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Elvira Mistress of the dark (Cassandra Peterson) movie poster

Elvira, mistress of the dark

(Movie version)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Here comes Elvira… there goes the neighborhood !


Context

Elvira is a character created and played by actress Cassandra Peterson. In 1981, Elvira debuted as the hostess of an horror movie show on a California TV station. The over-the-top look, sarcastic humour, charisma and in-your-face sex appeal was very successful. Elvira became a genre icon for much of the 1980s.

This profile is solely based on the 1988 movie Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, which probably was the peak of the character and her popularity.


Background

  • Real Name: Elvira.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Divana (Mother), Morgana Talbot (Great aunt, deceased), Vincent Talbot (Great uncle).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Las Vegas Nevada; owns a house in Falwell, Massachusetts.
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 121 lbs.
  • Eyes: Light blue Hair: Black as night.
  • Other Distinguishing Features: On her right arm there is a small tattoo of a skull with batwings. Under her right eye is a tiny black beauty mark.


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Powers & Abilities

An mysterious aura of bad luck envelopes Elvira. No, not unluck for her but for those who cross her. Those who get on her bad side are sure to feel its effect. She’s like the black cat that crossed your path. There’s something superstitious about it but very real in her life.

Elvira is also stronger than she looks.

Once she received her inheritance, Elvira owned a house, possibly inhabited by the ghost of her great aunt. She also inherited Morgana’s familiar, a poodle with a higher than average intelligence and the power to shape change. Finally she gained the Book of Light, a powerful book of spells.

Elvira had her great-aunt’s ring bestowed on her at infancy. The magic ring can deflect powerful blasts of energy, control the weather, and possibly a lot more.


Video

The rather 1980s movie trailer, in 720p.


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History

Elvira was an orphan, raised by nuns at the Pick and Save Orphanage.

As an adult, Elvira worked as host for Channel Three’s late night B-movie showing. However, her show was to be cancelled unless she came up with $50,000 to keep it going. Elvira had already been considering leaving for Las Vegas to find a new job. Her boss coming onto her gave her further incentive and she walked off the job.

It just so happened that at the same time Elvira’s great-aunt passed away and left her an inheritance. All she had to do was go to Massachusetts and pick it up.

Elvira posing

Elvira drove across the country. She arrived in Falwell, Massachusetts just as her car gave out. She was surrounded by curious onlookers and was accosted verbally by a woman but was assisted by some young gentlemen. She took a room at the Cozy Cot and became fast friends with Robin, the grand-daughter of the owner.

Later, she met Bob Redding who took up for her at the bowling alley punching out two locals. At the same time she gained a rival in the bowling ally owner, Patti.

Feel I’m goin’ back to Massachusetts

The next day, the reading of her great aunt’s will earned Elvira a house, a poodle, and a recipe book. It’s revealed later that:

  • The house is haunted.
  • The poodle is a witch’s familiar (now Elvira’s).
  • The recipe book an artifact of magic.

Elvira takes ownership of the old house and offers the cookbook to her uncle for $50. Morgana’s poodle, Algonquin, is too cute so Elvira gives him a punk rock make-over. When Uncle Vincent comes to collect his book Algonquin hiesd it.

Three teens then come to her home during a rainstorm to snap some pictures of their new neighbor. After dealing with the three Peeping-Toms, Elvira is contacted in a dream by her great aunt’s ghost. The next morning the three Peeping-Toms come back and bring friends, all volunteering to help fix up the old house.

Robin brings some friends too and soon there is a large crew all working together. Soon the house gets painted and repaired. Elvira immediately puts it up for sale, but finds no buyer.

Ghouls just want to have fun

A call from Channel Three motivates Elvira to get a job. But her every attempt gets blocked by the town’s conservative town council and Chastity Pariah, the woman who initially confronted her when she arrived. They make it their mission to force her out.

Vincent Talbot hsd not given up either. He sends two henchmen to search the house while Elvira is out. Algonquin scares the two away.

