Your jack-o-lantern is carved, your jiffy pop is popping, and hopefully, you’ve picked your costume. There’s only one thing left to figure out: what are you going to watch?

Looking for Halloween film recommendations? We called in an expert: the Mistress of the Dark herself, actress Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson.

Diabolique spoke with Peterson recently about a variety of topics, including: the origins of her Elvira persona; the role of horror hosts/hostesses in the world of late night TV; allegations of horror films perpetuating misogyny, and of course, the most pressing issue of all — her five favorite horror films of all time.

1.) House on Haunted Hill (1959) — “That was my first introduction to horror films, and I will never forget that movie. I had nightmares about it every single night for like a year.”

2.) Plan 9 From Outer Space (1956) — “It doesn’t get any better or worse than that, you know? It’s just amazing. I think it’s the epitome of a bad movie. It’s so, so bad, that it makes it fantastic.”

3.) Evil Dead II (1987) — “Definitely one of my all time favorites.”

4.) Shaun of the Dead (2004) — “God, I wish I could say something more recent. I think [Shaun of the Dead is] the most recent one. It’s kind of sad. But I like movies with humour in them.”

5.) An American Werewolf in London (1981)
— “Again, I’m pulling some pretty old movies out of my butt there, but I like those because they had some real scares in them, but they tempered it with humour. Obviously, Elvira’s kind of scary and funny. So I like that combination.”

Bonus Round: “Of course, I forgot the two best movies of all time: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Elvira’s Haunted Hills. So it would have to be seven movies, I guess…”

Be sure to check out Brandon’s article on horror hosts in issue #13 of Diabolique, coming soon, and check back again to listen to the audio from his full interview with Cassandra Peterson.