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Elvira’s Haunted Hills: Collector’s Edition (2001) - Blu-ray Review

Elvira’s Haunted Hills: Collector’s Edition

There is an easy but irreverent joke in the title of Elvira’s Haunted Hills.  Figure it out and actually laugh out loud and you will easily enjoy this throwback trope-utilizing flick.  Oh, it’s corny lowbrow horror escapism, complete with secret passageways and family curses, but fans of Elvira aren’t going to miss out on all the fun. 

"fans of gothic comedy and of Elvira will certainly want to sink their teeth into this special release of Elvira’s Haunted Hills!"


Elvira’s Haunted Hills, now on blu-ray thanks to a 4K restoration from Scream Factoy, is where Don Knotts meets Edgar Alan PoeThe Ghost and Mr. Chicken The Fall of the House of Usher?  Yeah, it’s all here smothered in one groan-worthy joke after another as Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) delivers another fun-filled flick with more than a little bit of a wink and nudge (or a nip and a tuck) toward the early films of Roger Corman which starred the one and only Vincent Price. In fact, the film is dedicated to Price, whose absence in these types of movies is still felt.

Elvira’s Haunted Hills co-stars Mary Scheer, Mary Jo Smith And Scott Atkinson, but it is really a one woman show as Peterson proves to all who doubt her talented ass-ets that, “Yes, I Can-Can” as she seals the deal with a wonderfully clever performance of ‘Le Music Hall’ during the film.  This “Can-Can” attitude also happens to be the name of her Parisian Revue that she and her maid, Zou Zou, are en route to perform at when they are taken in by the mysterious Lord Vladimere (Richard O’Brien) at the Castle Hellsubus tucked away deep in the Carpathian Mountains.

It’s supposed to be 1851, but the life of a world-famous celebrity has gone to Elvira’s head.  She is no longer the fun-loving and ditzy personality she was in Mistress of the Dark.  No, those days are long gone.  Look back on them fondly, friends, and appreciate  the growth that is on display here as Elvira upends what we have come to expect from this cliched plot of damsels in distress.Elvira’s Haunted Hills: Collector’s Edition

In this movie, Peterson plays Elvira as if she is well aware of her fame and her success has resulted in a change of personality.  While the corny jokes are still rolling from her lips, there is also a shtick of eye-rolling and bitter boredom that lurks about as she discovers that she bears an uncanny resemblance to Lady Elura Hellsubus, who died many years ago and this resemblance puts her at risk from the evil Vladimere.  Her relationships are cold and for good reason. 

Complete with a hilariously dubbed stable man whom Elvira must keep her hands off (or at least try), this subversive horror flick flips the tables on the men in its cast and disposes of them one after another, allowing Elvira to be her own hero as she figures out just how to escape the curse that has been uncovered within the walls of this gothic structure.  It's eye-rolling to the final minute, but definitely worth the journey thanks to Peterson's charisma.

Directed by Sam Irvin, fans of gothic comedy and of Elvira will certainly want to sink their teeth into this special release of Elvira’s Haunted Hills!

3/5 beers

Elvira’s Haunted Hills: Collector’s Edition

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- October 5, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The tale begins in 1851, when Elvira and her maid Zou Zou are en route to perform in the Parisian Revue "Yes I Can Can," but inadvertently end up at the sinister Lord Vladimere Hellsubus' medieval castle. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Vladimere's long-dead wife, Elvira learns of the Hellsubus curse and finds her life in danger. Will she escape the family curse and the evil Vladimere? And can she keep her hands off of the stable hand long enough to save the day?

Video:

Complete with a NEW restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, Elvira’s Haunted Hills is a thing of pristine beauty or do I mean things?  Regardless, this 1080p transfer iis just popping with vivd images thanks to its handling from Scream Factor!  The film is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color.  It’s a dark film, for sure, but the costumes are detailed and the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.

Audio:

Audio wise, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 mono soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features.

Special Features:

Elvira's back and she's fabulous! With her voluptuous figure, voluminous black hair and hilarious one-liners, the essence of camp oozes from her pores. Elvira's Haunted Hills culls its outrageousness from the classic Vincent Price/Edgar Allan Poe/Roger Corman films of the early '60s, along with a little Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fearless Vampire Killers.

  • NEW Introduction By Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark
  • Audio Commentary With Actors Cassandra Peterson, Mary Scheer, Mary Jo Smith And Scott Atkinson, And Director Sam Irvin
  • Making-Of Featurette
  • “Transylvania Or Bust” Featurette
  • Elvira In Romania Featurette
  • Interview With Actor Richard O’Brien
  • Outtakes
  • Photo Gallery

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars


Film Details

Elvira’s Haunted Hills: Collector’s Edition

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Sam Irvin
Writer:
John Paragon
Cast:
Cassandra Peterson; Richard O'Brien; Mary Scheer
Genre
: Horror | Comedy
Tagline:
A feature film so terrifying, you will die...laughing.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Honey, when I spend the night in a man's room he'd better pay me"
Theatrical Distributor:
Elvira Movie Company LLC
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 31, 2002
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 5, 2021.
Synopsis: The tale begins in 1851, when Elvira and her maid Zou Zou are en route to perform in the Parisian Revue "Yes I Can Can," but inadvertently end up at the sinister Lord Vladimere Hellsubus' medieval castle. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Vladimere's long-dead wife, Elvira learns of the Hellsubus curse and finds her life in danger. Will she escape the family curse and the evil Vladimere? And can she keep her hands off of the stable hand long enough to save the day?

Art

Elvira’s Haunted Hills: Collector’s Edition

 

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