Saturday, April 22, 2017

Ep. 17: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)

Listen to "Ep. 17: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" on Spreaker.

2.5 / 7.0
Out on Blu-ray April 24th!

Hello, darlings! In this episode we bring you the "ghoul that put the boob back into boob tube," Elvira!

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is a 1988 comedy horror film directed by James Signorelli. Cassandra Peterson plays the role of horror hostess Elvira in the character's feature film debut. The screenplay was written by Cassandra Peterson, John Paragon and Sam Egan.

Local late-night horror hostess Elvira quits her job after being sexually harassed by the TV Station owner and finds herself in a lurch to cover the expenses for her dream gig, her own Vegas show. A telegram serendipitously arrives announcing her inheritance from an unknown Great Aunt in Massachusetts. Elvira travels with high hopes only to arrive in a conservative hostile town and be the new owner of a dog, a book, and a run-down victorian house.

Fallwell, Massachusetts is a "decent" community. They are ultra conservative, with NO FUN ALLOWED. The town name a riff on Jerry Falwell, prominent contemporary televangelist preacher and member of the Moral Majority movement - many of whom were majorly immoral!

In the episode we talk about the use of language in magic and here are some examples of some magical alphabets.  The Enochian or Angelic language of John Dee is an example of a magical language.  Aaron Leitch discusses this magical language in his article The Tongue of AngelsHere is a fun article on how fantasy has used language as magic.  If you are interested in learning more about magical alphabets, Nigel Pennick's book "Magical Alphabets" is a good place to start.

Elvira's great-uncle Vincent uses the energy of the lunar eclipse to fuel his grand rite to become the Master of Dark.  Lunar eclipse magic and folklore is discussed in this post by Patti Wigington.

The Witch and her Familiar
Elvira's great-aunt Morgana is a great example of an ancestral spirit.  Honoring the ancestors and the dead is an important aspect of many pagan spiritual paths.  You can read more about it here, here and here.  This great post also discusses setting up ancestral altars and rituals.

Algonquin (a/k/a Gonk) is Elvira's Mohawk-sporting, punk rock poodle familiar.  Sara Anne Lawless' blog post introduces us to animal familiars.  Emma Wilby's book "Cunning-Folk and Familiar Spirits" is a good book to explore the relationship between witches and their familiars in early modern Britain.  England has a rich history of phantom black dogs and you can read a little about them here.   This post addresses the lore and legend of the black dog.

Elvira wears a family ring that not only functions as conductor for her magic but also functions as an amulet.  Amulets have a long history in magic.  While most people are familiar with objects as amulets, pieces of written text was also used as amulets.  This movie is full of boob humor but in the ancient Roman world the phallus symbol had some interesting uses including warding.

And the Queen of Halloween is still going strong! Cassandra Peterson still stunning as Elvira at age 65, thanks to good clean living, a vegetarian diet and regular exercise. For all the latest Elvira news, head to the official website. 

Theme music X-Files Theme Parody by Mallon Khan
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