The Unofficial Story

A biographical work in progress...

Updated as of February 2005

Believe me, I realize there are many aspects of Elvira's career that are not included in this career history. Give me time, I am working on it!

Elvira's 'Movie Macabré'

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark made her first on air appearance hosting the late night television show "Movie Macabré" which began airing on KHJ-TV Los Angeles in late September 1981. This is where Elvira was established in the public eye as a wise cracking Vamp from the SanFernando Valley. With a sky high bouffant, low cut gown and eye make up that put Madonna and Prince to shame. Not to mention the largest set of 'pumpkins' ever to be seen on television in the 1980's. 

What began her huge gain in popularity was when KHJ-TV on May 28, 1982 aired the Vincent Price 3-D thriller "The Mad Magician" with both the movie and the horror vamp herself broadcasted in 3-D. The first 3-D broadcast on television. The 2.7 million 3-D glasses sold in and around Los Angeles in the period of time ranging from the shows announcement until it's time of airing sold like hot cakes. Sadly Elvira got none of the profit from the success of the glasses.

Her 3-D event lead to her first appearance on "The Tonight Show" the following week and also a syndication deal that slowly spread her show ("Movie Macabré") state by state across the USA. With the notable exception of the state of New York. 'Movie Macabré' was limited in the Big Apple to viewers who had cable TV. Which at the time had not yet caught on as a mainstream means of television transmission.

Elvira and the Vitones

Around this time Rhino Records released "Elvira and the Vitones", her first music single. In hopes of cashing in on her rapidly gaining popularity.  As well as a means of further increasing that same popularity.

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'Elvira Presents Haunted Hits'

Because her show was not being aired on publicly accessible TV channels in New York Elvira claimed she was very nervous about the New York debut of her second album  "Elvira Presents: Haunted Hits." As well as her first live appearance there. Which took place at Tower Records near Times Square. She claimed 'I was so afraid it would be like that scene from 'This is Spinal Tap' with one fan holding a sign saying 'I love you Elvira.'" In reality it was the total opposite. There were so many people there that the New York Police had to set up barricades and call in horse mounted officers in order to keep the several blocks of fans orderly and calm.

 

As early as 1982 Elvira started doing guest appearances on prime time network shows such as "CHiPS", "The Fall Guy" and others. Also in 1982 she earned an Emmy nomination for "Best Local Program", for 'Movie Macabré.'  Not bad for a late night horror showcase.

In 1984 Elvira hosted her first Halloween Special on MTV. Titled "Macabré TV". From 8pm eastern to midnight. Not only did she host the strangest and most bizarre videos, but she also hosted George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead."

Elvira's Thriller VideoBy 1985 Elvira had moved from television to the home video market, now hosting LIVE Entertainment's"Thriller Theater" series of campy B-Movies. She herself selected the titles to be released with her as a hostess, declining to be associated with movies that had "really horrible scenes with animals" she has also said "I don't really do slasher movies. There is a fine line between slasher and fantasy movies. I love the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' movies. To me that's not a slasher movie, that's a total fantasy."

Not only was Elvira making leaps and bounds in the media realm. In October of 1985 she made her first appearance at Knott's 'Scary' Farm in Buena Park California. Since then she appeared live for over fifteen years. Before a combined audience of over a million and half people.

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Elvira for Coors Beer Co. During this period of time Elvira was signed on to Coors Beer Company and became the first female spooksperson to endorse a national beer. Every Halloween Coors beer saw an enormous rise in sales during their "Elvira" promotions.

Little did she know that Coors would slowly begin to attempt to tone down her image. By requesting her to cover her cleavage with her hair, and pose in ways that would minimize the amount of 'skin' that was visible in the Coors advertisements and store promotional stand ups.

Not only did Coors try to alter her image they began to harass her about her affiliation with the horror genré in films. Rumors have it they began insinuating a possibility that she was a Satan Worshiper. Or some kind of 'Cultess' which clashed with their 'Christian Family Image.' Needless to say Elvira was not pleased with the linking of her fun, sexy character with such cults. Her affiliation with Coors soon became rocky.

