DVD Review: Elvira’s Movie Macabre



How dare THiS Network stop running Elvira’s Movie Macabre at the end of September! What idiot doesn’t work out a deal to maintain reruns until Halloween? This little digital substation network needs all the help in getting the word out. How can they part with their spooksperson? They could have run a marathon of Macabre. This would be like Macy’s firing their Santa Claus the day before Thanksgiving. Thankfully four more of the resurrected Movie Macabre have been released on double feature DVDs. Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Scared to Death & Tormented and Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Lady Frankenstein & Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter let the horror hostess shine her eternal talents on seminal stinkers.

Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Scared to Death & Tormented ties together two eerie tales of death with creepy effects music. Sacred to Death is the Halloween special so it’s extremely seasonal if you have a fright night video fest. The Mistress of the Dark is eager to have a great party that she brings in Martha Stewart. However the queen of entertaining isn’t happy that she’s stuck in a box. How will the party in the basement turn out? Probably better than the movie which is significant for letting Bela Lugosi appear in color. It’s a two-strip color process so there’s a brown tint to the frame. The movie involves a woman who died from being scared to death. Who spooked her? Was it Martha Stewart? Tormented copes with Elvira being bitten by her pet spider. It gets it’s fangs into her special spot. Even though she promise a tour of Los Angeles, she’s immobilized on the sofa with no one to help her. The camera guy has been also immobilized. Will this be her final episode? She picked a fine movie for a slow death. Tormented has a jazz pianist watch his ex-girlfriend fall off a lighthouse only days just before his wedding to the woman he really loves. It’s not his fault she died, but his guilt materializes in the dead woman’s floating head. This was made by Bert I. Gordon (Food of the Gods) and stars Joe Turkel (The Shining and Blade Runner).

Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Lady Frankenstein & Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter is all about the female side of the monster making dynasty. Lady Frankenstein reunites Elvira with her long lost son, Elrick. She thought she’d gone to the hospital to pop out a kidney stone. Now the son wants to learn from his mother all the tricks of being a horror host. He wants to inherit her empire. He might not be in the mood to wait till she finally retires. Fans of fetish scenes might enjoy the view of Elvira roped up and gagged. Elrick is played by Thomas Dekkar, best known for his work as John Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Thomas Picard on Star Trek: Generations. The movie dares to show what happens when Dr. Frankenstein (Citizen Kane‘s Joseph Cotten) dies and his daughter takes over the business. She wants to create more than a monster. She wants the perfect man for all her needs. This version is TV safe so don’t hide the kids’ eyes. Elvira celebrates the Mexican location of Jesse James Meets Frankenstein. She dresses up in a colorful outfit to give the show a South of the Border flavor. The movie itself was double featured with Billy the Kid vs. Dracula. Imagine two films that mixed monsters and cowboys. Shame they didn’t make Wyatt Earp Cleans the Wolfman.

Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Scared to Death & Tormented and Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Lady Frankenstein & Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter make up for the void of Elvira vanishing from airwaves at candy corn season. The double features play off a theme while Elvira’s sketches and pop up comments make them more entertaining. Her sultry ways make up for looking the kinky elements of Lady Frankenstein.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers are from video masters. The image has a higher resolution than what ends up on my local THiS station. The films on the DVDs look better than the broadcast versions. The audio is Dolby Digital stereo even though all of the films are in mono. There’s a bit of a hum on the film element of Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter so you might want to keep the volume low between Elvira’s host segments.

Both Double Feature DVDs have the same bonus features.

Elvira’s Movie Macabre Behind the Scenes Footage
(4:46) gives the details on how they shot the impressive opening. They used the Egyptian Theater when Inception was still playing. You can catch Elvira out of make up.

Photo Shoot with Chris Ameruso (2:23) has her posing with all her talent spread over the sofa.

“Mistress of the Dark” Music video by Ghoultown (4:55) is a catchy piece of hellbilly rock. She appears with the band. The skull xylophone is cool.

The Making of the Ghoultown Video (24:36) is like a cool version of MTV’s Making the Video. It’s fun how she met the band. She wanted a song to replace the Oakridge Boys’ “Elvira.”

Sneak Peaks (11:19) are teasers for all 12 new Movie Macabre features out on DVD.

Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Scared to Death & Tormented and Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Lady Frankenstein & Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter keeps up the thrills and chills for spooky season. Elvira is the most entertaining part of these shows. She knows what keeps her fans extra happy. Even after nearly 30 years, Elvira’s the hottest horror hostess going. It’s just not Halloween without her wishing “unpleasant dreams” to all.

E One presents Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Scared to Death & Tormented and Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Lady Frankenstein & Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. Starring: Elvira, Thomas Dekkar, Joe Turkel and Joseph Cotten. Boxset Contents: Two films on 1 DVD. Released on DVD: October 4, 2011. Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Scared to Death & Tormented available at Amazon.com. Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Lady Frankenstein & Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter available at Amazon.com.

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