Tag Archives: Dracula

An Incomplete History of Horror Films Part II.

Part II of my An Incomplete History of Horror Films.

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The end of the 1930s saw horror films become more and more popular as well as help turn stars like Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff among others into household names. The 1940s saw a many sequels and spin offs to classic Universal Studios monsters with Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and The Mummy all returning in more films which helped build on their popularity.

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The Wolf Man (1941): Directed by George Waggner and starring Lon Chaney, Jr in the title role. Larry Talbot returns to his ancestral home in Wales after learning of the death of his brother. One night, Larry tries to save a friend from a wolf attack but ends up getting himself bit. A gypsy woman tells Larry he has been bitten by a werewolf and that he is now cursed.

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While not the first ever werewolf film, this is the film that put in place much of the werewolf lore we know of today as the film combined several werewolf legends into one film. Pentagrams, gypsies, silver bullets and even the full moon were all mingled together to create the modern myth of the werewolf on film that is still used today. The film is also famed for its use of groundbreaking make up and effects work at the time. The time lapse effect used to show Lon Chaney, Jr transform from human to werewolf was only displayed on screen for a few seconds, but in reality, it took almost 10 hours to film that effect with all the make up applications. This film really is an all time classic and if you want to see the birth of the modern werewolf legend, then this is the film to watch.

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Cat People (1942): This was based on the short story; The Bagheeta by Val Lewton. The film was directed by Jacques Tourneur for RKO Pictures. While Universal was riding high with the success of the monster films, other film studios like RKO wanted to try something a little different. Irena Dubrovna is a young fashion designer who believes she had been put under a curse and that she will turn into a dangerous cat-like creature if she consummates her marriage.

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Unlike Universal’s big monster movies, this film is more subtle and is more of a psychological thriller/horror. It is famed for is dark and moody atmosphere as well as two particular, well shot scenes involving a bus and a swimming pool. A very downbeat film with a bleak but fitting ending. RKO would carry on this formula through the 40s of a different, more subtle horror film and Cat People even got its own sequel; The Curse of the Cat People (1944).

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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943): Universal Studios team up two of their most famous monsters in what is the first ever ‘vs/meets’ ensemble horror film. Directed by Roy William Neill. Larry Talbot (The Wolf Man) is accidentally brought back from the dead and travels to Frankenstein’s castle in an attempt to end his curse. While exploring the castle’s catacombs, Larry finds Frankenstein’s monster.

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Lon Chaney, Jr. returns to play Larry Talbot/The Wolf Man and Bela Lugosi (famous for playing Dracula) is Frankenstein’s Monster. This is the film that kicked off the ensemble horror film that still occasionally gets used in modern day. Alas, Universal also ran the idea into the ground in the 40s with films like; House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945) and even trying a more comedic slant with; Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). This is a decent enough film and is well made, but to be honest, the whole monster thing was getting a bit tired at this point. As through the 40s, Universal churned out monster movie after monster movie and audiences wanted something different.

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Dead of Night (1945): Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Robert Hamer and Basil Dearden. This was quite a rarity at the time as it was a horror anthology film telling five separate stories all wrapped up in a connecting narrative. The stories include; a racing driver’s premonition about a fatal crash, a children’s Christmas party with a ghostly visitor, a haunted antique mirror, a tongue in cheek story of two obsessed golfers and a tale about an unbalanced ventriloquist. There is also the framing story with a twist ending.

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Not only was this a breath of fresh air in the midst of all the monster movies, it was also a British horror film. This stands out as horror films had been banned from production in Britain during the war. The idea of the horror anthology came to become very popular in the 1960s 70s and 80s (coming up later) and this film left quite a legacy as several of its stories were reworked for later films and TV shows. Director Martin Scorsese considers Dead of Night as one of the scariest horror films of all time. This is a fantastic film with the stand out story being the Ventriloquist’s Dummy starring Michael Redgrave.

