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Elvira's Haunted Hills

Elvira's Haunted Hills

Movie
Director(s): 
Genre: 
On DVD: 
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Grade:
B-
Running Time: 
90 minutes
Supernatural Youth

While it's never nice to talk about a woman's age, the Mistress of the Dark was entering her second half century when filming this and she still looks fantastic.

A delightful homage to the Roger Corman films of Edgar Allan Poe's works and of the movies of Hammer Studios, Elvira's Haunted Hills is a titilating adventure. En route to Paris, Elvira's dreams of stardom are put on hold when she accidently winds up in a mysterious Carpathian castle inhabited by Lord Hellsubus, a bizarre and sinister man whose late wife is a dead ringer for Elvira.

The movie itself is pure campy horror, and even includes a short musical number. With Elvira as our lead, she and Zou Zou, her handmaiden, run afoul of Lord Hellsubus, Lady Ema Hellsubus, Roxanna Hellsubus and Dr. Bradley Bradley, and the mystery surrounding Lord Hellsubus' wife Elura. And considering the movie originally released ten years ago, you might be wondering why it got a re-release this month. The answer is in the extras.

Now the film includes a full length commentary by director Sam Irvin and actors Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Scott Atkinson, Mary Scheer, and Mary Jo Smith. They go into great detail of the motivations and inspirations for different sets and scenes, the production in Romania and more. The commentary is, in my humble opinion, even better than the film itself.

There is also a Making-Of Featurette and a new "Transylvalia or Bust: Elvira & Company Tell All" Featurette, an interview with Richard O'Brien (creator, writer and Riff Raff of The Rocky Horror Picture Show), a couple of outtakes and a photo gallery.

Elvira's Haunted Hills isn't the best film in the world, but you could do far worse than this horror comedy, and while a little heavy on the double entendre it is practically a family film you can share with the kids this Halloween season. But it is the commentary that lifts this DVD up and makes it worth the price of purchase.

Review by Jason Pace
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