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Elvira

Cassandra Peterson (born September 17, 1951) is an American actress, writer and singer. She is best known for her portrayal of the horror hostess character Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Peterson gained fame on LA TV station KHJ-TV. Wearing a revealing, black, gothic gown, she was the host of Elvira’s Movie Macabre, a weekly B-movie presentation.

The Elvira character soon evolved from an obscure cult figure to a lucrative brand. She was associated with many products throughout the 80s and 90s including Halloween costumes, comic books and action figures. She even had a range of trading cards, as well as featuring on pinball machines, Halloween decor, perfume and dolls. Elvira has also appeared on the cover of Femme Fatales magazine five times. Her popularity reached its zenith with the release of the 1988 feature film Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.

90’s and beyond

Elvira

After years of attempting to make a sequel to Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Cassandra and her manager/husband, Mark Pierson, decided to finance a second movie. In November 2000, Peterson wrote and co-produced Elvira’s Haunted Hills. The movie, filmed in Romania, cost just under one million dollars. However, with little budget left for promotion, Cassandra and Mark screened the film at AIDS charity fund raisers across America. On July 5, 2002, Elvira’s Haunted Hills had its official premiere in Hollywood. Elvira arrived at the premiere in her Macabre Mobile. The film was later screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

Outside of the Elvira role, Cassandra has appeared in various movies, including;  Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold and All About Evil.

She is currently working on the direct sequel to 1988’s Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, as well as an animated Elvira project.

Did you know?

Elvira
  • Elvira was close friends with Vincent Price and is still good friends with Rob Zombie
  • She was scalded by boiling water when she was five years old. As a result, she underwent 17 skin grafting operations. Now, she covers some of her remaining scars (around neck and shoulders) with make-up or clothing.
  • Her favourite movies are Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957) and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1978).

What’s your favourite Elvira movie? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or in the comments below!

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Dario Argento

Dario Argento was born on 7 September, 1940 in Rome, Italy. The son of acclaimed film producer Salvatore Argento, Dario began his career in the movie industry as a film critic for various magazines. His love of movies led to him finding work as a screenwriter, after which he wrote several screenplays for a number of films. His most notable was Once Upon a Time in the West, directed by the legendary Sergio Leone. However, once Argento began directing his own films, his popularity soared.

His directorial debut came in the form of giallo flick The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. After achieving critical acclaim, Argento went on to direct The Cat o’ Nine Tails and Four Flies on Grey Velvet; often referred to as his ‘Animal Trilogy’. After a break from the thriller/horror scene, Argento returned in 1975 with his masterpiece Deep Red. Frequently cited as the ‘best giallo ever made’, the movie is often credited as the inspiration behind many iconic horror flicks. John Carpenter has stated on many occasions that Argento’s early work is what inspired fan-favourite Halloween (1978).

Further success

Dario Argento

Following the birth of his daughter, Asia Argento, Dario continued his critical success with the spellbinding hit Suspiria (1977). He originally intended this to be the first of a trio of movies surrounding “The Three Mothers“. However, the trilogy was not complete until after the turn of the century. Inferno (1980) came first, eventually followed by Mother of Tears (2007).

The 1980’s brought us Tenebrae (1982) and Phenomena (1985), after which, Argento took a break from directing. He wrote the screenplays for Lamberto Bava‘s Demons (Demoni) and its sequel before getting back into the director’s chair for his next movie Opera. The ill-fated flick was ravaged by real-life misfortunes, which Argento suspected were caused by the supposed “curse” of the Shakespearean play. The initial lead in the movie, Vanessa Redgrave, quit the project, Argento’s long-time girlfriend and collaborator ended their relationship, and his father, Salvatore, passed away. There were also a number of minor accidents involving the cast and crew throughout the filming of the movie.

90’s – Present day

Dario Argento and George A. Romero

In the beginning of the 90’s, Argento teamed up with Romero once again on the two-part horror-thriller Two Evil Eyes (1990). He then went on to direct Trauma (1993), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996) and The Phantom of the Opera (1998). Following this he returned to the giallo flicks, giving us Sleepless (2001), The Card Player (2004) and Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005), as well as two gory, supernatural-themed episodes of the USA TV cable anthology series Masters of Horror (2005).

Did you know?

In 1978, Argento collaborated with George A. Romero on Dawn of the Dead, earning a producer credit and also providing soundtrack work for the zombie hit.

He is involved in a horror memorabilia store in Rome named Profondo Rosso, after his classic film Deep Red. In the cellar is a collection of his movies. The store is managed by his long-time collaborator and friend Luigi Cozzi.

He has contributed in the development of the survival horror video game Dead Space, and also in the dubbing of the Dr. Kyne character in the Italian version of the game.

What’s your favourite Dario Argento movie? Let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram or in the comments below!

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Michael Berryman

Michael Berryman is, without doubt, one of the most recognisable faces in horror. Tall, lean and suffering from a rare condition giving him a truly unique look, Berryman has been starring in movies since the mid-70’s. Notable for his role in Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes, he has worked primarily in horror ever since. With over 100 credits against his name, Berryman has become a cult icon amongst horror fans.

Born September 4, 1948, Michael John Berryman was afflicted with hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. The rare condition, characterised by the absence of sweat glands, hair, and fingernails, gave Berryman his unique appearance that we know today. His father, Sloan Berryman, was a US Naval surgeon and was deployed to the Hiroshima fallout zone in the wake of the atomic bombing.

Michael Berryman

Berryman’s first prominent acting role was in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. However, his breakthrough role in the horror industry came after he played Pluto in The Hills Have Eyes. Wild-eyed, eerie and savage, Berryman spent the next three decades playing monsters, mutants and psychopaths in an array of classic movies. Notable films include Weird Science, The Hills Have Eyes Part II, The Lords of Salem and The Devil’s Rejects

He also had parts in TV series. Classics such as The X Files, Tales from the Crypt and various appearances in the Star Trek series. Berryman even appeared in Mötley Crües Smokin’ in the Boys Room and Home Sweet Home music videos!

Did you know?

Michael Berryman

Michael Berryman was actually due to appear in cult classic The Crow. Playing a character known as The Skull Cowboy, Berryman was due to have various scenes in the iconic movie. The Cowboy was supposed to offer guidance to Eric Draven by explaining the rules and restrictions surrounding his resurrection. However, following the tragic death of Brandon Lee, the story was rewritten and Berryman’s role was ultimately shelved.

Another thing you may not know is the turmoil Berryman had to endure when filming The Hills Have Eyes. Filming in the desert is hard at the best of times, with temperatures regularly exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. For Berryman, it was hell on earth. Without sweat glands, he found it was harder to deal with than his co-stars. He would have to take special precautions to avoid suffering heat stroke and other complications.

Despite Berryman’s natural gravitation towards horror films, he can also play the comedic role too. Check out this hilarious scene from The Devil’s Rejects

What’s your favourite Michael Berryman movie? Let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram or in the comments below!

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