Elvira with her punk poodle

Elvira runs into Bob again, and discovers that he operates a movie theatre. This gives Elvira an idea – playing her horror movies for the G-rated townies. But once again Elvira is headed off by the town council who orders the teenagers to stay away from her.

However, Elvira convinces them to rebel against their parents and the council, and come to the mid-night showing anyway. Meanwhile, Vincent Talbot is determined to hold the Book of Sight within a week, before the next eclipse. This would make him master of the night!

Elvira does a rolling commentary as the theatre plays Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. She prepared a Flash dance finale, where she gets showered by a bucket of gold glitter. However, Patti switched the bucket of glitter with oil. Elvira’s finale is ruined as Patti laughs and drops feathers from above.

How to serve man

After the show, back at her home, Elvira removes the oil with a bath of gasoline. She attempts to seduce Bob with a meal from her “cookbook”. However, she accidentally summons a beasty from another dimension via the spellbook. Gonk grabs the “recipe book” and runs to the attic. There Elvira learns of her ancestral bloodline and is warned of Vincent’s power lust.

Elvira at the wheel of her car

The next day the Morality Club has its annual picnic. Elvira attempts to exact revenge on Chastity with her newfound summoning potion. However, the plan backfires when the potion acts as a powerful lust philter instead.

The elderly social group is outraged by its own activities and begins blaming one another. Vincent then interrupts and turns their accusations on his grand-niece Elvira. He further give them the legal ammunition to get their own revenge on her. The law is clear when it came to residents engaged in witchcraft. They are to be burned at the stake!

Brimstone and Fire

Elvira and Gonk get arrested. Outside, the townspeople are building a pyre and stake for immediate use. Bob goes to Elvira’s house to get the book, her last hope. But Vincent and his thugs are waiting and cold-cock Bob the minute he reveals the location of the book.

Gonk transforms into a mouse to escape the jail cell, then as a Rottweiler to chew through Bob’s bindings at Elvira’s house. Meanwhile, Elvira is taken from her jail cell and tied to the stake in the town square. The tinder is quickly set ablaze.

Bob and Gonk arrive in the square. Bob beat in vain at the roaring blaze. Seeing Gonk, Elvira remembers her great-aunt’s words “you carry the power with you” – her ring! Elvira points the ring skyward and a bolt of lightning leaps forth, causing rain and putting out the fire.

Elvira smiling

All the townsfolk ran to get in out of the sudden shower. But Vincent comes out in his wizard garb to greet the lunar eclipse, book in hand. Vincent uses his magic to turn some townsfolk into pigs, then screams like a madman for Elvira.

Showdown

Elvira and Bob are cornered in a dead end street, with Vincent blocking their escape. Vincent man-handles Bob, knocking him unconscious. Gonk gets deposited in a dumpster and Elvira stands alone against her uncle.

Vincent casts a lightning bolt to finish Elvira but, much to their surprise, her ring deflects the attack. Feeling cocky, Elvira thrusts the ring at Vincent, hoping to blast him with some magic of her own. Instead, the ring flows from her and slips neatly onto Vincent’s finger. They are both shocked by this turn of events, and Elvira flees on foot.

Vincent chases Elvira relentlessly through the town and back to her home. Both Vincent and Elvira become more and more exhausted and injured as they went. The final showdown between the two means the death of Vincent when Elvira reflected mystic lightning back at him. The house suffers major fire damage and the Book of Sight is lost as well.

Yet Elvira ends up getting to put on the show she’s always wanted, in Las Vegas!


Description

Elvira is an attractive young lady with long jet-black hair. In stark contrast to what she wears her skin is pale, almost white.

Does she wear a lot of makeup? That would be telling. But when Elvira was a baby she was dropped on the Orphanage’s doorstep either wearing full makeup, or that’s really what she looks like. ”Unlikely” you say? Nothing is unlikely with Elvira.

