The Human Duplicators (1965)

Barbara Billingsley, who played Mrs. June Cleaver on "Leave It To Beaver" and "Still The Beaver", was among those TV-moms featured on The History Channel's The X-Y Factor "History of the Wife", on Saturday 3/16/02 (it may be repeated sometime). Here is her guest role in the host segments of an "Elvira" broadcast a while back

Before Joe Bob Briggs hosted Monstervision, there was Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark. The format was similar, except that there were also Elvira drop-ins through-out the movie, which wouldn't make sense here without a full transcript of the movie (besides I didn't tape them). The show was on channel 9 in Los Angeles, owned by RKO General (they make movies and car tires) at the time, and syndicated nationally once a week. There were a few supporting characters, such as "Breather" (a sweaty guy who called from a phone booth during the movie to annoy Elvira), and some others.
But it was Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) and her two enormous talents that kept the show going until 1989 or 1990. There was even an Elvira, Mistress of the Dark movie in 1988, in her black dress & ultra-tall Marge Simpson hair (of course, this was before The Simpsons was created).

On 2/24/89, Elvira ran The Human Duplicators, which Leonard Maltin actually liked better than Mistress of the Dark:
An alien giant (Richard Kiel) paves the way for a major invasion by duplicating people - but then falls in love. Some imagination here, but low-budget production sinks it. 2 stars.
The film stars the late Hugh Beaumont as a government agent investigating the aliens, so Elvira hired Barbara Billingsley (who played mom, June Cleaver, in the 1957-63 sitcom and later Disney channel series), for the following host segment:

Mrs. June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley): "Excuse me, but I was wondering if you might have seen my husband, Ward?"
Elvira: "Are you June Cleaver, Beaver's mom?"
June: "Yes! And you're Elvira!"
"Why yes, I am."
June: "I was looking for Ward because he's promised to help Wally with his homework tonight."
"Oh, well, gee, I think Ward is on some kind of important case right now, June."
June: "A case?"
"Yes, Didn't you know he works for the N.I.A.?"
June: "The NIA? No. You know, I've never known what he does for a living. I'm going to have to remember that for my next trivia quiz."
"Yeah, well, anyway, I'm sure he'll be home in time for dinner. So, I've just got a show to do right now. So it's nice seeing you."
June: "I think I'm just going to go home and I'm going to make Ward and the boys' favorite cookies. Bye!"
"That'll be great. Bye, June. Drop by any time."

Viewer Mail segment

At ease, soldier, at ease. OK, once again, it is that time. Sack Time with Elvira. Of course you know I'm talking about Mail-Sack Time. Time to answer just a few of those cards and letters. So, I'll just plunge this cute little paw of mine...or no, I'll plunge this cute little paw of mine (holds mummified monkey's paw), plunge it into the old sack-a-roo and come up with a handful. Haven't read them yet.
Here goes:
Dear Elvira, Mistress of the Dark:
"Didn't I read some place that you were once in the rhythm section of an all-girl band?"
I wasn't in the rhythm section. Well, that's not exactly right...I was the rhythm section!

Dear Elvira, Mistress of the Dark:
"What advice would you give a girl who is looking for a serious relationship?"
Well honey, I'd say, go out and find yourself a man who is tall, dark, and has some. In fact, forget about the tall and dark part, OK, just as long as he has some.

Dear Elvira, Mistress of the Dark:
"What do you think of horticulture?"
Well, I think it's supposed to be like the oldest profession in the world. But let me tell you about plants. Boy am I ever good with plants! I even have a Venus Flytrap at home with a zipper on it.

Dear Elvira, Mistress of the Dark:
"What are the chances of ever seeing a really great movie on your show, maybe like E.T., the Extraterrestrial?"
Well, I'd say the chances of seeing E.T. on this show are about the same as hearing Pac-Man burp.* OK, time for a few quickees:
And, maybe, but I'll have to think about it.
Well, that's all the time for Sack Time for this time or next time and until that time, keep those cards and letters, please!

Final commercial break

Well, once again, the Boys In Blue show up just in time to do absolutely nothing. They all must have stopped off at one of them donut stands on the way over to Dornheimer's. "I'll have the one with the orange frosting and the sprinkles."
Martin's duplicate, now he had an excuse for taking so long to get there. He was trying to drive a stick-shift with only one arm (the other arm was torn off in the movie). Hey, probably wiped out another 40 or 50 cars on the way. And I am getting so sick and tired of hearing, "I'm the Master." "No, I'm the Master." Maybe those androids don't have emotions, but they sure ain't lacking egos. Polos, with his balsawood 2x4 is still down there in the laboratory, no doubt standing over those busted-up mannequins saying, "See, I told you I was the Master!"
Well, still more to come with this turkey. I don't want to give anything away by saying it's going to take a surprise twist. So I won't. Would I want to ruin things for you? Would I? WOULD I? The exciting, but not surprising, conclusion to this week's movie, The Human Duplicators, is coming right up.
[missed final segment, sorry. You can read the host segments to Parts, The Clonus Horror if that helps]

A low-budget film to be sure, but the idea of Human Duplicators showed up again the the James Bond movie "Casino Royale" and in the Westworld Michael Crichton movie sequel/tv series "Futureworld." Now, I know what you're thinking. Is this the same Hugh Beaumont who co-starred in the classic MOLE PEOPLE? See below:

* Pac-Man was an ancient videogame, before AOL was created and took over the world.
Richard Kiel
Hugh Beaumont (no relation, as far as I know, to Charles Beaumont (1929-67), writer of several Twilight Zone episodes and horror/sci-fi/fantasy movies including The 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)

