Thursday, June 11, 2015
Sir Christopher Lee, 1922 to 2015, Rest in Peace.
There are some actors who literally perish from their typecasting, George "Superman" Reeves certainly did, others let is burden and cripple them despite their manifest talents Bela Lugosi being a good representative example in this category. And then there are actors like the late Christopher Lee who enthusiastically EMBRACE the typecasting and strive to use it to the very best advantage. Lee had a staggering filmography over the course of fifty years with a good share of junk ("Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace") to outright weirdness ("The Return of Captain Invincible")and even a dose of peplum ("Hercules in the Haunted World"). But if Christopher Lee stumbled into some bad movies he himself is rarely bad in them, the man had a singular talent he could not be corrupted or dragged down by mediocrity. Along the way Sir Chris also managed a true horror film trifecta playing Count Dracula, The Frankenstein Monster and The Mummy a record only bested by Lon Chaney Junior (who was All That AND The Wolf Man as well)... Always welcome in any film he did, never a bore, never miscast Christopher Lee literally caught the last train out of Horror Star-dom. He made it all work for him and managed to keep his marriage intact through-out. And what the hell, he made literally the single greatest exit in the history of sound film, at the very climax of "The Face of Fu Manchu" (1965), when the evil Doctor's plan is thwarted and his secret hideout is blow up Lee is seen superimposed over the conflagration resplendent in his Dragon Robes and intoning in that priceless baritone "The World...Shall Hear From Me....Ahhhhgainnnnnn!!!"