Happy Halloween! As a Halloween treat for Daily Dead readers, I caught up with Cassandra Peterson to discuss Halloween traditions, growing pumpkins, upcoming projects, and much more:
I saw on Instagram that you’re growing your own pumpkins this year. How has that been going?
I am! It's fantastic and we're going to cut them today before we leave. They all finally turned orange. It's the first time I ever grew pumpkins and all I have to say to anybody who wants to grow them is, "You better have a damn big spot to put them in," because my God, they're like monsters that take over the whole world!
Yeah, it looks like you have this huge area in your yard now dedicated to pumpkins.
Isn't it crazy? I just bought this little pumpkin plant. It was like four inches tall a couple months ago at a farmers' market, and I thought, "I'll stick it in there and see if it survives," and that's how it turned out.
Aside from the obvious pumpkin carving and now pumpkin growing, what are some other big Halloween traditions for you?
My tradition is that I work. I don't get to really have a ton of fun Halloween things going on, unfortunately. This year, though, I do get to go to a Halloween party, someone else's party. I'm pretty thrilled about that because I actually get to wear something other than the Elvira costume, which I wore every single Halloween for 43 years.
What’s your costume?
The theme for the party is ghosts, so I'm going as the exact opposite of Elvira. I'm going as a nun, but with ghost makeup on, so I can be the Holy Ghost. Last year was my first Halloween party in 43 years where I was not working, and I dressed as “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” because you had to come as something that was in the sky.
You recently released (and I'd highly recommend to our readers) Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark. As I understand from past interviews, there was the possibility of a documentary or movie based on it. Do you have any updates you can share?
I kind of do, but I can't reveal many details. I am working on a movie project and a documentary as we speak. And it's not necessarily the autobiographies, so don't freak out about that yet. It's a film project. And I'm doing a new book. I'm working away on that and that's what I've been doing this morning.
That’s great! I can’t wait to hear more about it. Thanks to streaming and Blu-ray releases, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and Elvira's Haunted Hills are more accessible now than ever to long-time fans and new viewers. Is it exciting for you to see that these films have become a Halloween tradition for fans?
I just got back from another pop culture show, where I met a lot of fans, and I can't tell you how many of them say, "Every Halloween we play your movie, and my grandpa's the one that turned me onto it, and then my dad watched it, and then my dad turned us onto it, and now I'm turning my kids onto it." It was really interesting how many people said that.
It works on so many different levels. I almost have to liken it to Pee-wee's Playhouse, which was fun for the kids, but fun for the adults on another level. And I think the Elvira thing works on those levels too. Kids think the slapstick, falling down humor is funny, and then the adults get all the little sexy innuendos.
In the past we’ve gotten your classic horror recommendations, but I was curious about what modern horror movies have really stood out for you recently.
I’m really appreciating movies like Get Out. Horror movies in general are becoming more diverse and there are more films by and for women. M3GAN stars a female robot character, and was written by [Akela Cooper], so it’s really exciting to me that more women and people who aren't just white guys are involved in horror now.
Aside from your book and films, are there any collaborations or merchandise coming out that you’d like to let our readers know about?
Yeah, I have a ton of merchandise. I have a new makeup kit that just recently came out from Rubies, but it's not just a costume makeup kit. You can use it every day, and I use it all the time. The colors in there are the Elvira colors, but a lot of women I've talked to are using it for everyday makeup, especially if you're in the goth crowd. I've got two lines of clothing coming out, one that just launched from Dolls Kill, but really sexy, awesome, Elvira-like clothing. My fourth pinball machine is coming out, and it’s a limited “Lipstick Edition.” It has some interesting changes from the last pinball machine from Stern, with more dialogue, more bells and whistles, literally and figuratively, so that's just coming on the market this month too.
As much as I love pinball, I really need to get one of these for my house. I’ll play pinball at an arcade, but I’ve never owned a pinball machine.
Let me just warn you… it seriously cuts down on your work time. If you have a pinball machine in your office, I keep getting up and I'll go, "I'll write this letter right after I play one game of pinball. And then if I win, I can play another game, but if I don't, then I have to come back and write the letter." So, be careful with that. Don't put it in your office.
I need some more break time, so actually that sounds great.
Well, don't say I didn't warn you.
Thank you so much for catching up with me and I hope you have a Happy Halloween! Have a wonderful time pumpkin carving and at the costume party!
I hope you have a happy Halloween!
To keep up with all things Elvira, visit https://www.elvira.com/