Halloween season is upon us and in what better way can we celebrate the spooky season none other than by taking a trip down coffin lane, where are all the monstrous ghouls lurk in the shadows. It’s a no brainer that Halloween is my favorite time of year. I live and breathe the season 360 days a year but of late, as I have been sick I have had a lot of time to think and catch up on old B movie horror movies from ages past and my god do I forget how much I just love old campy horror, including late nights horror hosts and hostesses such as Vampira, Elvira and more! This rekindling of my horror host love affair returned when I tuned into Elvira’s Movie Macabre one evening and was presented with quicky, kooky humor, sultry seduction and notoriously, the two firm pumpkins resting upon her bosom!
Vamp Vs Camp
This got me thinking of the age of horror hosts. A time where being scared was extremely terrifying. A time where the late-late shows aired after midnight in order to protect the innocent from the grotesque.
I am all for ladies in horror and so we’re going to take a look at one of the most underrated horror hostesses of all time: Vampira.
Back in the 1950s, The Vampira Show was a well-known TV show that aired on KABC -TV from 1954 to 1955. The show was known to broadcast vintage horror films all the while being presented by the infamous horror hostess Vampira. With the show starting off down a misty, dark hallway a figure appears in the mist, slinking down the narrow corridor towards the camera followed blood-curdling scream. Cue the title scream and are an introduction to our lady of the night.
In my opinion, Vampira is one of the most underrated horror hosts of all time. With her tiny waist, long red nails, sharply arched eyebrows, and beautiful alabaster skin, the lady of death didn’t exactly have an easy ride in the industry. The Vampira Show was only short-lived, surviving only one year on the broadcast. To this day there is very little footage to be found of The Vampira Show which makes me rather sad.
We all know that hosting shows was always seen as a gimmick, but it is for this reason why I just have a fascination with horror hosts. Different shows went to different lengths in order to present and terrify their late-night viewers. It was important to create a personality that the public would adhere too. Malia Nurmi (Vampira) took inspiration from another well-beloved kooky gal, Morticia Addams although speculation has presented throughout the years over this. Nurmi also took inspiration from the evil queen in Disney’s Snow White.
I could have chosen to discuss Elvira Mistress of the dark but I believe Vampira is overshadowed by the busty bouffant haired vixen. I love Elvira but I think Vampira needs to be recognized more as one of horror’s pioneers. Holding her own as a cult following in the 1950’s it’s easy to see that Vampira did it all first, Elvira just elaborated on what was already there.
Although The Vampira Show lasted only a year, Malia Numi’s Vampira has solidified a place in horror history without a doubt. Elvira may be the mistress of the dark but Vampira will always be the queen of the night.
So in a true Vampira fashion, “Bad dreams darling!”