The mid to latter part of the 1940s kind of got a bit bland when it comes to horror films. There were a handful of sequels/spin offs to Universal’s monster films and some fairly decent films like; Isle of the Dead (1945), House of Horrors (1946) and Scared to Death (1947). But the monster movie was slowly dying off and by the 1950s people were no longer scared by Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf Man, etc as they had witnessed the real horrors of World War II. With over 40 million people killed, the monsters shown on the big screen lacked the punch they once had. People lived in fear of something else… the atom bomb. Seeing/hearing about things like the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 changed the world forever and cinema with it. The bombings made film goers fear something more grounded than make-believe monsters, they feared science and the people behind it. The infamous Roswell UFO incident also occurred in 1947 and gave the public another thing to worry about… aliens. The 1950s horror films started to reflect this with the rise of the crazy scientist, nuclear energy, advanced technology and ‘visitors’. Sci-Fi horror was born. The 50s marked the decline of the top grade horror movie (though they were still being made) and classic movie monsters began to slowly die out as the the drive-in B-movie began to rise.

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House of Wax (1953): A remake of; Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) only with a much darker tone. Directed by André de Toth and starring the legend that was Vincent Price. Henry Jarrod is a highly talented wax figure sculptor with his own wax museum. Jarrod’s business partner sets fire to the museum intending to claim on the insurance and Jarrod is left to die in the fire. Jarrod survives, but with severe injuries that prevent him from sculpting… but that doesn’t stop him creating an all new wax museum.

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The film was originally released in 3D and was in fact the first ever colour 3D film released by an American studio. Vincent Price is amazing in this film as you feel sympathy for him, but also fear him at the same time. He’s a man that has been wronged and seeks vengeance… and he gets it. The film has a hell of an exciting ending that will leave you hot under the collar.

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The War of the Worlds (1953): With aliens and UFOs being reported in the newspapers, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood took advantage. Loosely based on the classic H. G. Wells novel and directed by Byron Haskin. You all know this story, Martians invade Earth and begin to decimate the planet to destroy humanity while humans (particularly scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester) try to find a weakness in the invaders.

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This film takes quite a few liberties over its source material with many huge changes to not only the setting, but also the characters and plot. The movie is fondly remembered and its influence can still be found in similar films made today. One of the all time classics of cinema that latched onto the fears the general public had at the time, even nuclear weapons make an appearance in the film. The alien invasion film was very popular in the 1950s and this was one of the stand out efforts.

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Godzilla (1954): The film that captured the fear and aftermath of the atomic bombings of 1945 like no other. Directed by Ishirō Honda, this film took the concepts of monster films to a new level by mirroring the devastation of real life events. Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka stated that, “The theme of the film, from the beginning, was the terror of the bomb. Mankind had created the bomb, and now nature was going to take revenge on mankind.” A huge, 165 foot tall ancient sea creature attacks Japan after being awoken via nuclear weapons testing.

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If King Kong was the pioneer of the big monster movie (and it was), then Godzilla is a very, very close second. Coming from the same country that saw the devastation of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 first hand, its hard not to see the intended parallels. Godzilla’s attacks on Japan clearly mirror the fear and destruction of the bombs. Godzilla is the physical manifestation of an atom bomb attack and the fact Godzilla is woken by nuclear weapon testing is more then just a coincidence… and he also has an atomic breath that destroys buildings.

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Them! (1954): Giant ‘nuclear’ creature films became popular in the 1950s and this was one of the first that kick started the trend. Directed by Gordon Douglas, this film took the fears the public had at the time about nuclear energy and mixed it with the big ‘creature feature’ films that were starting to become popular. Taking something as innocent as an ant and turning it into a feared gargantuan became a trend setter. In the New Mexico dessert, a nest of gigantic irradiated ants is discovered and a battle between the giant ants and the humans begins.

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Even today, this film is regarded as one of the best Sci-fi horror films of the 1950s. Its a well remembered classic and rightly so too. Often copied, but never bettered. Other similar films were released through the 50s like; Tarantula (1955), Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957), The Deadly Mantis (1957), Earth vs. The Spider (1958) and several others. Them! was even nominated for an Oscar for its special effects. I really have a soft spot for these giant creature feature films and this one is the cream of the crop.

