Thursday, June 11, 2015
Remembering Christopher Lee
I've always had a lot of love for Christopher Lee. My earliest memory of him I think was his bit part in "Gremlins 2" as the asshole mad scientist that tries to experiment on Gizmo and instead meets a nasty end. After that, I remember seeing him the hilariously awful "Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf" on HBO or Cinemax...granted the only reason I really remember that movie is because I was a kid and I saw glorious boobs on display, but that's another story.
Anyway, it was when I got a bit older that I discovered the wonderful world of Hammer horror. Though he was most famous for playing Dracula in a slew of films (beginning with the legendary "Horror of Dracula"), Lee had also played the Frankenstein monster in "Curse of Frankenstein" and even as an undead mummy in "The Mummy"; both of which also from Hammer. Lee didn't stop there though, he did many, many horror productions in the years to come, which would lead to solidifying a legacy that very damn few could ever come close to touching. I mean just think about all the films, other than horror, that Lee was and would be involved in in the years that would follow: "Horror Express", "To the Devil a Daughter", "The Wicker Man", "The Last Unicorn", "The Man with the Golden Gun", "Brides of Fu Manchu", "Sherlock Holmes", "The Gorgon", "1941", "Corpse Bride", plus the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" franchises, and the latter two "Star Wars" prequels.
The man could do anything.
In his real life, Lee was a soldier, a Nazi hunter (!), and an all around bad motherfucker. He crafted a heavy metal album in his 80s (!!), and is considered one of the classiest actors to ever grace the horror industry, alongside Vincent Price, and his frequent co-star and best pal Peter Cushing. Now all three have left this mortal coil. There's no more living horror screen legends that could be on par with these men.
I could gush about Lee all damn day if I wanted to, but I won't. Hearing about his death early this morning admittedly fucked me up. Maybe it's because I have such long memories of him from my youth that it feels like another part of the past has bitten the dust, or maybe it's because a true icon of film history has passed away. I really can't say which for certain to be totally honest.
No matter what, Christopher Lee led a great and long life that many of us would and should be envious of. The horror world, the film industry, and the planet as a whole is a worse place without Lee's presence. That being said, his legend and legacy lives on in film, and the reach and impact he's had throughout the decades will likely never come close to being touched by anyone else.
Rest in peace good sir, you deserve it.