Horror Cinema Trivia: Elvira—Mistress of the Dark

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark was produced by NBC, which set up a distribution deal with New World Pictures. Just as the film was slated to hit theaters, New World filed for bankruptcy. The marketing campaign was abruptly halted and the release was scaled back from thousands of theaters to just a few hundred. Critics were brutal and, without promotion to entice potential viewers, the film bombed at the box office, though it later became a best-seller on video and one of the highest-rated programs of the year when NBC aired it in 1990.

As today is National Coming Out Day, I thought it would be appropriate to feature Elvira.

A kid of the 80s, I adored Elvira and this movie. Learn more behind-the-scenes facts at IMDb Trivia: Elvira—Mistress of the Dark (1988).

Horror Cinema Trivia: I Know What You Did Last Summer

Lois Clark Duncan notoriously hated Kevin Williamson’s slasher reinvention of her relatively non-violent young-adult novel classic of 1973, and she did not hide her hostility to the media. She said she was “outraged” at how bloody Williamson made her story. Nobody died in her version, so, in that sense, her story was more like an old-school mystery, not a slasher. The movie was a blockbuster though, spawning several sequels and even talk of a tv series, and all this did not hurt Duncan’s book sales, which quadrupled 10-fold after the classic 90s slasher came out.

Did you know that Melissa Joan Hart was up for the role of Julie James? She turned them down, saying, “It just seemed like another Scream ripoff.”

Find more facts about this 90s slasher classic at IMDb Trivia: I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Horror Cinema Trivia: Dead Ringers

The working title for David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers was “Gemini.” The studio did not like it, and the working title was updated to “Twins.” This was changed to “Dead Ringers” after Ivan Reitman, who had produced two of David Cronenberg’s early films, approached Cronenberg about purchasing the rights to use the title “Twins.” This title was then used for the Danny DeVito/Arnold Schwarzenegger film Twins (1988).

It’s hard to imagine this movie being called anything other than Dead Ringers, let alone something as plain as Twins.

Find more behind-the-scenes facts at IMDb Trivia: Dead Ringers (1988).

DYK: Jaws (1975)

Did you know that the producers of Jaws thought it would be possible to train a live great white shark for the film? Not only is it impossible to hold a great white in captivity, but marine biologists have also proven the idea of training such a fish is laughable.

Find more behind-the-scenes facts about Jaws at ScreenRant’s Strangest Behind The Scenes Stories From Jaws.

Images from Behind the Scenes of a Classic: Jaws.

Horror Cinema Trivia: The Birds (1963)

Alfred Hitchcock would constantly make puns and double-entendres on the set of The Birds. The last straw came when Suzanne Pleshette asked if she could add a line, and he replied, “You mean, Sweet Adeline?” She then reacted by tackling the director, dictating, “If you continue this, you are gonna pay the price.” According to Suzanne in a 2006 interview with Stephen J. Abramson, “People were SHITTING” when they saw her run him down.

Find more facts about the 1963 classic at IMDb Trivia: The Birds (1963).

Horror Cinema Trivia: The Changeling (1980)

The house seen in the movie in real life does not and never actually did exist. The film-makers could not find a suitable mansion to use for the film so, at a cost of around $200,000, the production had a Victorian gothic mansion façade attached to the front of a much more modern dwelling in a Vancouver street. This construction was used for the filming of all the exteriors of the movie’s Carmichael Mansion. The interiors of the haunted house were an elaborate group of interconnecting sets built inside a film studio in Vancouver.

Horror Cinema Trivia: Night of the Living Dead

One of the original script ideas called for Barbara to be a very strong, charismatic character. Instead, George A. Romero and the producers loved Judith O’Dea’s portrayal as a terrified young girl much better, and edited the script to accommodate the part.

The idea of Barbara being a strong, central character was revisited in Night of the Living Dead (1990).

Find more behind-the-scenes facts about this zombie classic at IMDb Trivia: Night of the Living Dead (1968).

Horror Cinema Trivia: Pet Sematary (1989)

The role of Zelda, Rachel’s terminally ill sister, was played by a man. Director Mary Lambert wanted Zelda and her scenes to frighten the audience but did not believe that a 13-year old girl was scary so she cast Andrew Hubatsek in the role to make something be “off about Zelda.”

Read more about this casting choice at Bloody Disgusting: [It Came From the ’80s] The Traumatic Nightmare of Zelda in ‘Pet Sematary’.

Find more behind-the-scenes facts at IMDb Trivia: Pet Sematary (1989).