Sunday, September 11, 2011

Elvira's Haunted Hills

I wanted something a little lighter this time around on Friday Night Frights, after seeing the serious yet great All the Boys Love Mandy Lane last week. So I decided on one featuring one of my favorite crushes of all time, Elvira. Given how many times I've watched Mistress of the Dark, it is surprising I haven't seen Elvira's Haunted Hills yet, especially since it came out ten years ago. What can I say, I've been slacking?

Much like it's predecessor film, this movie is more comedy than horror, though unlike the first film, this one seems to be more of a spoof of particular films/genres. In this case, the haunted castle genre with a cursed family to boot. Indeed, the movie brings to mind many of the Poe films of Roger Corman and Black Sunday by Mario Bava popped into mind, especially since one of the characters reminds me of Barbara Steele. Not a bad thing. There's even that old trope of a character being a dead ringer for a dead one. Good times.

The plot revolves around Elvira and her woman servant traveling through the European countryside on their way to Paris. They hitch a ride from a smarmy doctor and soon find themselves at a castle where everyone seems a little batty. Elvira and friend rightly want to get the hell out of there, though a hunky stable hand does sway her a bit (he's even dubbed, which is a nice throwback to the old Italian films).

There's bad jokes, cleavage shots aplenty, some funny characters and decent send-ups of older horror movies. Elvira herself is an anachronistic chaotic force in this 1800s set film but that's a lot of her humor. I think Mistress of the Dark is a more complete film, but this one certainly entertains and titillates. You can do worse as a way to kill some time. Incidentally, the tenth anniversary edition is coming out in October, so if you haven't seen it before, that would be a good one to pick up.

Check it out.

No comments: