By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

R.H. Greene’s documentary on the first dark mistress of late night horror television serves as a sincere loving tribute to a woman who loved what she did, but didn’t get the recognition or rewards she deserved.  Maila Nurmi, the real lady behind Vampira, began her career as a pin-up model, but attempted to break into the acting business.  She eventually gets a job hosting late night creature features as the ghoulishly sexy vixen Vampira.  Greene discusses with Nurmi how her career went sour, the time when she fell into poverty, and how her attempt to sue Elvira Mistress of the Dark failed.

Greene, who befriended Nurmi in her last years, much like Ed Wood befriended Bela Lugosi many years before, creates a beautiful and tragic portrait of a very lovely woman victimized by Hollywood and left practically penniless. The documentary gives audience an insightful and intimate look at a truly wonderful person and I can honestly say that I fell in love Nurmi’s warm and charmingly sly personality.

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