E1 Entertainment // 2011 // 1080 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // December 21st, 2012
12 films, two boobs, and one massive black beehive!
Before Mystery Science Theater 3000, RiffTrax, and Cinematic Titanic there was the Mistress of the Dark who poked fun at bad horror movies on late night television. The time was the early '80s when she ruled both late night and Halloween. Elvira decided in 2010 it was time to come out of retirement and slip back into her low cut, curve hugging black dress. The result is Elvira's Movie Macabre, which is syndicated around the country playing late at night on weekends in most major markets on any given Saturday. The hostess provides her signature Borscht Belt humor and tailors it all to a new audience ready for her unique, vampy valley girl delivery as she pokes fun at horror flicks that for the most part deserve her treatment. People who grew up with Movie Macabre will feel nostalgic and the young kids can hop on board and see what all the fuss was about.
From what I can tell since 2010 there have been 26 episodes of the show, as of this writing, so this set represents only about half of what is out there currently. Looking at the catalog on Amazon, there are some other collections that could round out your Elvira library, and this one's the best start with the most bang for your buck. Elvira's Mega Movie Marathon is a collection with a dozen Movie Macabre episodes featuring fright flicks hosted by Elvira for broadcast on the boob tube. She's an absolute scream to watch as the Mistress of the Dark horror host resurrects her career from the '80s for a new millennium without changing a bit of her act. But movie buffs beware: each of these titles is edited to run on network television, meaning they have been trimmed and censored for content. You won't find any of the nudity and much of the gore has been excised from the racier entries. They are all also formatted to fit your television screen, often in full frame.
The twelve features include...
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
I Eat Your Skin (1964)
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
The Werewolf of Washington (1973)
The Terror (1963)
Scared to Death (1947)
The Brain that Wouldn't Die (1962)
The Manster (1959)
Lady Frankenstein (1971)
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966)
There are six discs in the slipcover, and they look awfully familiar to what they were when we saw them released one by one. Each one mirrors exactly what was out before and there are no new extras to be had. That being said here is a rundown of each one's supplemental features:
* Disc One: Behind-the-scenes footage, a photo shoot with Chris Ameruso, "Mistress of the Dark" music video by Ghoultown, and a making-of for the video
* Disc Two: Exact same stuff as disc one with one different promo
* Disc Three: Exact same stuff again
* Disc Four: Um...again...same extras
* Disc Five: Yeah, nothing new
* Disc Six: Oh...um...pretty much the exact same stuff as what was on disc one. So there's not much creativity running through the production team.
Transfers look like what you would expect: they are not super clear or even cleaned up, because the producers like the idea of the films looking as bad as you would remember from the drive-in. Sound is delivered often in tinny mono. Oddly enough, the Elvira bits look pretty sumptuous in comparison, with great black levels and a lot of clarity. Guess they know what's important here, and it ain't film preservation kids. That said, there is no option to turn Elvira off, which was often the case with her vintage Movie Macabre releases. If you're looking for Night of the Living Dead without a horror hostess then this is the wrong collection to buy.
Okay, so this is a value priced set where you can get twelve episodes of Elvira's Movie Macabre in one package. Mistress of the Dark fans should be pleased, but there are no unedited versions of the films or an option to skip past the interruptions and skits. But then again, why would you buy this set if you weren't expecting some good old campy fun? Elvira still offers you horror in 34DD, and she never met a pun she didn't milk for all it's worth. It's a great way to make sure you have a heart stopping supply of "unpleasant dreams," so I have to say it's worth the investment -- well, unless you bought these as they came out, in which case you probably just helped send one of Elvira's kids to college or at least barber school. I'm sure she thanks you for getting those little ghouls out of her hair. Hope you have bad dreams with funny voiceovers.
Guilty of putting the boob back in boob tube!
Review content copyright © 2012 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: E1 Entertainment
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 1080 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Music Video