Cassandra Peterson wanted Elvira to have her own movie franchise, taking inspiration from none other than Ernest P. Worrell.
There’s only one thing that comes to mind when you think of Elvira: franchise! And that’s exactly what Cassandra Peterson – portrayer of everyone’s favorite horror hostess – wanted following the release of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, aiming to have the sort of success of Ernest P. Worrell. Knowwhatimean, Uncle Vinnie?
Unfortunately for Cassandra Peterson, she ran into some serious issues with a sequel to 1988’s Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (which was a box office bomb anyway) when the planned studio, Carolco Pictures, went bankrupt. But Peterson had plenty in the arsenal. As she told Dread Central, “I had a ton of [ideas] that were so awesome. I had this one called Elvira Goes to Hell, and it was like a buddy picture, and I really liked that one. It was really funny. It revolved around Halloween a little bit more and I would’ve gone more in the vein of Mistress of the Dark. It was kind of loosely based, honestly, on the Ernest Verne movies. Ernest Goes to the Mall, Ernest Goes to the Bathroom, whatever he does. It was like, ‘Hey, that’s working for him. Maybe it’ll work for me.’ Unfortunately, it didn’t. But I thought, well, where does Elvira have to go? To hell, obviously. Or maybe prison.” We should probably point out that “Ernest Verne” is not a thing but rather a mash-up of Ernest Powertools Worrell and his offscreen pal Vern.
Cassandra Peterson added, “For years and years and years, my writing partner, John Paragon, and I wrote movies and submitted them and took them to every single studio and production company there was and couldn’t get another movie made for the life of me…I also think part of it had to do with being a woman. I don’t mean to sound like sour grapes, but being a woman and being a sexy woman … I’m trying to get a movie made, and meanwhile, Ernest Verne was getting one movie made after another. And I couldn’t get anything going at all. So I still look back on it with a little bit of bitterness, I’d say.” And really, who doesn’t want Elvira Saves Christmas?
Cassandra Peterson would play Elvira dozens of times in everything from her own personalized projects to professional wrestling promos. But after Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, she would only land one more movie based around her character: 2001’s Elvira’s Haunted Hills. That’s hardly an Ernest-esque legacy, unfortunately. Now we just hope someone else doesn’t run with it, as Peterson has said others can play Elvira…
Did Elvira deserve more movies or have her contributions been enough?