“Vampira is a kind of entity (and you can call her a woman though she is androgynous) that survives in this world. I, Maila Nurmi, am not.”
This one is sure to petrify! If there is one woman who recognized the importance of standing out from the crowd, it’s Maila Nurmi [December 11, 1922 – January 10, 2008], or as most people would recognize her, the legendary Vampira.
Leaving Finland at the age of two, Maila would move with her family to the United States of America. After high school, she quickly gathered up her possessions and moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of the dream!
The blonde knock-out with razor-sharp cheek bones would soon be working with the likes of art legends Man Ray, Alberto Vargas, and Bernard of Hollywood. Then in 1951 upon attending the Bal Caribe Masquerade as Charles Addams’ cartoon character from The New Yorker, Morticia Addams, Maila would catch the attention of a local television executive searching for a new star.
On April 30, 1954 on KABC-TV at 11pm Dig Me Later, Vampira aired followed by The Vampira Show the very next night. From that night on, the legend of Vampira was in full swing inching its way up the time slots, and creating from scratch an entire sub genre of Horror-Hosts on television!
Unfortunately the series was cancelled in 1955, but Maila would retain her rights to the character she created. Maila would continue her fascinating career taking bit parts in several films as Vampira including “Sex Kittens Go To College”, “The Beat Generation”, and Ed Wood’s iconic “Plan 9 From Outer Space”. She also shared a fascinating and close friendship with rebel icon James Dean.
Vampira is a rare character for its time. With her dark wit, and forbidden sex appeal, Maila became a one-woman crusade against the stereotypical portraits of women on television, and Vampira would more than help break the mould.
A combination of the Dark Queen from Snow White, Theda Bara, and Gloria Swanson’s menacing Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard, it was unlike anything the world had ever seen!!
However by the 1960s Maila Nurmi would no longer find herself the glamorous dark diva, and was instead filling her time installing laminate flooring and making custom hand-made jewelry for extra cash. I guess that’s just how it goes in Hollywood: the city of broken dreams.
Come 1981, Nurmi was called to KHJ-TV for a revival of the character she had created nearly 30 years prior. The station would go on to cast young actress Cassandra Petersen, who would create the spirited Elvira we all know and love. Nurmi would bring the case to court claiming Elvira infringed on Vampira’s “distinctive dark dress, horror movie props, and…special personality.”
Sadly Maila Nurmi passed in 2008 leaving behind her legacy for art, style, and above-all originality. In this fantastic interview with Time Magazine she explains the creation of her iconic alter-ego and how creating this facade would help battle her personal demons.
One thing’s for sure today: there will only be one Maila Nurmi. Perhaps it was just the times, but no horror-host does it with the same sense of danger, charisma, and worldly sophistication. This of course was all an act according to Maila, but you don’t get fired for upstaging Mae West for just standing there!
We’ve inserted a gallery of our most wickedly wonderful images we could find of our diety of the dark to enjoy! So please do!
This girl had something special: it was up to her to find it! So let this be a lesson to us all! Dreams come and go, but only you remain in the end. So always remember to stay true. You’ll only have yourself to thank in the end.
We’re feeling like a Vampira cocktail ourselves about now. So until next time!
“I prayed… I prayed that you would come. And you did. “
-Audrey Horne (to Cooper)
Our favourite resident of Twin Peaks definitely had to be the outrageous, salacious, and stylish Audrey Horne. Here is the most unapologetically cool student at Twin Peaks High School.
Be it, she was a bit of a brat, but it is from the very moment she steps out of her driver’s car in her innocent black/white saddle shoes and exchanges them for a pair of bright red pumps- you’re pretty much sold.
David Lynch definitely has a knack for creating juicy female characters like Audrey Horne, but the auteur is even better at casting them. For all the beatnik jazz, plot twists, and sassy dialogue, it truly comes down to the exquisite acting job by Sherilyn Fenn in bringing this remarkably entertaining character to life (Sherilyn was nominated for an Emmy Award for her portrayal of the reforming bad girl).
“It’s not sometimes realistic to think that something magical can happen, but I think I look for the magic.”
“At the very least, my tastes are out of the ordinary.”
If it weren’t for her, there would be one less ‘Style Icon’ for us to drool and dribble over, and that’s not cool. Sherilyn Fenn turns 47 today, so make sure to wish her a good one, or at least do the “Audrey Dance”…
” I love this music. Isn’t it too dreamy? “
Happy Birthday Sherilyn! All the best for 2012!
-The Eye x
[“Audrey Dance” composed by Angelo Bandelementi and David Lynch. Thank you iraiem for uploading indeed, such a ‘mythical scene’. An absolute inspiration. ]
Thanks again, GrimlyFormingPW !
Serving it up cold, ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy.
Please enjoy the morbid moods of Karen Elson, no to mention the pictures. Nothing like a good old fashioned ghost story to take you away from the day. Admit it! You like getting scared . . .
Need to talk about it? Let us know!
Anyone who thinks vintage shopping is all drab and dust has got it all wrong. Case in point, this handsome 1940s/1950s era ‘Bud Berma’ Sweater with Tiger!
‘Bud Berma’ is one of the original purveyors of menswear in America, and while I’ve mostly seen your typical flannel checks from the brand, this is definitely one rare and unique catch! We’re always on the hunt, like vintage fashion predators, looking for the coolest finds.
Be the one on the prowl! Love the emerald green tiger everywhere, and definitely love those Varsity stripes. This is Academic style with an edge. You could take your look anywhere with this one: clean cut, grunge, rockabilly, punk, or preppy- it’s all up to you how you’re feeling. Definitely something fun to accessorize too. You’ll be turning heads, for sure!
This super cool find is currently up for grabs, but don’t take too long, there seems to be a lot of interest! Click here for it to be yours.
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, last year’s Academy Award winners for David Fincher’s Facebook film “The Social Network” team up with the Oscar nominated director, and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s front woman Karen-O for a steamy and bizarre ride. Banding together for this year’s “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, the trinity rage through an atmospheric and moody cover of Led Zepellin’s “Immigrant Song”.
Definitely translates some of the bad-ass-ness we’re expecting from the American remake of the Swedish Blockbuster trilogy based on the International Best Selling books. Haven’t read or seen either, but can definitely dig the song! This is rock ‘n’ roll.
Check out The Sun Website for a comprehensive look into the creative process recording the track.
As November comes winding to an end, with the Christmas season just around the corner, we have mustaches on our mind! Maybe it’s the impending visit from the silver chinned Mr. Claus. Or the rise of facial hair over the last 25 days in honour of ‘Movember‘. Regardless of why or how, we want more! Here are a few cool ‘staches that we thought were worth a glance.
Does the man never cease to amaze? David Lynch, once again, with an amazingly unique approach, with his signature creative moxy and editorialy dark underground blues. Crazy Clown Time is a new album from the sinister auteur, mostly known for his feature films including Mulholland Drive (2001), and most iconically Blue Velvet (1986), starring the exquisite Isabella Rossellini, not to mention a fresh and young Laura Dern and Kyle Maclachlan epitomizing, a well be it dark, American Dream.
While not his first stint in the music industry, having made several musical collaborations with long time partner Angelo Badalamenti , his latest album is only his latest artistic pursuit.
Great reviews, and this amazing track feature personal contemporary icon, Karen O – its a strange match made, but there is a darkness to Karen O’s voice that compliments the cool creepiness of the musical landscape Lynch has created for this tale of love and woe with a strange and bizarre Pinky.
You might get the chills a little bit, but it’s definitely worth the trip.
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