Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Vampira The Movie|
Actors: Vampira, Skal, Ackerman, Eastman
Director: Kevin Sean Michaels
Genres: Horror, Documentary
The true life story of the world's first TV horror movie host is unveiled in this labor-of-love documentary. Bonus features include: Director commentary, Screening lectures, Music video, Trailer, Outtakes, "Joe Flynn Show"... more »
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And you thought Plan 9 was bad...
Daryl Macon | 10/18/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It really is a shame that we earthlings don't have "stupid minds" as those uptight aliens from Plan 9 suggest. Perhaps if we did have lower mentalities we could better enjoy Vampira: The Movie. Leave it to Alpha Video, the company responsible for putting out some of the most pitiful of public domain prints on video to destroy what little dignity Maila "Vampira" Nurmi has left. Within an hour's time Vampira's mysterious, other worldly charm is chipped away until we are left with nothing but an old lady surrounded by a gang of freak show rejects. The film starts out on the right path, but quickly goes astray with a bizarre and useless reenactment of an actress in a cheap blonde wig posing as Maila Nurmi during her days as a pin-up model. We are later treated to some footage of this actress putting on a black wig to illustrate the transformation into Vampira. These silly, contrived bits can be overlooked, but the real problems are still to come. While Vampira is given plenty of screen time to tell her abridged life story, she is shot from only one angle with no special makeup, wardrobe, set or lighting. The setting is very pedestrian and the producer's should have splurged and spent the extra $100 for a backdrop. Vampira's story is interesting and it's a great asset to hear the words from her mouth, but over much of her talk is some ear bleeding synthetic stock music which is distracting at the least. The rest of the picture is made up of unknown horror "stars" who haunt the convention circuits. Most have never even met the woman. This is made embarrassingly clear when they generically chatter about black dresses and fingernails which could be applied to any Vampire character. There are so many ignorant interviewees that one feels that Vampira really has no fan base outside of a carnival sideshow. As if they were not bad enough one at a time, we are then treated to a four star spectacular that flashes them on the screen one right after another with stock music playing in the background. One would think if they planned to fill the movie with unknowns, they would have chose Vampira's actual friends rather than this gaggle of ghouls. The only interesting aspect of this movie is hearing Elvira's side of the Vampira lawsuit (though Vampira herself never mentions it) and seeing clips from Vampira's famed 1950s television show. The movie could have been much better if it were trimmed down to about thirty minutes and completely scrapped the weirdos. The editing is perhaps the worst ever in documentary filmmaking. It seems to have been edited by a child learning how to use the free software included with their new DVD burner. The still photos featured in the movie have been taken from web sites and eBay auctions, which explains the pixilation problems. The editing of these photos is ridiculous in itself. The editor obviously used random zoom filters which zoom into the center of the photos... usually right into someone's chest. Other times, the photos will fade into another before the subject's face is seen! Clearly this is the work of amateurs and Alpha should have left such an intriguing subject to more capable hands. Vampira is an artist, poet, actress, model, dancer even a singer, but this poor excuse for a documentary paints a very vague picture and leaves the uneducated viewer to believe she should only be remembered as a kook who clings to a 50 year old black wig. I give it one star - simply because Amazon does not have zero or negative ratings."
This Is a Goldmine
Pro_Freelancer | Garden City, NY | 10/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was blown away by how much you get for your money with this documentary of extremely rare and vanishing information on Maila Nurmi a.k.a. Vampira. One thing you would never expect--and the disk is worth it for this alone--is the many sage lessons in life that Maila shares. The documentary holds a tight weave of deep insights from those who knew her before her fame, and tributes from her horror host "descendants," almost none of whom have ever been coaxed to talk before. But the main star, as it should be, is Maila herself, breaking new ground in fresh interviews, and never-told stories.
Just like when any cult hero gets honored, we can only be amazed by how many stalkers and frauds with an axe to grind come out of the woodwork to say they should been the ones interviewed instead of the celebrities on film. But what I notice is that the documentary doesn't try to be the be-all and end-all encyclopedia on the subject. I'm thankful for that because it doesn't get caught up in the repetition you might expect. The truth is it is packed with anecdotes and analysis that obviously doesn't exist anywhere else. The documentary is also worth it for the extras alone, mostly Count Smokula's hilarious tribute song "Vampira." The packaging of the disk itself adds to the mystique, perfectly capturing her life and times, and helping to make it a must-own collector's treasure.
A great visit with Vampira
J. Sterling | Michigan, United States | 10/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you've ever been curious about who Vampira is and how her presence has affected the genre of goth/horror film, this DVD has the answers. Glamor-goul Vampira as she is today walks you through how it all began; and how films changed her life. She was WAY ahead of her time, and this shockumentary is a fantastic chronicle of her journey with insights and commentary from a host of goulish actors, musicians, filmmakers, etc. There's lots of reflection on her appearance in Ed Wood's film "Plan 9 From Outer Space".
This is clearly a DVD made by a knowledgeable fan of old horror films who brings many of the names of horror-hosts old and new to one fascinating discussion on the Queen of Horror!
At the end of the shockumentary, we get the chance to listen to the filmmakers and how they brought it all together. If you like horror films and are fascinated on how it all began, you'll enjoy this immensely."
A chat with Vampira
Art E. Misia | USA | 11/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video contains a full-length interview with Vampira: the elusive (some might say reclusive) Maila Nurmi. Her thoughts, her memories, her experiences as Vampira and afterward. I don't think this kind of footage exists anywhere else. It also includes segments from Vampira's short-lived but legendary TV show, which I had thought lost to the fog machines of time. These two elements alone make this film worth having for any fan of Vampira, or collector of Vampire lore and legend. Rather than tearing down the director for technical problems, real or perceived, I think he should be congratulated for managing to get Ms. Nurmi to sit still for his camera in such a relaxed and informal way. Some of the critical reviewers make good points, but I'm happy that I have this video so I can watch the parts with Ms. Nurmi over and over again. She is such an interesting person, and the fact that she inhabits such a strong, quirky and artistic persona at the age of 85 is truly inspirational!"