Elvira narrating

The Elvira look was heavily based on 1980s goth fashion. She wears a lot of black; black high-heels, fingernail polish, eyeliner, eyelashes, sunglasses, black dress with a neckline that plunges to her belt.

She accents her look with plain silver jewelry and red lipstick. On occasion she will also wear something with an exotic animal print. Her personalized Thunderbird… is black. Elvira wears two rings set with red stones.

On her belt is a knife. However, the blade is a fake; it drops back inside the handle instead of penetrating.


Personality

Elvira has a full personality. She’s a dreamer, she’s campy, she’s not afraid to tell people exactly what she thinks. Elvira has a biting humor with comments laced with puns about sex and horror. She is perpetually making jokes, even when it’s inappropriate to do so.

She’ll definitely stand out in a crowd and knows it. Elvira is an anti-conservative, rolling her eyes in disgust when rules or morality are mentioned.

Elvira Mistress of the Dark title card

Elvira is quite dramatic in her mannerisms and speech. She always gets a reaction from people, either looking down their noses at her like she is trash or like she’s a sex kitten. Either way she makes a splash wherever she goes.

Elvira has gotten used to being the subject of hatred from women and the desire of men. She will always resist come-ons from men resorting to groin shots if she must.

When driving, Elvira peels-out every single time she takes off. She ignores speed limits and traffic laws.


DC Universe History

Elvira did appear as hostess for horror stories in the 1980’s DC comic’s House of Mystery.

If you take Elvira’s great-aunt’s words, “remember, you carry the power with you”, as meaning more than just her ring. Perhaps she meant that Elvira was a true sorceress with the ability to create her own artifacts and rituals.

If you run with this idea, Elvira could be added to DC’s mystic community as much more than just a hostess for B-movies.


Quotes

“Hello, it’s me again. Yours cruelly, Elvira, the girl with the huge…” (glances down at her cleavage) “…hmmm, ratings.”

(Elvira picks up a hitch-hiking axe murderer. A few moments later the car comes to a screeching halt. The murderer gets out and runs away)
“Here, you forgot your axe.” (Elvira throws it at him and a scream can be heard off-camera)

“Listen sister, if I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of ya.”

(At the reading of her great-aunt’s will) “Hey, what’d she die of ? Nothing serious I hope.” (laughs)

Vincent: “I must apologize for my behavior in the office it’s just that your appearance was a bit of shock to me.”
Elvira: “Its OK, my appearance is kind of a shock to everybody.”

(A marquee sign’s letter falls and hits Elvira in the head)
Bob: “Elvira, how’s your head ?”
Elvira: “Well, I haven’t had any complaints yet.”
Bob: “Excuse me ?”
Elvira: “Uh, I think I’ll live.”

(Elvira attempts to persuade some high school students to support her show) “…and if I get so depressed I wind up hanging myself in the oven. Hey ! Those are the breaks. If they ever ask about me, tell them I was more than just a great set of boobs… tell ’em I was also an incredible pair of legs… and tell ’em I never turned down a friend. I never turned down a stranger for that matter. And tell ’em, I only ask that people remember me by two simple words… any two as long as they’re simple.” (Collapses on a table pretending to sob)

Bob: “What’s that about a familiar ?”
Elvira: “Haven’t you seen in the old Roger Corman movies ? Every witch has one and they’re like a pet that can change into almost anything.”

“Here I am knocking myself out to make a living as a horror hostess – when I’m actually descended from like a major meta-physical celebrity !”

“Revenge is better than Christmas.”

Vincent: “I am master of the dark !”
Elvira: “I’ll see you in Hell first.”

“Until next time, unpleasant dreams.”