In 1986 Elvira returned to MTV and hosted yet another Halloween Special titled "Elvira's In Salem!" Live from 8pm to 10pm eastern followed by Alice Cooper Live from Detroit.

In 1987 Elvira traveled to France to appear at the Cannes Film Festival to promote her new movie. "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" to be released nationwide in the US the following year.

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'Elvira, Mistress of the Dark'

In 1988 "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark", starring the seductive horror hostess was released. At theaters across the country movie go'ers that attended the premier received a rolled poster, plus an 'authentic' Elvira wrist band. Radio stations promoted the event with giveaways and contests. Cash prizes, movie passes along with a special promo kit for her movie. Which included a comic book movie adaptation, Elvira 'cookbook' wristbands and eyelashes.  Even though it wasn't a huge success in the movie theaters it did very well on home video. Climbing to the number 12 spot on Billboard's Video Rentals Charts. When the film was released outside of the USA Elvira went on a promotional tour to England, Spain and Japan.

While this was happening the first twenty parts of the "Thriller Theater" were shown on Australia's Network 10 and managed to grab 50% of the Australian viewers. In England the BBC showed "Heavy Metal Heaven", a six part series hosted by Elvira.

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'Evil' by Elvira.Elvira's "Evil" Perfume

In 1990 Elvira's own perfume, "Evil" became available to the public. "Evil" was the first perfume to bear the PETA "Cruelty free" logo. Signifying that it had not been tested on animals. Sadly the company making the perfume went bankrupt about a year after the perfume started selling and her perfume line closed. For fans searching for the long departed perfume it's recommended to check out eBay online Auction's. Empty Evil boxes and full unused bottles have been known to appear from time to time. But be prepared to grab your shovels and dig your pockets deep, the going rate is in upwards of $40 per bottle!

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'Elvira, Mistress of the Dark' by Accolade

Speaking of merchandise, let's not forget the creatively titled "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" computer game by Accolade. Available for most formats. The game, while a bit old is actually quite good. There was also a follow up game called "Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus". Which was noted by Computer Gaming as one of it's Top 10 picks.

 

 

'Elvira Presents Monster Hits.

1994 marked RHINO Records revival of Elvira in the music market. "Elvira Presents: Monster Hits," a Halloween compilation CD hit the shelves in time for Halloween of '94'. Featuring two new parody/original songs written and sung by Elvira. 'Monsta' Rap' and 'Here Comes the Bride...(of Frankenstein).' As well as an intro and exit recorded by Elvira in classic 'Movie Macabré' style.

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'Elvira Presents Revenge of the Monster Hits

Halloween 1996 RHINO once again unleashed Elvira's creative genius and produced "Elvira Presents: Revenge Of The Monster Hits." Another Halloween compilation CD of the best Halloween songs of all time. Featuring two new songs by Elvira. 'Haunted House,' (which was filmed in IMAX 3D for 'Encounters in the 3RD Dimension.') and 'Zombie Stomp.' Also including (just as it's predecessor 'Monster Hits') hilarious crack-up monologues by Elvira at the open and close of the CD.

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Elvira's Nite Brew

1996 also marked the end of her affiliation with Coors Beer Company. After putting up with their crap for over ten years Elvira opted to not renew her contract. "They wanted to change Elvira more and more, they had me tape every drop of hair to my cleavage I might as well have had the chest of a nine year old boy!" That year Elvira proceeded to open her own beer label. Perfectly titled 'Elvira's Night Brew.' A full bodied lager beer in gorgeous packaging. Sadly it went flat after just a year due to the bad treatment she received at the Colorado Beer Convention in Colorado. They wouldn't allow her in because her neckline was too low! "I had just arrived from Disney World! Of all places, and they had the nerve to tell me I couldn't come inside the convention because my neckline was too low? It's not like children were in there either! I mean come on, it's a beer festival, everyone in there was at least twenty one years old! I think it just proved that the good old boys were threatened by a woman coming in and possibly giving them some really tough competition. Below is an article about the event.

