvira: Mistress of the Dark on DVD
Visit the official Facebook page
Visit the official Frank Collison website
Check out the Long Riders project

"(Every Day Is) Halloween" - Ministry



  1. Re: Innuendo. Maybe you should go back and see the first episodes of Pee-wee's Playhouse (another Groundling.) They definitely have some of that there. That was not even a theatrical thing, that was a Saturday Morning Show!
    Different times...

    1. The Foreign ViewerApr 27, 2016, 8:47:00 PM

      If there's someone who doesn't get this reference (I didn't), Cassandra Peterson worked in the L.A. comedy troupe The Groundlings before she got famous. Some of her colleagues from the troupe show up in this movie as well...

    2. I can't tell if The Foreign Viewer is a nice person or a dickhead. These comments seem to be complimentary and then quickly slide into backhanded before becoming downright insulting. Mike, you shouldn't have to put up with this shit.

    3. The Foreign ViewerApr 28, 2016, 7:59:00 AM

      I'm just a fan who's being frank. ;) And you should give Mike's skin more credit than that. :)

  2. Thanks for leaving a comment and not a review!

  3. I was 20 when this movie came out and used to watch it regularly with my friends (we were a mixture of goth/punk kids and theatre kids). We loved it and thought it was hilarious and I to think it's still very funny today. I own the DVD and still like to watch it.
    It might seem different from today's perspective, but in 1988 it did not at all seem like we were at the end of the Moral Majority period, especially to goths who lived in small towns in the Midwest.

  4. Is John Pilate "special", cause he's not to bright.

    1. My mom used to think I was special and so did the guy who drove the short bus.

  5. The Foreign ViewerApr 26, 2016, 5:28:00 AM

    Hey, Mike. Great choice of topic and guest(s). And man, am I glad you had Josh on, since he was pretty much the only one who gave two beeps about the topic and he therefore single-handedly saved the show from being a disaster.

    To be honest, Mike, you sounded like you're only semi-interested in your on topic and that other guy... Why the hell did you even have him on? He literally added next to nothing to the episode. The only good thing about having him on was the fact that he asked a lot of (good) questions about Elvira/Cassandra and the movie, since he didn't know anything. In a way, this total ignorance on the topic on his part made him a better interviewer than you this time, ironically.

    As for the interviews with the people involved with the film, that guy who played the henchman was alright (if all over the place with his stories about his career) but he mostly talked about his relationship with Bruce Willis, Scott and Lynch and barely said anything about Elvira's movie itself. On the other hand, that scriptwriter guy was boring as hell.

    I've yet to listen to the old actor who played the villain (great to hear he's still alive), though.

    Too bad Cassandra (or some of the other actors primarily known for this movie) didn't want to do an interview.

    I'm from one of Europe's smaller countries and Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988) was actually shown pretty frequently on one of our TV stations in the mid-90s. I was in my early teens then and loved the movie. I thought it was one of the best (and sexiest) horror comedies ever (that scene with the monster in the cooking pan is classic, although it's also pretty much the only horror moment in the whole movie). And I loved Elvira in it. Then I watched the movie again some ten years later and I was shocked by how mediocre the movie was all of a sudden. It actually bored me mid way through it and I was hugely disappointed by the end. I remembered it as being so funny and cool, but instead it was like Josh said - kind of lame and one note and pretty poorly plotted. However, I still liked Elvira herself. Then I saw the movie again yesterday to "prepare" for your show and while the movie has all of the same problems, I kind of like it again because of the nostalgia factor. And I agree with Josh that celeb cameos would've helped the movie.

    I'm surprised that none of you mentioned that the other writer of the movie worked on Pee-Wee's show and movies. You can kinda tell, I think. Both the comedy and the naughtiness of the two characters are kind of similarly innocent (in a childish 50s retro way), playful and subversive (this is all turned up to eleven in Elvira's case, of course).

    I didn't even bother with the sequel since it looks like crap and everyone says its crap. She should've made it by 1990. That year was pretty much the swan song for this type of comedies.

