Thursday, 1 October 2015

Bloofer gent: Christopher Lee

 Every October I salute a Vintage Hottie of Horror – lady or gent doesn't matter, all that counts is that they are creeptacular retro-crumpet – and this year there can only be one candidate: Christopher Lee.


Most actors, like most poets, are generally at their best in their youth, when they are young and hungry. Christopher Lee was that rare thing, a star who never lost his edge. Maybe it's because he wasn't exactly lauded as a young actor; seen as too exotic for most mainstream roles, that deep, resonant voice, towering height and aquiline face only really became appreciated once he started acting in monster movies. Indeed, it could be said that he and 2014's Bloofer Gent, Peter Cushing, were the stars that made Hammer.

He made some extremely fine and critically acclaimed films, but it's the 'geeky' ones he made that will, I think, be the most loved and best-remembered. He acted in some classic series – Bond, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars – and any one of those would guarantee him an enduring memory, but above all there is Dracula. Had he never done anything else he would be remembered for being one of the great icons of vampire cinema, in my view second only in status to Bela Lugosi. It's easy to overlook the impact Hammer had on horror films in general. In Hollywood, by the 1950s horror films had become jokes, with movie monsters mainly serving as props for the likes of Abbott and Costello. Hammer brought full colour – full scarlet blood colour – and unbridled passion to the genre, making what eroticism had previously only been hinted at much, much more visible. As head monster, Lee was crucial to that blood/lust combination.
For delivering as much phwoar as fear, for staying classy even when performing the most ridiculous roles, and for never dwindling to the naff irrelevance of being declared a 'national treasure', suave and scary Bloofer Gent, we salute you!

Would you like to see previous Bloofer Ladies and Gents? 2014 Peter Cushing; 2013 Fenella Fielding; 2012 Elsa Lanchester; 2011 Yvonne de Carlo

5 comments :

  1. Super choice there, there's no horror without Christopher Lee. He was also a heavy metal fan too, which gives him extra kudos imo. He released his last album when he was 91!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTfFXrVJcNQ

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  2. Got to concur with your post. The man was a true icon. I love his films so much. Don't think that they will ever be able to replicate the Golden Age of Horror that was ushered in by Hammer. Who would they get to replace Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Vincent Price? Xx

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  3. Its clichéd I know but it's true, they don't make 'em like him anymore. An absolute legend!

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  4. Wonderful post! I couldn't agree more and am still smarting from his passing last June. :( Thank you for shining the spotlight on this stellar, multifaceted entertainer.

    ♥ Jessica

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  5. Hey Mim.

    OK, let me be honest: this comment has nothing to do with Mr. Lee (my respect to his work).. but I simply needed space to properly congratulate you on taking on the two lovely creatures.
    The kittens look absolutely lovely; and I know it must have been a hard decision to make, since it's always hard to get new "friends" after the one you've lived with for many years has caused you sorrow with it's passing.
    I believe these gorgeous creatures will give you lots of reasons to love them (and just a few to with to drown them) :)

    Again: I'm so happy for you.

    Marija

    P.S.
    I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me after I got hoe from Brussels: your letter. I'll be sending my response soon.

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