Elvira's Night BrewCleavage Carries Elvira Away- By Southern Draft

DENVER, Colo. - Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and her trademark plunging neck-line stirred up a brouhaha at the Great American Beer Festival here in September when she was barred from festival because she was inappropriately dressed.

Elvira, who was appearing to promote her own specialty beer, Elvira's Night Brew, continued to sign autographs from her limousine outside the festival.

"Since I began playing Elvira 15 years ago, I have never had to compromise the integrity of this character, and I'm not going to start now," said Cassandra Peterson, the actress who plays Elvira. "Would they ask Superman to leave his tights at home and wear slacks?"

"The beer industry is dominated by a few big guys," she added. "I don't think they'll make it easy for a female entrepreneur to compete."

 

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Elvira's Nightmare Haunted House

In the summer of 1996 Elvira signed with Ray Productions of Orlando Florida to produce a chain of Haunted Houses set to open across the nation Halloween of 1997. The prototype or flagship attraction opened in Atlanta Georgia for the 1997 Halloween season. The event was broadcast nationwide by 'Access Hollywood.'

In 1998 further expansion was to have started but the Halloween season of '98' marked the end of 'Elvira's Nightmare Haunted House' as produced by Ray Productions. In the following years 'Elvira's Nightmare Haunted House' would see new life in name only. With the loss of detailed sets and exclusive themeing around Elvira's name and likeness the haunted attraction found it's self located only in Knotts Scary Farm. Sadly even now that version it's self is no longer in existence.

 

New Years Day of 1999 Elvira appeared riding on the Official Float for the United States Postal Service in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Unfortunately the car 'inside' the float broke-down, Elvira and her float had to be towed through-out the rest of the parade.

Elvira in the 2000 Tournament of Roses Parade

'Elvira's restored Macabré MobileElvira was seen only briefly outside of Knotts during the 1999 Halloween Season.  Though she did film parts in two IMAX theater productions and released her own computer generated simulation ride 'Superstition.'  During the first few months of 2000 she went on tour with her newly restored Macabré Mobile at Auto shows across the country.

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Elvira's Haunted Hills

The fall of 2000 brought news the fans had been waiting to hear for over a decade. Production of Elvira's newest motion picture began. 'Elvira's Haunted Hills.' Production began November of 2000 and finished just before Christmas. With the fall DVD release of 2002 EHH appears to have lived up to it's expectations .

Set in 19th Century Carpathia (modern day Romania) near the Borga Pass, Dracula's old stomping grounds Elvira is the unfortunate visitor of an old castle. Castle 'Hellsebus,' where everyone seems to be under the 'Hellsebus curse.' The size of fear just doubled!. For more info and multimedia visit www.elvira.com

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'Elvira's restored Macabré MobileIn 2001 Elvira crossed another medium and began the promotions and distribution for her personalized Warlock Electric guitar as produced by B.C. Rich guitars. With her face on the guitar it's self plus a pearlescent bat on the fret the guitar was snatched up by Elvira fans across the world. Making this an even more unique collectable the guitar comes in it's own black velvet lined casket shaped carrying case!

Elvira's Slot MachineAlso in 2001 Elvira and IGT (International Gaming Technologies) released another Elvira electronic slot machine. Elvira appeared in Las Vegas to promote this machine at the Global Gaming Expo in the late summer of 2001.

Elvira performing at Knotts

2001 would also bring about the end of Elvira's reign at Knotts Scary Farm in Buena Park California. According to inside sources that were confirmed with the Mistress Herself, Knotts Halloween Haunt gave Elvira the axe! According to sources Elvira was 'let go' because of 'cut-backs' and 'expenses.'

