The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (15)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (7)
| Rotten (8)
| DVD (1)
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.
There are only a couple of fresh and funny moments.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is stupid fun, a distaff, gothic version of Pee-wee's Playhouse.
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.
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.
It may not be the comedy that re-invented horror comedies, but Elvira's feature film debut is an entertaining and raunchy foray...
But there's nothing dark about Elvira's cleavage.
With a solid humor lineage...Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is one of the best comedies of the late 80s.
Stupidity with a cleavage.
Bad, bad, bad. Stick to hosting late-night creature features, babe.
Goofy, enjoyable, and it might have been better if it didn't try to please everybody.
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.
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.
This is was one of the weirder attempts at a goofy comedy with some semblance of reason. It was a film that didn't need to exist, but why not give a film to a woman who is a fixture in popular culture? Other magnets of that time period were given films, including Pee-Wee Herman and Weird Al. Elvira was most famous for introducing small budget horror films during matinÃ (C)es in the afternoon on a Los Angeles television station during the eighties. In the film she reprises her role as a big boobed siren, inheriting a fortune from her Great Aunt and temporarily moving to a sleepy town. Elvira gets into a buttload of trouble amongst the uptight citizens, mostly comprised of old women and lunching ladies, as well as stodgy, repressed men. Of course the teenagers of the town rally around the unconventional temptress, the boys for the cleavage and the girls for...her kooky demeanor? I suppose that's it. To be frank most of the comedy, or I should say all, either has to do with Elvira's boobs or other body parts, or is sexual innuendo. For all the gaffes and irrelevant pablam that this film has to offer, I did actually laugh a couple of times, and it did resonate at the end as a worthless, cheap form of entertainment. Elvira made this film because she's Elvira, not because she wants anything life changing or star worthy. The setting is pure eighties, the music is rocking New Wave, the comedy is adorably juvenile, and most of the time it's fun and stupid. I praise this film for how dumb it is, how tired and silly. If it was anything other, I actually would have been quite disappointed.
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