(Rolling her eyes in disgust)


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Elvira

A 723 points Character (Without Equipment or Rituals)

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Anti-Heroic Thrill of Adventure
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 07 Occupation: Horror movie hostess
Inf: 04 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 012 HP: 020

Powers:
Probability Control: 09

Skills:
Acrobatics (Gymnastics)*: 04, Artist (Dancer, Singer): 05, Occultist (Occult Knowledge, Premonition, Ritual Magic): 01, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Ranged, Heavy): 05

Advantages
Attractive, Familiarity (Come backs, put downs, and B-movies), Magic Background, Slowed Aging (5 pts.), Gratuitous Fan Service (bust-related tricks).

Connections:
Channel 3 (Low), the town of Falwell (Low).

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance, Serious Irrational Attraction to the horror genre.

Genre:
Action.

Equipment:

  • 1958 FORD THUNDERBIRD [STR 05 BODY 07, Running: 06, R#5, Cost 42].
  • Red Amulet Ring of Morgana [BODY 05, Reflection/Deflection: 06, Weather Control 04, Cost: 67].

There’s something magical about that girl

I’m representing her aura of bad luck with the Probability Control power. Elvira, doesn’t seem to take notice of the unfortunate things that happen. While her Player or GM if she’s an NPC, definitely know what is happening.

Modifying the probability of things for Elvira is almost always in a negative way for others. Examples include: A gas station attendant who wouldn’t pump her gas ends up tossing his cigarette into a puddle of gasoline, blowing the entire station apart as Elvira drives away.

Later, she drives past a town’s welcome sign that reads “A decent community”. Just passing by causes the sign to fall. Still later, an axe falls and chops off Vincent’s hand when he is attacking Elvira.


The Book of Sight

He who holds the book of sight
when the moon is drained of light
will then be ruler of the night
Master of the dark.

This book has ingredients to brew potions and cast spells. The spells may be cast without ingredients but the effects will be unreliable at best. The Book of Sight is full of spells and the extent to the power it holds will never be known since the book was destroyed. The two spells below are the only ones used in the movie.

Aaraka Kozorol (Summoning Potion – Elvira thought it was a casserole)
Casting Time: 09 (FC -1)
Necessary Components: 1 edrazebia (earthworms), 2-3 glatem, ½ foler, 1 flatresembra. The components are written in a strange language. Luckily the ingredient names were written on jars in her aunt’s cupboard.
Effect: Dimension Travel (Summon only): 02 (who knows from where this beasty came from). The second time Elvira made this potion she used Hamburger Helper in place of a missing ingredient. It did not summon a creature but instead worked as a lust potion for all who ate from it (Broadcast Empathy: 04).
Cost: 126/9

$elzba Riki Moola $hern (Reaking Moola spell- Elvira thought it was a spell to create money)
Casting Time: 01
Necessary Components: (The spell did call out some materials which Elvira ignored.)
Effect: Earth Control: 06 (Acts as an earthquake on a very small area – 02 APs. In this case it was centered on her house but wasn’t powerful enough to cause any structural damage). Dimension Travel (Summon only): 02. As an additional effect a boa constrictor was summoned.
Cost: 140

Alternately, simply giving the Book Sorcery: 06 could suffice.


Gonk, a 133 points pet

Short for Algonquin. Gonk is a white miniature poodle.

(Hides his face with his paw when embarrassed, guilty, or when he knows something Elvira is doing will not end well.)

Dex: 03 Str: -02 Bod: 01 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Loyal Familiar
Inf: 03 Aur: 01 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 008 HP: 000

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 06, Claws: 01, Directional Hearing: 04, Extended Hearing: 03, Running: 03, Shape Change: 07, Shrinking: 04, Super Hearing: 03, Ultra-Vision: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Shrinking is always on and already factored in

Advantages
Language: English (though he cannot speak it).

Connections:
Elvira (High).

By Ethan Roe.

Source of Character: The 1988 film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark character played by Cassandra Peterson.

Helper(s): Alfonso Jermaine Turnage, Sébastien Andrivet, Yilbber Fargas.

Writeup completed on the 6th of October, 2014.

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