Apparently Knotts had wanted Elvira to do something other than her traditional (for over fifteen years) stage show in the 'GhoulTime' theater. Rumors would suggest a 'less than appealing' suggestion was made by Knotts which did not settle well with the Mistress.

2001 came and went and Elvira has yet to return and it's very unlikely that she ever will. Some find this a disappointment, however many find it proactive to Elvira gaining more national attention and exposure since she will no longer be locked into a nightly gig at the park.

Cassandra at SilverLake

In September 2001 Cassandra was honored by the Silverlake Theater with a hand print ceremony and special premiere showing of 'Elvira's Haunted Hills.'

Photo by Albert L. Ortega Selling Out- July 5th 2002 Elvira premiered "Elvira's Haunted Hills" at the Laemmle Beverly/Fairfax Theater in a Midnight Screening in Los Angeles California to a sold out crowd! While the blockbuster like 'Men in Black 2' topped the charts, Haunted Hills showed tremendous strength with it's turn out. Everyone including the Mistress Herself were beyond ecstatic by the amazing turn out that weekend. Photo by Albert L. Ortega

Elvira's Haunted Hills National TourIn 2002 Cassandra Peterson set out to make Elvira's Haunted Hill's worth the while (and keep her from living out of the back seat of her car) Elvira and company managed to work a distribution deal that allows her to gain full royalties of EHH. Unlike her first movie "Mistress of the Dark" Cassandra Peterson actually gets a percentage of the sales. Taking the film on screening tours and charity fund raisers across the country Elvira proved that her 'hills' are just as ample and eye catching as ever. Raising hundreds of thousands of dollars at the charity screenings for AIDS Research while putting Elvira back in the main stream proved to be a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Elvira at the New York Stock ExchangeOctober of 2002 New York fans found themselves having... pleasant dreams as Elvira spent nearly the entire closing week of the month in New York City. Ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange Elvira then hopped aboard a convertible and was honorary Grand Marshall of the New York City Village 29th Annual Halloween Parade.

Elvira at the New York Halloween Parade

 
Elvira on Hollywood Squares photo courtesy elvira.com Halloween 2002 fans were able to catch Elvira on "Halloween" Hollywood Squares. This was her second Halloween appearance on the game show, which in recent years regained it's popularity. On the topic of game shows, Elvira was also seen on the Game Show Network on October 26th for a three hour special "Hollywood Scares."

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Coming soon:

Elvira's appearances in 2003 - 2005, news on her latest projects, her divorce from husband/manager Mark Pierson and her return to her roots with original co-manager Eric Gardner.

Since her appearance in 1981 Elvira has broken boundaries and crossed the borders between film, television, print, music, IMAX, motion controlled rides and cyber mediums. With a popular comic series still running. A successful doll line. Multiple trading card sets. CD's, a home video line. Her own beer and a series of three horror fiction books written by 'Yours Cruelly.' Plus a new motion picture. Elvira has proven that she is truly a Vamp for all seasons and the reigning Queen of All Media.

'Elvira Mistress of the Dark Five years into the 21st Century we can only begin to guess where Elvira will venture in the future. Will she continue to strut forward as America's Favorite Ghoulfriend?

Will Elvira conquer another medium of the entertainment industry (are there anymore)? All we can do is sit back and watch. If things ever appear to be slowing down we'll just have to take Her advise and keep dreaming those . . . Unpleasant dreams.*

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'Elvira' & 'Mistress of the Dark' are Copyright and registered trademarks of Queen 'B' Productions.

All photographs of Elvira which are copyrighted to Queen B Productions are used with express permission from Queen B Productions. This includes mass media photos and ALL professional portraits including enhanced and digitally re-mastered photography which are seen through out the site. Photographer credit provided when available.

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*This site, while recognized by Cassandra Peterson/Elvira is not controlled or managed by Queen 'B' Productions. Some of the articles, opinions or views expressed are not those of Queen 'B' Productions or Cassandra Peterson unless otherwise noted.

Visit Her Official site at Elvira.com