    Are you sure that Cassandra never did any nudity before she got famous? Supposedly, she did two nude scenes on screen in the 1970s. One was in The Working Girls (1973) where she plays a Vegas-style stripper and she had one quick nude scene in Jekyll & Hyde...Together Again (1982). She also supposedly did a nude pictorial for Penthouse or something in the early 70s. You can find the nude pics from the pictorial and the nude scenes from the two movies on this NSFW website - http://ancensored.com/.

    I'd say it's her. What do you think?

    Anyway, good show (thanks mostly to Josh). I hope you and Josh have more crossovers in the future. It's great hearing the two of you together.

    1. I was pretty interested. Had a nice long outline to talk about the film but was really thrown by how that episode played out.

      Thanks for the comments. They're always welcome and insightful!

  6. The Foreign ViewerApr 26, 2016, 8:17:00 AM

    However, I disagree with Josh on one point. I don't think it was too late to make fun of Reagan's moral majority in 1988. Around that time you had Tipper Gore's PMRC hearings that led to parental guidance rating boards for music and games. The mainstream's fear of satanic metal albums was on the rise. Ignoring of AIDS epidemic was still a thing. The "pull up your pants" thing was the catchphrase of the day.
    I'd say that 1988 was still open for mockery when it comes to moral majority.

    1. Yes I agree. I was a 20 year old goth and this was the height of the satanic panic. Not too late at all.

  7. The Foreign ViewerApr 27, 2016, 6:47:00 PM

    One final fun fact: during the bar fight, Elvira has a blink and you'll miss it nipslip moment, when the guy grabs her. I'm amazed that they left that in the movie. People had VCR's in 1988 and VCRs had pause button, so it's not like they thought nobody would ever notice it. Weird.

  8. The Foreign ViewerApr 27, 2016, 8:42:00 PM

    Sorry for all the double posting, but I just had to add this as well. The (cool) rock song that plays during the movie's intro as Elvira drives to Massachusetts is Once Bitten Twice Shy by Lori Chacko. Here's the song's music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWS-NmLqBU . If you're into this genre of 80s rock, Lori had several pretty sweet rock songs around the time such as I Know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGz51z3YIvo or Life On The Planet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh_c1kiqaNM . It's too bad the movie didn't incroporate more rock songs after such opening. And if you're curious to know how's Lori doing today, here's your answer: Lori Chacko - We All Need To Be Loved https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1yJCr05UUg . Definitely not the rocker Lori once was, but what're you gonna do.

  9. Wow. I had no idea they made comments on this thing. How extraordinarily painful it is being "the other guy" who doesn't know anything. Frankly (and not in the "Donald Trump frankly" sort of way) I'm new at this podcast thing and while I'm not going to b.s. and pretend I knew all that much about the flick at least I gave it a shot about a flick I knew not all that much about. I can respect Mike's feeling of awkwardness and I feel I owe Josh something of apology since he is undeniably brilliant with his knowledge of film. I do hope that Mike invites me back for a second shot but this time about a film I know enough about to please. Do people actually see the older replies? Meh, I gave it a shot.

  10. I recently stumbled on The Projection Booth and have been loving all the episodes I have listened to. A true love and knowledge of film. As a HUGE fan of Elvira Mistress of The Dark I was so looking forward to listening to this episode. However, I was HUGELY disappointed. I had come to expect an appreciation for the film based upon my previous experiences with the other episodes I listened to but on this it was only Mike who had any kind of real appreciation for the film. The other two guests were really rough on it and I actually end up turning it off. Mind you, I don't mind listening to differing opinions on a film but I was really hoping to hear three fans of the movie showing it some love . I mean it's a silly and lightweight movie mind you and not one which will be remembered for it's cinematic value but it's tons of fun and it has amassed a huge cult of fans. I still LOVE everything else I have listened to and find the Projection Booth to be pretty much one of the best movie podcasts around. Even with this one disappointing misstep.