Elvira Mistress of the Dark book review and interview. Plus a special holiday photo shoot with horror queen Genoveva Rossi
This horror queen braved the cold to head out to New York City to meet up with Elvira and get a signed copy of her book. Previously I had met and interviewed the Mistress of the Dark at Walker Stalker. I am a huge fan of Elvira and I am deeply inspired by her story.
This book isn’t simply a book though; it’s a big, beautiful, and heavy coffin table book filled with wonderful pictures and some quick passages to tell the story of Elvira. We learn how it all began with applying to be a horror host and the rest is horror history!
This book is a must buy for any Elvira fan. The book opens with her first photoshoot as Elvira and the development of her costume and look. We see photos from some of the most memorable shoots of her career and through those pictures we learn a bit more about the woman under that black wig. You see Elvira sexy, silly, and fun, but you also see pregnant Elvira and her as a mother. We get to read some short, personal stories from her 35 year career. A truly beautiful book for any fan of the horror genre, but it wouldn’t be complete without Elvira’s autograph so I suggest you find a way to meet Elvira.
About This Book. Celebrating 35 years of a cultural icon, this large format photo retrospective contains 240 pages filled with hundreds of photos of Elvira, from the very beginning of her career through present day – some never before seen. This is the ultimate collector’s book for fans of the “Mistress of the Dark.”
An interview with Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and horror icon (aka. Cassandra Peterson).
Genoveva: I just want to say as a horror actress and genre fan, Elvira has always been a true inspiration for me; a unique and amazing woman in horror. Great meeting you and thank you for your time. Elvira or Cassandra Peterson? What do you prefer to be called?
Elvira: Well yesterday Elvira and today Cassandra. It depends on what color my hair is.
Genoveva: Depending on how you are dressed. Do you ever get tired of dressing as Elvira? Do you wish you could be yourself more?
Elvira: I like being Elvira because it makes people happy. They love the character. The only bad part is the two hours of make-up, clothes and wig and that can get a little old.
Genoveva: How long have you been Elvira?
Elvira: This year it’s 35 years.
Genoveva: Where do you see Elvira going in the future?
Elvira: I see her going home to bed and eating dinner. (haha) I don’t mean to brag, but I see Elvira has reached this iconic status. That Elvira is a strong image that can carry on without me with merchandizing and such.
Genoveva: So what are the plans for Cassandra?
Elvira: Oh me! Like I said sleeping and eating; all those things. Going on lots of vacations. I imagine I will be doing this for a few more years. As long as I can fit in my dress.
Genoveva: Would you ever want to do a movie about your life or autobiography?
Elvira: I am in the middle of my autobiography. I have been writing it forever. It’s going to be as thick as the bible. Just to mention I have a coffee table book coming of 35 years of all my photographs. From the first day to present. Awesome book; like an autobiography in photos. This you can get now and my biography who knows when I get time to finish writing it.
Genoveva: If there was a movie of your life who would play you?
Elvira: I want to play me even if I’m 95. I will just do that whole Joan Rivers thing and play myself from 14 years old on up. Me or Lady Bunny.
Genoveva: I am a big fan of your films both Elvira Mistress of the Dark and Haunted Hills. Any plans to do more films?
Elvira: Plans for an Elvira animated television show. Animation is the way to go; I don’t have to look good. Don’t gave to dress up and I read the dialogue; I love it!
Genoveva: What was it like making out with Bob in the movie Elvira Mistress Of The Dark?
Elvira: It was awesome! Daniel Greene is so hot and an ex football player. We had a lot of fun. Just don’t tell my husband at the time.
Genoveva: Tell us a a bit about Coors,, which isn’t covered in the book.
Elvira: There are many books on the Coors company out there you can get. A very religious company, which is why they sold beer. When the company was at the top and during there largest advertising campaign with me the owner decided he saw demons in my new Elvira standee. People thought he was kidding and asked if the demons were green or red ones, but he said “out out” and that was the end of my campaign.
Genoveva: You are known for your assets. Any tips for fans?
Elvira: My advice for making your boobs look more like Elvira’s is to stuff everything you can find into your bra. Toss it all in even gym socks. Sometimes they look bigger than other times because I find more to put in there and other times less gets stuffed in.
Genoveva: Tell us a bit about the birth of Elvira.
Elvira: My friend Robert Redding. It was the 1970s, I was in NYC in a band called the Mamas Boys with seven gay men playing disco music at club in the village. Robert was part of the show; in addition to being an amazing singer and dancer he was also a brilliant artist.
Once I got the part as a horror hostess he designed the makeup and hair. He was a big fan of Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes and he wanted me to have hair likes hers. So I got my knowledge bump in my hair and he designed my dress. Robert was my best friend and sadly passed away during the AIDS epidemic. In fact, 6 of the 7 guys in the band ended up dying of AIDS. Pretty bad, right? That was very sad.
Robert Redding changed my life; he created the look for the character. I had input, but he was the artist. In the beginning of the book, Elvira Mistress Of The Dark you will see his sketches for it. His quick sketches only.. He did art for Broadway, Katherine Hepburn, Lions in Winter and so much more. He did the Elvira makeup for the first time on himself then did it on me.
Genoveva: When did you realize the character of Elvira was here to stay?
Elvira: Things took off pretty quickly although I was pretty sure when I started that the show wouldn’t last a week. I was like this is not working I’m acting like a goofy valley girl and they want me to wear this outfit. This so doesn’t go together.
The first week of the show I had everyone calling me because my name was in the phone book. Yeah some of your readers may be old enough to remember using a phone book. Back then that was what you did. I had to change my number and I was like this is crazy.
The next thing I know I get invited on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. That was like the only talk show then and I was like something is happening here. It was and I had an actual job paying $300 a week, but it was a job.
Genoveva: Any amazing story and a spooktacular book. Any final thoughts to leave us with?
Elvira: Well yeah go to Elvira.com and check out everything I am up to. And I have a lot of merchandizing. You can find out where I am, what I’m doing, be my friend on Facebook. Be awesome; at The Real Elvira. Also on Twitter and Instagram. That would be awesome.
As a special treat this month I did a fun and festive holiday themed photoshoot with photographer Jennifer Maggio and horror acting pal Robert Jackson (left). I loved my red velvet Christmas dress with animal print trim! Meow! Hope you enjoy the photos and happy holidays ghouls!
Thank you all for reading another installment of A Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen! I hope you ghouls had as much fun as I did and stayed tuned for next month.
Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website www.genovevarossi.com
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