The Star-News


Remembering Moona Lisa this Halloween

Fri, Oct 29 2010 12:24 AM Posted By: Phillip Brents

Her name was Moona Lisa and, in 1967, she had every 9-year-old in San Diego County enthralled with her soft seductive voice, out of this world props (quite believable to said 9-year-olds) and weekly film offerings on Channel 10’s “Science Fiction Theatre.” The Saturday afternoon show ran for eight years (1963-71) and made KOGO newscaster Lisa Clark a cult icon.

Clark later took her post-Vampira and pre-Elvira horror hostess character for one-year stints each to Los Angeles and St. Louis in the early 1970s but her San Diego fans likely appreciate her the most. Clark wrote all her own lines, making her character quite genuine.

Cassandra Petersen’s Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, character was born in 1981 as the hostess of Los Angeles KHJ-TV’s revived “Movie Macabre.” Petersen’s Elvira featured a quick-witted Valley Girl type character with heavily-applied drag queen-style horror make-up and a towering black beehive wig that  concealed her flame-red hair. The transformation from Peterson to the sexy Elvira was so drastic that no one ever recognized her out of costume.

Petersen reprised her role in the 1988 feature film “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” after gaining national fame with a Halloween-themed appearance on an episode of network TV’s “The Fall Guy.”

Both the Moona Lisa and Elvira characters owe homage to “The Vampira Show” telecast 1954-55 on LA’s KABC-TV.

The moon will not be full on Halloween night but “Elvira’s Movie Macabre” continues to haunt the Internet at www.elvira.com. As for Moona Lisa? Reportedly, Clark still has the original wig and black cat suit that made her famous.

Anyone for re-runs?

Elvira’s tips for a safe Halloween
Beware the road: Always stay on the sidewalk. When you cross the street, look both ways and cross at a marked crosswalk.

Don’t dress to kill: Wear something bright and/or reflective and avoid masks that make it difficult to see where you’re going. No costume is complete without a flashlight.

Look for a Halloween haven: If possible, plan a trick-or-treat route in a car-free environment. Street fairs, malls and schools are all good alternatives.

Bring a cell phone: So you can call your parents or supervisor if you get separated or stranded or dial 9-1-1 if there’s an emergency.


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