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The Curse of Frankenstein (1957): By the late 50s, the classic Universal Studio’s monsters were losing popularity, but one film studio refined and reinvented the classics all with a certain British charm. That studio was Hammer Film Productions (I love Hammer films) and this film marked the turn around point. A modern retelling of the Merry Shelley novel all filmed in colour. Directed by Terence Fisher and staring two actors who would soon become horror icons; Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

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Hammer films created the gothic horror sub genre with this film and went on to make many other movies in the same vein. They saved the classic movie monsters from dying out as they took characters like Dracula, The Mummy, etc and retold the stories in their own unique style. Christopher Lee was only cast to play the monster due to his 6′ 5″ height and Universal Studios’ even fought hard to prevent Hammer from replicating their iconic Frankenstein monster image, so Hammer created their own look. For me, Hammer films were when horror films started to hit hard, they were like nothing seen before. There was blood and lots of it, genuine scares, amazing set design and all filmed in glorious colour. Hammer films made Universal’s monster movies look amateurish in comparison… and they had only just started…

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Dracula (1958): Hammer followed up on the success of; The Curse of Frankenstein with another retelling of a Universal Studio’s classic monster. Directed by Terence Fisher (again) and starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee (again).

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That image right there… I said in part I how Bela Lugosi’s performance of Dracula is THE definitive Vampire and I stand by that. But he always felt like an actor playing a part, playing it really damn well, but still just an actor. Christopher Lee as Dracula scared the hell out of me as a kid like nothing else. I actually believed he WAS Dracula and up until he sadly died in 2015, I still believed he was Dracula. Hammer films created one of the best, if not the best version of this story. I love both of Universal’s versions from 1931 but this is the Dracula film that got me hooked on the character. Peter Cushing’s Dr. Van Helsing and Christopher Lee’ Dracula are two characters that are burnt into my subconscious forever.

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The Tingler (1959): From producer/director; William Castle and starring Vincent Price, The Tingler was B-movie making at its finest. A simple enough story about a scientist who discovers a parasite that feeds on human fear. This parasite is able to make people’s spine tingle, hence the title.

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Producer/director; William Castle was famous for the gimmicks he would use for his films. For Macabre (1958), he offered every customer a certificate for a $1,000 life insurance policy in case they should die of fright during the film. With House on Haunted Hill (1959), he arranged to have a skeleton attached to wire float over the audience as they watched the film. He also used similar gimmicks for this film too. Castle had a scene in the movie where the Tingler seems to break free of the film and Vincent Price directly spoke to the the audience, told them the Tingler had escaped into the cinema and instructed them to “scream, scream for your lives!”. This scene was a cue for buzzers that were fitted to the seats to go off giving the sensation that the audience were being attacked by the Tingler. He would also hire actors to faint during his films and they would be taken away by fake nurses. William Castle made movie going fun and would often pull similar gimmicks in his films of the 60s too.

Well I think that will do for the 40s and 50s era of horror films. We saw the rise, fall and rise again (thanks to Hammer films) of the classic movie monster. Sci-Fi, the fear of nuclear energy and aliens became a staple of the 50s for a while. So what fears will the 60s bring us in part III?

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An Incomplete History of Horror Films Part I.

Its the month of October, so time for some Halloween celebrations.

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I love horror films, I grew up watching them. Some of my fondest movie memories are from the horror genre. I think what I enjoy most is the fact how diverse the horror genre can be with its many, many sub genres. Sci-Fi Horror, Slasher films, Gore-fests, Comedy/Horror, Psychological Horror and so on…
I honestly can’t think of a more varied and disparate genre in film.

