Happy Birthday Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee’s birthday was just ONE DAY after Peter Cushing’s birthday. Did they have joint birthday parties? I bet they did.
In Hammer Horror Movies, Christopher Lee would play Dracula or The Mummy or The Embodiment of Absolute Timeless Evil, whereas Peter Cushing would play Van Helsing, or a Van Helsing type, the man who would gather a group of young people around a table and explain to them why they needed to be afraid. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were good friends.
The guy who played the vampire hunter grew old and died like a normal person.
Christopher Lee on the other hand…
Christopher Lee would have been 94 years old today.
ASSUMING HE’S ACTUALLY GONE.
When Christopher Lee bears down upon you, all you can do is back away. I can recommend the 1970 classic Scream and Scream Again. It’s a disjointed and confusing film that formalises paranoia in very imaginative ways. In one of the final scenes, Christopher Lee walks slowly towards Vincent Price who backs away and tumbles in to an acid bath Price is well aware is right behind him. Drowning in acid is a logical and reasonable response to the onset of Lee.
His own favorite horror movie performance was as Lord SummerIsle in The Wicker Man – Anthony Shaffer’s reimagining of The Bacchae of Euripides. I’d respectfully say that there is nothing on earth scarier than Christopher Lee in a dress. Lee, in a Dionysos role, entertains, debates with and incinerates Edward Woodward as Pentheus. (Woodward’s own best role by a country mile. By a spooky pagan country mile.)
Upstaging Roger Moore is not usually regarded as the supreme challenge of the actor’s craft, but there’s something about Lee’s exchanges with Moore in Man with the Golden Gun that still make me smile. Scaramanga attempts to create a sense of collegial chumminess with Bond – an affinity of assassins. Bond declares snootily that when he kills, it’s only on the express instructions of his government (as though that makes it all alright) – and looks decidedly silly saying it. Scaramanga just grins.
Lee was also one of the last surviving people to have done really creepy and secret things in World War Two that can’t be discussed even seventy years on. It is said that he was able to advise Peter Jackson regarding the kind of noise that people will make when they actually have a knife thrust into their backs.
World War Two commando, opera singer, friend of Johnny Depp, step-cousin of Ian Fleming, acquaintance of J.R.R. Tolkien, distant relative of Marse Robert, Heavy Metal Star, Second or Third Tallest Man in Hollywood, Christopher Lee would have been 94 today..
If we sing Happy Birthday to him. He might come back.