On the birth of Vampira:
“I eventually became Vampira because Vampira is a kind of entity, what we call a woman, even though she’s androgynous, who survives in this carnal world. I, Maila Nurmi, am not. Early in my growing years, being poor, skinny, scrawny, wearing secondhand clothes, having very low self-esteem, I needed to have something to cling to so I created an imaginary image. One who was imperious, invulnerable, extremely beautiful - I was extremely ugly, you know. And she was curvaceous, where I was anorexic. She was everything wonderful.
She started to form in my fantasies when I was a shy, friendless little child. And then I saw outward images of her as I grew older. The Dragon Lady in Terry & the Pirates…the Evil Queen in Snow White…Theda Bara from the silents. [Vampira] was that - it’s an anima that’s existed since the beginning of time. She’s just another form of it.
But nothing had really formulated for me until I saw Sunset Boulevard and that Norma Desmond character rammed itself deep into my subconscious. I believe artists borrow from all sources and they should. But I think I borrowed way too much from Norma Desmond because a year & a half after I saw her on the screen, Vampira erupted. ‘They had faces in my day’ - and Vampira was a face.”
-via Chiller Theatre interview, 1994