Vampira and Me

Vampira and Me

A Film

DVD - 2013
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When Maila Nurmi took to the TV airwaves in 1954 as the original gothic scream queen Vampira, a national craze was set off. Haughty, domineering, and an instant icon of female power and sexuality, Vampira cast her spell over other rebels and rabble-rousers of the day, including James Dean, Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley. But the woman behind the facade was both far more intricate and much more fragile than the character that made her famous, and the price of momentary glory and cult superstardom was almost unbearably high.
Publisher: [Los Angeles, CA?] : R.H. Greene/Protagonist Productions ; distributed by Cinema Epoch, c2013.
Branch Call Number: 791.4092 VAMPIRA
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (106 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.


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Apr 03, 2017

Good story, but this seems a little too long in the telling.
The James Dean and other connections are quite interesting.

Jun 07, 2014

"V" Is For Vampira, The Original Scream-Queen From Hollywood's Fringe Society.

With "Vampira & Me" director/producer R.H. Greene has put together quite an interesting documentary spotlighting the patchy acting career of Maila Nurmi (aka. Vampira) who, with her ear-piercing scream and hour-glass figure, became a minor pop-culture icon during the 1950s.

Through vintage film clips, stills, and interviews, we learn how Maila (seeking fame and fortune) moved up from being a cheesecake magazine model in the late 1940s, to doing TV commercials in the early 1950s, to her glory days of becoming Vampira, delightfully hosting her very own late-night TV show in the mid-1950s which screened Sci-Fi and Horror films for all the fans.

Known as the "Glamor Ghoul", Maila never ceased to thrill her many fans with the wild combination of her eccentric (and, yes, sexy) make-up, costume and persona.

Sadly enough, by the early 1960s Maila had all but faded away into obscurity and seclusion. She was later discovered waiting tables at a second-rate diner to make ends meet.

In 1997 producer R.H. Greene sought out Maila (who was now 75) and interviewed her for this entertaining and informative documentary. And I'm glad he did. (*Note* - Maila died in 2008 at the age of 85)

Mar 30, 2014

Very sad story of a beautiful caged bird who never was allowed to fly. She was denied flight, and her style was stolen from her. Poor timing in a repressed culture, perhaps? Who knows. Bela Lugosi suffered in the end as well, chewed up and spit out by the Hollywood meat-grinder (although his substance dependence issues didn't help things any).

ravenheart Mar 20, 2014

Check out the extensive audio interview (over an hour, I think) with the director in the extras, as he talks a lot about some interesting conversations he had with Maila that aren't mentioned in the feature. I sure wish her show would have been filmed, rather than shown live. It sucks that this is all the footage we have of this great character. (Just a few minutes total of the actual Vampira character.) I can't believe Maila Nurmi wasn't cast in either the munsters or the addams family during the 60s. With her powerful voice, and presence, Maila would have been far superior to Yvonne De Carlo or Carolyn Jones. Maila said that she stayed in camera ready shape for 20 years after her last appearance as Vampira, feeling that she might get the opportunity to play her again.


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