Vampira: Tracing the Life of a Forgotten Legend

September 12, 2014 10:41 PM

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Maila Nurmi is the most famous person you've never heard of. She made a monster, a sexy, daring, subversive monster called Vampira that, beginning with a short-lived local TV show in 1954, transformed American culture.

Vampira introduced bad horror and mystery films late on Saturday nights for KABC in 1954 Los Angeles. She fasted, sweated, shrank and cinched her waist down to frightening proportions, 17-inches that mocked the American ideal of healthy, child-bearing hips. Phallic fingernails threatened. Long black...

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