Friday, 26 May 2017

POP! Television: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Back in October last year, I reviewed the Mystery Mini version of Elvira; astute readers will notice that there is a lot of overlap between this review and that one. But please feel free to read on nonetheless, and appreciate all the subtle differences.

Horror hosts aren’t really a thing over here in Australia, but it seems there was a time where every local TV station in the USA had one of their own. Typically serving as campy gateway figures to introduce audiences to crappy old horror and sci-fi films, in many cases they’re more entertaining than the actual films they were hosting. A handful went on to become international celebrities, like Vampira – though to be fair, a lot of that really had to do with her work with Ed Wood.

But probably the best-known to horror fans the world over is the subject of today’s review – Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Portrayed by Cassandra Peterson, I’m not actually sure that she’s ever been broadcast on Australian TV, but a couple of YouTube videos confirmed pretty much what I expected – silly comments about the films being shown, bad puns and double entendres. But she does it with more style and panache than many of her contemporaries, and Cassandra Peterson has turned herself into a global brand as a result.

Typically, I can appreciate Mystery Minis and POPs as separate entities; they’re both striving for different aesthetics and they should be treated as such. But sometimes one really outshines the other, and in this case I think the Mystery Mini is substantially better. Though the POP is not bad, it suffers by comparison; the large head coupled with the large hair is a little too much, and the paint on small details like her dagger and nails are a bit sloppy. In her favour is that they’ve done a nice paint job on her face; it captures the pale skintone very nicely.

Nonetheless, if you’re a horror POP collector, she’s still a great addition to the shelf. There’s no doubt that Elvira is a horror icon, and considering how many horror-related POPS I own, I figure they need a good host to accompany them.    

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