Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

When horror queen Elvira finds herself the inheritor of a late aunt's estate, she moves into a large mansion in a small New England town. There the saucy, buxom entertainer clashes with the more conservative residents of her new hometown in this fish-out-of-water comedy.more
Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Sam Egan, John Paragon, Cassandra Peterson, Sam Egan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 28, 2001
New World Video


Daniel Greene
as Bob Redding
Edie McClurg
as Chastity Pariah
Pat Crawford Brown
as Mrs. Meeker
William Duell
as Mr. Meeker
Damita Jo Freeman
as Associate Producer
Tress MacNeille
as Anchorwoman
Edwina Moore
as Hairdresser
Lee McLaughlin
as Earl Hooter
William Cort
as Lawyer/Game Show Hos...
John Paragon
as Gas Station Attendan...
Kris Kamm
as Randy
Bill Morey
as Mr. Rivers
Ellen Dunning
as Robin Meeker
Jack Fletcher
as Mr. Bigelow
Robert Benedetti
as Calvin Cobb
Kurt Fuller
as Mr. Clotter
Hugh Gillin
as Sheriff
Eve Smith
as Little Old Lady
Raleigh Bond
as Minister
Sebastian Russell
as Las Vegas Dancer
Read Scot
as Las Vegas Dancer
James Hogan
as Las Vegas Dancer
Michael A. Jackson
as Las Vegas Rapper
Lee Mc Laughlin
as Earl Hooter
Jack Fletcher
as Mr. Bigelow
W. Morgan Sheppard
as Vincent Talbot
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Critic Reviews for Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

A predictable plot and cheapskate effects deaden Elvira's occasional witty lines, while references to the horror genre make the film busy without going anywhere.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There are only a couple of fresh and funny moments.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is stupid fun, a distaff, gothic version of Pee-wee's Playhouse.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Despite its mildly raunchy tone and obsession with Peterson's considerable cleavage, the film is a decent, good-hearted comedy that never takes itself seriously.

Full Review… | October 23, 2012
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's not just dumb fun. The script contains a few genuinely smart one-liners (even if the relentless flood of innuendo will weary even the hardiest Carry On fans) and there's far more to Elvira than a perilously plunging neckline.

Full Review… | October 23, 2012

It may not be the comedy that re-invented horror comedies, but Elvira's feature film debut is an entertaining and raunchy foray...

Full Review… | September 30, 2012
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Elvira, Mistress of the Dark


First came Morticia Addams in the 30's from cartoonist Charles Addams, then along came Maila Nurmi and her classic B-movie/TV horror host creation Vampira, then finally in the 80's America introduced us to Elvira. It turns out Elvira was actually used to host the TV show 'Fright Night' after Maila Nurmi quit the show.

The 'Fright Night' show bosses needed a new host in the same vain as Vampira so they simply put out a casting call for someone to fill the role. Cassandra Peterson got the part and created the new image for the Vampira-esque host. Although another source says the bosses hired Peterson to play the new Vampira without telling Nurmi. Hence Nurmi quit on creative difference and tried to sue Peterson. Either way both creations are clear rip offs from Charles Addams original lady in black.

Elvira is pretty much the pinnacle of mid 80's American culture. That trashy Guns n Roses, G.I.Joe, Garbage Pail Kids, bubblegum MTV pop culture era where gory horror films were rampant, Freddy Krueger was virtually a national icon, gruesome toys like Madballs and My Pet Monster were the norm, whilst gruesome toys like Teddy Ruxpin and Cabbage Patch Kids were scarily suppose to be harmless brrr. Yes I lived in the US back in 87 so I know.

It always amazed me how things like Elvira got on TV, but I guess with literately hundreds of TV channels there's a place for everything. Something that kids (and adults) back in the UK at the time found astonishing, the thought of so many channels including ones solely for cartoons!!.

This film was pretty much an extension of a very simple idea to simply push the franchise further. There really is no plot involved whatsoever, Elvira turns up in a typical squeaky clean wholesome all American town to claim inheritance from her dead great aunt. Naturally this makes all the bland dull good little housewives of the town jealous and upset of this slutty gothic temptress, can you see where this is going yet?. Oh and Elvira's evil uncle is the local Warlock trying to take over the world by getting his hands on an ancient spellbook that Elvira has just inherited, simple.

So apart from the odd moment of cheesy rubber hand puppet horror and evil sorcery the film is mainly chock full of sexual innuendo's or dirty double entendres, pretty much revolving around Peterson's ample boobies or ass. She has her razor sharp sarcastic wit, well kinda, its not really funny, more predictable and catty if anything. The mansion she inherits is your typical 'Munster' type establishment with complimentary interior, not a long shot from 'The Addams Family' either of course.

The film is soft and hammy but good natured I suppose, there is nothing really threatening here as we all know the score. When I was a kid I found the sight of fishnet stockings and tight black leotards extremely interesting, I still do of course but the film definitely feels more risky and sexual to the impressionable young male mind.

One of those ideas that works much better with a regular TV slot. Not a horrible film but hardly something to remember, more of a fun history lesson in 80's Americana. The Vegas finale dance routine is slightly naughty with some revealing outfits but I'm not complaining.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Trashy fun. I don't really remember seeing Elvira on TV, but she's funny here. It is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it's very 80's, which is a plus, and I found it entertaining enough.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark Quotes

Chastity Pariah: Excuse me? Is this face taken?
– Submitted by Eric J (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Elvira, Mistress of the Dark on our Movie forum!