It’s the time of monsters and magic, witches and werewolves, vampires and voodoo, zombies and … well, you get the idea. All of these have symbolic meaning that we celebrate each Halloween season, but we may not know why it resonates within us. With our special guest Rev. Ogun Holder, a fellow pop culture aficionado, we’ll look at some of the most popular depictions in pop culture and come up with ways to make your Halloween more deeply meaningful without taking away the fun! And be sure to tune in to his show, Rants to Revelations, on Wednesday as we continue the conversation that’s just too big for just one show!
Hollywood Forever Cemetery Tour – Karie Bible, tour guide & historian! (Dia De Los Muertos – Nov 1st + Olvera Street)
Vampira (from Wikipedia)– Maila Nurmi was a Finnish-American actress born in Petsamo, Finland, who created the campy 1950s character Vampira. She portrayed Vampira as TV’s first horror host and in the Ed Wood cult film Plan 9 from Outer Space.
According to Nurmi, this was because the station cast comedic actress Cassandra Peterson in the part without consulting her. “They eventually called me in to sign a contract and she was there”, Nurmi told Bizarre magazine in 2005. “They had hired her without asking me.”
Unable to continue using the name Vampira, the show was abruptly renamed Elvira’s Movie Macabre with Peterson playing the titular host. Nurmi soon filed a lawsuit against Peterson. The court eventually ruled in favor of Peterson, holding that “likeness means actual representation of another person’s appearance, and not simply close resemblance.” Peterson claimed that Elvira was nothing like Vampira aside from the basic design of the black dress and black hair. Nurmi claimed that the entire Elvira persona, which included comedic dialogue and intentionally bad graveyard puns, infringed on her creation’s “distinctive dark dress, horror movie props, and…special personality.” Nurmi herself claimed that Vampira’s image was in part based on the Charles Addams The New Yorker cartoon character Morticia Addams, though she told Boxoffice magazine in 1994 that she had intentionally deviated from Addams’ mute and flat-chested creation, making her own TV character “campier and sexier” to avoid plagiarizing Addams’ idea.
Pop Culture History
Universal Monsters or Universal Horror is the name given to a series of distinctive horror, suspense and science fiction films made by Universal Studios from 1923 to 1960. The series began with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, both silent films starring Lon Chaney.
Universal continued with talkies including monster franchises Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. The studio’s leading horror actors during this post-Chaney period were Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Lon Chaney, Jr..
My Childhood History
- Scooby Doo – 1969!
- The Count! On Sesame Street – 1972-2012
- Groovy Ghoulies -1970-1972 – pop song each episode
- Addams Family 1964 – 66
- Munsters – 64-66 too