Cassandra Peterson coscripted and stars in her own odd B-movie version of her syndicated TV-series character. She drives cross-country to a brightly-lit New England town in a classic convertible, which blows off its hood on arriving. Dressed in her usual low-cut long black dress, men and boys scramble to help while Edie McClurg-type ladies cluck disapprovingly. Seems Elvira's there for the reading of a will, hoping for an inheritance, which turns out to be a lamely-haunted house. Leonard Maltin says, Unfunny, one-joke script keeps its attention firmly riveted to the star's ample bosom. More yawns than yocks. Rated PG-13.
In addition to Edie McClurg, Susan Kellermann and Jeff Conaway (of TV's Taxi) are in it.
I liked it a little better than Maltin did, though the whole movie seems to have been filmed in bright sunshine; the average episode of The Munsters had more atmosphere. The funny thing is, this is exactly the kind of low-budget, sitcom-script movie that Elvira would have made fun of in an episode of her show.

Joe Bob Briggs of Monstervision has this review:
(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)
The late-night movie hostess with the two enormous talents stars as a simple young girl whose ambition in life is to paste whirlybirds on her breasts and do the double-windmill flying-tassel bouncing-bazooma Vegas showgirl routine popularized by Virginia Bell, the finest stripper in the history of Cincinnati, in the late fifties. (Virginia receives no credit on the movie, by the way.) To get the fifty-thou she needs to pay the Flamingo Hotel to put her on stage, Elvira has to prove she can do more than walk around like a tube of Elmer's Glue that's cracked down the front. Fortunately, she inherits a house haunted by character actors, where she can live with her punk-rock poodle and whoever drops by to stare at her cleavage.
There's a little plot about a demon recipe book full of casseroles that have intestines and teeth, and an evil uncle who's trying to get the book so he can laser people to death with his fingernails, and a "Flashdance" ripoff show where Elvira gets tar dumped on her, and a burning-at-the-stake scene, and 367 breast jokes, but nothing compares to the Vegas production number finale, where Elvira dresses up like Ann-Margaret and makes those puppies bounce.
Two breasts.
Four dead bodies.
Exploding gas station.
Attack poodle.
Spiked high heel to the brain.
Leeches in the face.
Hand rolls.
Casserole monster.
Flaming snake.
The dreaded Tic-Tac Pie.
People turned into pigs for no apparent reason.
Gratuitous ax murder.
Kung Fu.
Beer Fu.
Flashdance Fu.
Garbage disposal Fu.
Thunderstorm Fu.
And, of course, Whirlybird Fu.
Starring Cassandra Peterson as Elvira ("I know my rights--I'm entitled to one phone call, and a strip-search"),
Daniel Greene as the hunk love interest,
Susan Kellermann as the owner of Patty's Tidy Bowl Lanes ("I'm sorry I set you on fire and everything"),
W. Morgan Sheppard as the Vincent Price-type devil worshipper.
Three stars.
Clip from the movie:
Cooking with Elvira

John Agar and Hugh Beaumont find a race of albinos living inside a mountain and use a flashlight to come to the rescue of the enslaved mole people. Cynthia Patrick, Alan Napier. D: Virgil Vogel
(1956) Universal
B&W, 84 min

The Mole People in its entirety, with Mystery Science Theater 3000 host segments from episode

While no longer broadcasting bad movies, you can still see Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark
on video or in a current line of comic books. I don't think her face looks quite right in the comic books, but then most fans don't look at her face anyway...
Press Release...Press Release...Stop The Presses...What Presses?
Hollywood: ELVIRA'S HAUNTED HILLS will had its worldwide premiere on April 20th, 2002 in Miami, in a benefit screening for local AIDS charity, CARE RESOURCE. Film began an independent American theatrical release that Spring and rolled out across the country through the end of the year.
ELVIRA'S HAUNTED HILLS, an independent feature, starring Cassandra Peterson as Elvira and Richard O'Brien (writer/creator of The Rocky Horror Picture Show) as Vladimere Hellsubus was filmed entirely on location over a two month period in Transylvania and at Mediapro Studios in Romania. The film takes place in 1851 Carpathia and is a parody of the classic Vincent Price / Edgar Allen Poe films of the early sixties. Film is produced by Mark Pierson ("Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark"), directed by Sam Irvin (director of "Guilty As Charged" and co-executive producer of "Gods And Monsters") and written by Cassandra Peterson and John Paragon (both writers of "Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark"). The 65 minute music score was recorded at Mosfilm, Moscow by the Russian State Symphony Cinema Orchestra by legendary conductor, Sergei Skripka.
EHH is the first Elvira feature in fourteen years, following the successful "Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark" released theatrically in 1988. DVD/home video release is set for Halloween 2002.
Go to the official ELVIRA'S HAUNTED HILLS website NOW and see stills from the movie and from behind the scenes! Also see script pages, actual daily call sheets and much more for FREE.

By the way, remember Eddie Haskel, the kid who was always getting the Beav in trouble and is now himself being ripped off by the guy in the Dell Computer commercials? Ken Osmond, who played Haskel, left show-biz and became a policeman in real life. When radio talk host Rush Limbaugh said that Democrats were acting like Eddie Haskel (after September 11th, 2001), Ken Osmond called the radio show to complain that Haskel had never acted as bad as the Democrats.
Good morning Mr. Phelps. This message will self-destruct in
Movie description above Bill Laidlaw. All Rights Reserved. Any plagiarized stuff clearly noted.
Unpleasant dreams...

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Elvira took over for Seymour at channel 9 after he died of cancer.
LAtvLegends.com page for Seymour (aka Larry Vincent)

Elvira's page at www.LAtvLegends.com

www.latvlegends.com homepage

Seymour had a cameo in The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant

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