Δευτέρα, 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013
Maila Nurmi as Vampira
Maila Nurmi (1922 – 2008) was a Finnish-American actress who created the campy 1950s character Vampira. She portrayed Vampira as TV's first horror host and in the Ed Wood cult film Plan 9 from Outer Space. She is also billed as Vampira in the 1959 movie The Beat Generation where she plays a beatnik poet. The Vampira Show was an American variety show hosted by Vampira. The series aired on the Los Angeles ABC television from April 30, 1954, through April 2, 1955. The series was produced and created by Hunt Stromberg, Jr., and featured the Vampira character created by Maila Nurmi. Though the show was unseen outside of the Los Angeles area, The Vampira Show has become a cult classic, spawning fan clubs the world over.
Vampira's personality was based on elements of several silent film actresses including Theda Bara and Gloria Swanson as well as the Evil Queen from Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In Vampira: The Movie, Nurmi reveals she appropriated the long cigarette holder and extra-long fingernails from the Dragon Lady character in the Terry and the Pirates comic strip. The new costume was inspired by the artwork of John Willie featured in the fetish magazine Bizarre. Each show began with the spectral image of the wasp-waisted Vampira gliding through knee-deep fog down a dark corridor toward the viewer. At the end of her trance-like walk she would suddenly let out a long, piercing scream as the camera zoomed in on her face. She would then smile and coyly remark, "Screaming relaxes me so." After that Nurmi would sit on a Victorian double-ended sofa decorated with skulls and introduce the movie of the night, sometimes pausing to play with her pet spider Rolo, talk with off-camera ghosts, torment her advertiser, Fletcher Jones, in amusing commercials, or drink a Vampira Cocktail at her poison bar.
Despite its popularity, the series was canceled in 1955 when Nurmi refused to sell her rights to the character to ABC.Nurmi revived the series for a short time in 1956 on KHJ-TV. After the series demise, Nurmi appeared in the cult Ed Wood's film Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), dressed as Vampira but out of character. The original Vampira Show has never aired outside the Los Angeles area due to it being originally broadcast live and not being preserved as kinescopes for future airings. No footage of the show is known to exist, however, in the 1990s a kinescope advertising the station's ability to draw clients to advertisers featuring Nurmi in character was discovered. The clips used in the kinescope were re-shot segments using a previous episode's script.