interview by cap'n booty
illustration by fphatty lamar


capín: Let me start by sincerely wishing you the best on the 20th anniversary of Elvira.

Elvira: Thank you.

c: Youíre welcome. How are you going to celebrate this milestone?

E: By slitting my wrists. (laughing) No, I donít know. Iím probably going to celebrate it by working like a dog out at Knottís Berry Farm. Thatís where Iíll be celebrating everything. Itís such a bummer. My birthday and my anniversary are all in September; the month I canít celebrate anything because of work.

c: Well, thatís how you make the big bucks.

E: Thatís right. I guess I should be celebrating, now that you put it that way.

c: Exactly. Well, your formal title is ďElvira, Mistress of the Dark.Ē How did you receive this title?

E: Well, thatís a strange one. Iím still trying to find out exactly what the hell ďMistress of the DarkĒ means. We got the name ďElviraĒ right out of a coffee can. The first day we did my local horror show in L.A., we were going to use the name ďVampiraĒ. But we quickly found out that name was taken. So, panicking, everyone on the set quickly thought up names and threw them in a can. I picked one out and it was ďElviraĒ. I thought, "What the hell is this? This is disgusting. Some country western floozie?Ē Anyway, thatís the name I was stuck with. But now I am happy with it.

c: And history was made.

E: History was made, and there I was. I donít know who made up the ďMistress of the DarkĒ thing. I guess it was the director of the show at the time. His idea of a joke or something, but it stuck with me, too.

c: In line with the last question, what special duties does a ďMistress of the DarkĒ have?

E: Thatís a good question. I was going to ask you the same thing. I guess theyíre something like the duties Miss America has to fulfill every year, you know.

c: Like store openings?

E: Yes. Miss America and I have a lot in common.

c: Take us through an average day for Elvira. What is the first thing you do in the morning?

E: Go back to sleep. (laughs) Well, are you asking me or Elvira?

c: Whichever. Iím more interested in you, actually.

E: Well, I get up in the morning and take my daughter to school. Sheís in the first grade. Itís a very Leave It To Beaver experience going on here. Then I run around, do some interviews like this one. I work out and have a few business appointments during the day. Itís a pretty boring existence when I think about it. Generally, people think I only work at Halloween. But, in fact, I work year-round getting ready for Halloween. I work on merchandising; like shooting pictures for my new calender. I also have a new B.C. Rich guitar and a slot machine coming out soon. So, basically, I do have a year-round job. Iím not as lazy as I look.

c: So, this guitar. What is the significance of it? I didnít know you played.

E: I know. But I play the slot machine strangely enough. (laughing) Well, Elvira has always been tied to metal groups. I hosted a show in England called Heavy Metal Heaven. I introduced a million bands: Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie,.. Itís really bizarre. I donít quite get the connection myself, but Iíve always been imbedded in that world. When I show up at signings Iím usually next to people like Kiss and wrestlers.

c: Well, you certainly have a lot going on right now. For instance, you have a new movie coming out soon, right?

E: Yeah.

c: What was the title again?

E: Elviraís Haunted Hills.

c: Yes, what does that title mean exactly? Are you selling time-shares in Carpathia?

E: No, but thatís something I should think about doing. Obviously, thereís a bit of a double entendre there.

c: I did sort of get that from the trailer.

E: Well, we didnít want to be too subtle. Itís meant to be a cute, funny, double entendre thing. We were trying to get a name that captured the whole Ď60s, gothic horror thing. Haunted palace, haunted castle. Everything was haunted back then.

c: And, of course, your hills are as well.

E: And my hills, too. My hills are alive with the sound of haunting.

c: Does this film start where your last one left off?

E: Not at all. We didnít want to be sued by the people who produced the first one. So, nothing similar, except for Elvira. It takes place in 1851, so itís a totally different thing. Cars werenít even invented then.

c: Oooh, how gothic.

E: Itís certainly gothic. Elvira can be anywhere at anytime. It seems to work. I like this one a lot better than the last one. The first one I did, Elvira was sort of a fish out of water. I like her when sheís in her own water, so to speak. In her own world: Elviraís world!

c: Well, I canít wait to see it. Youíre also opening a haunted attraction in Columbus.

E: I am?

c: Elviraís Nightmare Haunted House? Isnít that the name of it? Or is this the first youíve heard of it?

E: No, I know all about that. Yes, itís supposed to be a good, kick-ass haunted house. Hopefully people will love it. Be totally creeped out by it.

c: Do you think dogs have lips?

E: They do. I know they do.

c: How do you know?

E: Because I have kissed many.

c: Alright. Hey, where do you get your clothes? Because, let me tell you, I have tried and tried, but I couldnít find anything at Kmart.

E: Mine is actually off the rack! Ha! Sorry. Those dresses are actually custom-made for me out of 100% polyester. Throw them in the washer, theyíre clean. And Iím happy to say that for twenty years I have had the same dress, cut from the same pattern. I tell that to everyone when I get the chance. But you wonít find them at Kmart or Target.

c: Too bad for me. I have spent a lot of time examining lots of pictures of you for, ah, this interview, of course. And, ah, I noticed you carry a small dagger on your belt.

E: Yes, I do.

c: Is there a significance to this?

E: Yeah, so if anyone gets out of line I can cut them! Thatís the significance.

c: I have one final question. I know you have probably been asked this a million times, but I really need to know--

E: --do chickens have lips?

c: No.

E: Or peckers?

c: No. I wanted to know, who do you think killed JFK? Do you think it was Jason Voorhees or the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

E: I think it was OJ.

c: OJ?

E: Yes. Actually, I know it was.