VAMPIRA (Maila Syrjaniemi Nurmi) 1921-2008 R. I. P.
We’ve learned via New England horror hostess with the mostest; Penny Dreadful, that one of the nation’s first horror movie hosts – the legendary Vampira – has died.
A pinup model who found fame (and infamy) on the Los Angeles airwaves hosting horror movies back in the 1950s, Maila Nurmi’s endearing, iconic, goth-sexy alter ego, VAMPIRA, has become a cultural figurehead unto herself. Embraced by horror enthusiasts, punks, goths, etc. her widespread, half-century appeal is something we are unlikely to see coming from the internet age.
While none of VAMPIRA’s television programs survive intact, her in-character performance in Edward D. Wood, Jr.’s PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE (1959) is all we have left to savor. As her peers and fans continue to grow old and die, all we have left is that film and two wonderful documentaries entitled VAMPIRA: THE MOVIE (2006), and AMERICAN SCARY (2006).
We here at the DVOPD salute the life and legacy of Maila Nurmi.