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Out of Bounds and onto the big screen



What: Out Of Bounds Film Festival

Where: Village 8 Cinemas

When: Feb. 11-15

What do gay aliens, a breasty gothic wench, some buff showboys, a sham marriage and a loud-mouth Chinese comedian have in common? They’ve all been chosen to be featured in the first-ever Out of Bounds Film Festival.

Festival creator and director, Michael Ghent said Whistler was perfect for it.

"There’s no heavy going emotional challenge or intellectual effort required for these films, it’s all good and relatively clean fun. Just like Whistler," he said.

The festival also happens to coincide with Altitude Eleven, Whistler’s own world-renowned gay ski week.

One of the most popular films for the lineup is Elvira’s Haunted Hills, in Whistler for its English Canadian premiere. The horror comedy parodies the classic Vincent Price, Edgar Allen Poe movies of the early ’60s that Elvira introduced on late night TV throughout the ’80s and ’90s. The gothic, sexy, campy Mistress of the Dark , has been a cult Halloween figure and gay icon around the world for more than 20 years.

Haunted Hills is the long-awaited follow-up to her first feature film released in 1988. The new movie was shot in Romania and co-starred Richard O’Brien, the creator and star of Rocky Horror Show . Haunted Hills was a real labour of love for Elvira’s alter-ego, Cassandra Peterson. The accomplished actress and author wrote, produced and financed the film with her husband and manager Mark Pierson.

"We call this movie our retirement fund," she laughed. "We mortgaged our house, borrowed from family and poured all our savings into it, despite warnings from many friends we were out of our minds."

They spent $1.5 million on making the movie, which Peterson estimated would cost $10 million if made in Los Angeles. The film's remote location however, made for some trying times.

"You can’t get the simplest kind of stuff like spray to clean the lens of the camera," she said.

In once scene, a black cat was needed so Peterson asked the local crew to buy a stuffed one but there was a slight hitch.

"They drew blank faces and I eventually worked out they were planning to kill one and stuff it so I was like ‘no, no, a stuffed animal, from the toy store.’ But the only thing they could find was a brown kangaroo, so they spray-painted the damn thing black and we used it in the scene," she laughed.

Smiles aside, there were elements of danger too.

"As Elvira, I was to lie under a 400 pound swinging pendulem that would get closer and closer to my cleavage. The only stunt double in Romania was very flat chested, so with me being so endowed, we had to give her fake boobs. We made a latex mould of my chest and stuck it on hers but it looked horrendous. It looked like my chest with leprosy so I had to do the scene myself. For eight hours I lay there with this sharp object hanging by a rope. I was so scared, one inch the wrong way and I could die. It actually ended up slicing one of my breasts so that was not so fun in a funny kind of way," said Peterson.

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