Halloween is the time for television networks to broadcast their spookiest, scariest movies and television shows for the entertainment of the costumed masses. While one might think that the best television runs on the air, Hulu, a popular streaming site, would beg to differ. Internet television has grown extremely popular, with Netflix, Youtube, and Hulu being the three main contenders in the ring. One person, however, will set Hulu apart from the rest.
Everyone knows the name, the outfit and the voice: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Just in time for Halloween, Hulu has uploaded episodes of Elvira’s Movie Macabre-a chillingly hilarious series that first aired in 1981. In the show, Elvira, played by Cassandra Peterson, talks the audience through B-Grade horror movies with witty commentary, ghostly phone calls, and sometimes guest stars.
A ‘B-Grade’ horror movie refers to the old, low budget films used to showcase double features, and kick-start writers and directors in film making. The run time of a B movie was relatively short, only a little more than an hour compared to higher budget films, which ran for two hours or more. Often, B movies featured the same actors playing different characters.
While Elvira remains a popular television icon, during the first months of filming the cast and crew received a cease and desist letter from Maila Nurmi, the actress that played the 1950’s horror movie hostess Vampira. Nurmi claimed that Peterson stole her image and act, but the courts ruled in favor of Peterson on the grounds that the likeness was just that: likeness and not a copy. After that, Elvira’s show soared, and soon she became a franchise and the most well known hostess on television.
Hulu hosts 20 of Elvira’s best episodes, including “The House That Screamed”, “Night of the Living Dead”, and “Lady Frankenstein”. This year, Hulu featured a series called “13 Nights of Elvira”, starting on October 19th. “13 Nights” features 13 of Elvira’s episodes. So far, they’ve released “Hobgoblins”, “Demonic Toys”, “Puppetmaster”, and “Cannibal Women in the Jungle of Death”. Hulu will continue airing these episodes through Halloween. Along with online streaming, Elvira has DVDs released, including boxed sets of her episodes.
Though her show was highly popular, and her merchandise sold well, Elvira’s crowning achievement was a full length feature film called “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark”, co-written by Cassandra Peterson herself. In the movie, Elvira’s show gets pulled from its network and when she finds out that a relative of hers has died, she travels to their sleepy little town to collect her inheritance and move to Las Vegas. Shenanigans ensue, and Elvira finds herself trapped in a spider web of witchcraft, lies, and trying to save the youth of the small town.
Cassandra Peterson is still going strong today, and makes television and movie appearances in and out of character. She’s also an investor in Comikaze Entertainment, which is famous for it’s convention, Comikaze Expo, the largest comic book and anime convention in the US. Catch all episodes of “Movie Macabre” on Hulu, stream

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