Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001)

31 Days of Horror 2014, Day 3: Elvira’s Haunted Hills! Thirteen years after Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Cassandra Peterson and John Paragon team up once again in another campy horror parody starring Peterson’s boobs. This time it’s 1851, and Elvira and her right-hand woman Zou Zou travel through the Carpathian mountains on their way to Paris, where Elvira hopes to become a can-can star. But traveling through the mountains at night can be a very scary enterprise, especially for two buxom ladies!

Elvira & the good Dr. Bradley Bradley

Elvira & the good Dr. Bradley Bradley

It’s a good thing the dashing young doctor Bradley Bradley swoops in and saves the day, offering to bring the ladies to Castle Hellsubus, where they can get a good night’s sleep (or, you know, not). Naturally, the castle is nothing more than a host for horrors, including Lord Vladimere Hellsubus (Richard O’Brien) himself! But what’s scarier is the fact that our Mistress of the Dark looks an awful lot like the deceased Lady Hellsubus. Elvira’s presence brings bad memories to the forefront. Can Elvira and Zou Zou survive Vladimere and his castle of terror?!

Elvira not Elvira!

Elvira not Elvira!

This movie is basically a send-up of the Roger Corman/Vincent Price/Edgar Allan Poe set; you’ll see scenes straight out of The Pit and the PendulumFall of the House of Usher, Tomb of Ligeia, among others. Of course, these scenes have a lot more cleavage. I think it’s fair to say there’s a pretty small set of folks who will enjoy this film. First and foremost, you gotta be into tit jokes, because they’re all over the place. This works well for me; they never get old, and I just love the shit out of Elvira. Second, of course it helps if your familiar with older horror movies from the early 60’s, but even if you don’t know the exact movies that are quoted here, you’ll still recognize the tropes for sure.

Elvira & Vlad, out for a cemetery stroll...

Elvira & Vlad, out for a cemetery stroll…

Unfortunately, though it is amusing, Haunted Hills doesn’t come close to being the awesome flick Mistress is. I guess that magic was just a little too hard to recreate? Or is it that my expectations where high after being so pleasantly surprised by Mistress? Either way, I certainly don’t regret seeing Haunted Hills, and would gladly put it on for a Halloween party. It certainly isn’t a bad way to spend a day in October. Richard O’Brien overacts to a tee and is a complete joy to watch. And might I say again how awesome Cassandra Peterson is? Sure, some of the jokes may fall flat, but she knows exactly what’s up. And damn, woman looks good!


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