Friends, back when I was writing for the Retroist site, when October finally rolled around we would start to share only Halloween or spooky related articles for the entire month. While extremely fun it could also be a very limiting subject to stick to – however my plan for the PCR site is to at least share one article a day involving the Holiday. The esteemed Ashley Thomas got the ball rolling the other day with her review of the third issue of the Gargoyles series by Marvel Comics. I thought I would try to raise the bar today – with a collection of soft drink television commercials featuring the iconic Elvira, Mistress of the Dark!
By the time the two TV ads we are going to share originally aired, I was familiar with Cassandra Peterson’s character of Elvira thanks to a series of VHS tapes released by ThrillerVideo. After all it’s not like we were able to catch any of her KHJ-TV appearances in my neck of the woods, right? Although I should point out that by 1989, Peterson had already made her big screen debut with Elvira: Mistress of the Dark – a film that sadly failed to ignite the box office but has thankfully managed to become a cult favorite!
So with the popularity of the character of Elvira, it only made sense that come October, she would be a spokesperson for a variety of products. Two 1989 TV commercials featuring the Mistress of the Dark are the subject for this article – ads for Splice as well as Mug Root Beer – part of the Go Psycho with Elvira contest. The best part of all is that grand prize winner would win the privilege of joining Elvira at Universal Studios in Hollywood for a party at the Bates Motel!
Now I believe that these TV ads originally were aired in ’89 but I have found a lot of places online – including one from Elvira’s official Twitter feed that claims it debuted in 1990. I would point to the expiration date in the Slice and Mug Root Beer commercials though – ‘Contest ends 10/31/1989’.
Besides the fact that the legendary Michael Berryman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Hills Have Eyes) shows up in these TV ads – the ‘zombie’ standing next to Elvira is none other than Wilhelm von Homburg (Die Hard, Ghostbusters 2)!