By Thomas K. Arnold
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Elvira is coming to DVD.
Cassandra Peterson, the former Las Vegas showgirl who in the early 1980s gained fame as the raven-haired TV horror-film hostess, is taking her act to Shout! Factory.
The independent DVD supplier has licensed the entire archive of Elvira-hosted movies, including "Elvira's Movie Macabre," the nationally syndicated television series that ran from 1981-86.
Peterson is screening her wraparounds to pick her favorites, and then Shout! Factory will begin the clearance process for the hosted movies not in the public domain.
The first releases likely will be out in time for Halloween 2006, said Eric Gardner, CEO of Panacea Entertainment, who brokered the deal.
Among the more than 300 films in the Elvira archive are such cult classics as "Crucible of Horror"; Roger Corman's "Fall of the House of Usher," with Vincent Price; "The House That Dripped Blood"; and the quasi-comedic "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!"
"It's amazing how many people have asked me over the years, 'When are these movies going to be out again,' or 'where can we find them,"' Peterson said. "Now, I finally can give them an answer."
One of Peterson's favorites is "Pigs," a vintage horror film so obscure it's not even listed on the Internet Movie Database.
"It's about these killer pigs that go on a rampage and become human-eating beasts," Peterson said. "Bacon is after you -- you've got to love the concept."
"Elvira's Movie Macabre" began airing in 1981 on KHJ-TV in Los Angeles. Within two years, the show could be seen in more than 80 markets. The series remained a ratings winner until production ceased in late 1985.
"Not only had we exhausted the then-current supply of nationally available bad horror movies," Gardner said, "but we were making a deal with Brandon Tartikoff and NBC for what was to become the first Elvira feature."
Elvira's first movie, "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark," came out in October 1987. Since then, Peterson has cut several more films -- most recently "Elvira's Haunted Hills," released on DVD in October 2003 -- and hosted three more series of horror movies.
In the meantime, from the Elvira website:
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