Cassandra Peterson, best known for her portrayal of the horror hostess character Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, is set to write an autobiography which will be released on Halloween 2020
If you grew up in the 80s, or just happened to watch a lot of TV at the time, you most likely caught the popular "horror-comedy" television show Elvira's Movie Macabre on Los Angeles' KCAL-TV (then known as KHJ-TV). If you did happen to catch that show, it's hard not to recall the iconic horror-host with her revealing, black, gothic gown.
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark was played by actress Cassandra Peterson. The show aired B-grade horror movies with frequent comments from the hostess Elvira (Peterson). The show's other major character was a figure named "The Breather", played by John Paragon why would occasionally give Elvira unexpected phone calls to tell her and the audience weird jokes.
The 1980s were cool 😎 indeed. You ought to @UniversalORL sometime during our Halloween 🎃 Horror Nights sometime.— Mike Wekarski (@Zippertheslip) August 9, 2019
That being said, here's some good news! Peterson announced that she is currently hard at work on a brand new autobiography! “I’m busier than ever writing away on my autobiography,” Peterson revealed in an interview with Bloody Disgusting. “I now have a DEAD-line from my publishers so no more messing around.” She added, "My book is due at the end of February so we can have a Halloween 2020 release!"
Elvira's character was truly a game-changer in the horror franchise. Though it had a lot of comic relief and satire to it, her wickedly vampirish appearance was extremely well received and went on to give her a near-cult status as the show put out season after season. Peterson acts with a very quirky and quick-witted personality which laid the foundation for the Valley girl-type character that Elvira was supposed to depict.
Her character gained immediate notice with the tight-fit, low-cut, cleavage-showing black gown that Peterson always wore on screen. It was incredible to note how such a morbid and terrifying idea also brought out satire in unexpected ways. Her campy humor, sex appeal, and good-natured self-mockery made her popular with late-night movie viewers and her popularity soared.
.@TheRealElvira Mistress of the Dark #8 IS IN SHOPS NOW !— Dave DSG (@Dave_DSG) August 7, 2019
by @DAvallone and @davedrawsgood!
The great end of the Elvira's Inferno arc!
cc @TheRealElvira pic.twitter.com/aPOWcT40gS
The Elvira character soon evolved from an obscure cult figure to a lucrative brand. She was associated with many products through the 1980s and 1990s, including Halloween costumes, comic books, action figures, trading cards, pinball machines, Halloween decor, model kits, calendars, perfumes, and dolls. She has appeared on the cover of Femme Fatales magazine five times. Her popularity reached its zenith with the release of the feature film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, on whose script, written directly for the screen, Peterson collaborated with John Paragon and Sam Egan, and which was released in 1988.
When asked about her current and future plans, Peterson told PopCulture that "I do have two other projects lined up that I do want to focus more attention on and it would cause me not to have as much time around Halloween to put a show like this together, which takes a tremendous amount of time and effort,". "I'm always focused here in Southern California and it would be nice to do something in other parts of the country so that people actually know I'm around at Halloween. One is my autobiography, which I've been working on so long it's getting ridiculous. I have to finish that sucker up. I just keep talking about it and never really doing it, and I really want to get that going." Peterson explained.
After several years of attempts to make a sequel to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Cassandra and her manager and then-husband Mark Pierson decided to finance a second movie. In November 2000, Peterson wrote, again in collaboration with Paragon, and co-produced Elvira's Haunted Hills. The film was shot in Romania for just under one million dollars. With little budget left for promotion, Cassandra and Mark screened the film at AIDS charity fundraisers across America. For many people in attendance, this was their first opportunity to see the woman behind the Elvira character. On July 5, 2002, Elvira's Haunted Hills had its official premiere in Hollywood. Elvira arrived at the premiere in her Macabre Mobile. The film would later be screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
Peterson spoke to ComicBook earlier in 2017 regarding talks of a 'new Elvira', "Well, unfortunately, what happened is people wanted the real thing, We couldn't sell her to anyone. I think we got her to do one really sad-ass parade in Nebraska somewhere and it was sad because she's great. She was adorable. She did a good job. They just wanted the real thing. I should be flattered, I was flattered, but I also thought, 'Oh, geez. Now I've got to do it forever until I'm 99 years old, I guess." Peterson said
"I figured out that Elvira is me when I was a teenager. She's a spastic girl. I just say what I feel and people seem to enjoy it.". That being said, we can hardly wait for her autobiography. There's sure to be a lot of info in the book that will be released on next year's Halloween. Here's to hoping that there's a fine touch of Elvira's classic sarcasm and humor in it too!