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For this Halloween season, I’d like to take a look at some of the most important, influential and (in)famous films the horror genre has produced. Starting in the 1800’s going right through to modern day-ish. Now obviously, I’ll not be covering EVERY horror film ever made, nor will I be going into great depth of each movie as that would be a hell of a long article. This is going to be more of a quick look at horror films that I think hold great importance for one reason or another. Plus if I just gloss over the films, then I can avoid spoilers as much as possible. So here we go with my incomplete history of horror films.

I’ll start with the silent era of film and what many consider the very first horror film from the 1800s.

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Le Manoir du diable (1896): AKA; The House of the Devil, The Haunted Castle or The Devil’s Castle. Its hard to pinpoint exactly how or when the first ever horror film was made, but this film is often cited as the first. This was a short film at only three minutes (that was considered ambitious at the time), was directed by Georges Méliès. A simple enough film about a battle against the Devil.

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For its time, this film has some pretty impressive effects work. The inclusion of imagery such as bats, skeletons, ghosts and the Devil is largely why this film is thought of as being the first ever horror film as it put in place much of the symbolism that has become synonymous with horror films and Halloween today. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to see something like this in 1896. People were scared by a train coming towards the screen back then, so this must have been a revelation. If you have a spare three minutes, you can watch the film here.

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Frankenstein (1910): The first ever known film version of the Merry Shelley classic, Frankenstein. Directed by J. Searle Dawley from Edison Studios… yes THAT Edison. Everybody knows this story right? Dr. Frankenstein becomes obsessed with life & death and decides to create a human. But instead of creating a human, he creates a monster.

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Another silent film, but one with much more of a story and all told visually. This is an interesting take on the Frankenstein tale as it really delves into the psychological problems Dr. Frankenstein had. For the limitations of the time, this film really does a great job of getting its story across and in only thirteen minutes too. Check it out right here.

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The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari (1919): A German film directed by Robert Wiene and is held in high regard among horror fans for its surreal visuals and is considered the first ever cult film. Francis sits on a bench and tells a story about how evil spirits drove him away from his home. The film is then told in flashback as Francis tells his tale about his meeting with a mysterious man named Dr. Caligari.

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The film features some amazing set design and visuals, even for today and its quite clear that Tim Burton was a fan. Its a strange, yet beautiful film to look at and really is a feast for the eyes. Writer Siegfried Kracauer in his book; From Caligari to Hitler, suggested that the film was a premonition of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Often considered one of the main films that influenced American horror movies and one that popularised the genre. This film comes in at around an hour and ten minutes and can be seen here.

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Nosferatu (1922): If you have never heard of this film, then you are no horror fan. Quite easily the most famous horror film of the silent era and one packed with equally famous imagery. Directed by F. W. Murnau and one of the first Vampire films. Thomas Hutter is sent to a Transylvanian castle to meet with Count Orlok. Locals at a village are scared by the mention of Orlok’s name try to persuade Hutter from travelling to his castle. Unperturbed, Hutter continues on his journey and meets Orlok for the first time.

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This was originally meant to be an adaption of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but the filmmakers were not able to obtain the rights. So they changed a few details “Vampire” became “Nosferatu” and “Count Dracula” became “Count Orlok”, etc (though some prints still use the Dracula name). Bram Stoker’s heirs even successfully sued over this adaptation, and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed. For a while, it was believed the film was lost but thankfully a few prints survived, otherwise we wouldn’t have what is considered one of the most important horror films to ever be made. And yes, I have this film for you too here.

We end the silent era with a Vampire and start a new era with another Vampire as movies begin to make sound in the 30s. This was the time where the classic monster movies were born.

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Drácula (1931): In the early 1930s, Universal Studios started making monster movies that changed horror films forever. Their first one was the classic Dracula starring the all time great, Bela Lugosi. Lugosi’s performance of Dracula is THE definitive Vampire. You think Vampire/Dracula and that voice you have in your head is Lugosi’s, as is the look and everything that comes with it. But I don’t want to highlight that version. Interestingly enough, Universal actually made two versions of the film using the same script and even the same sets and they were also shot at the same time. But the actors and director were changed. There is the more famous American version and the other lesser known Spanish film I want to mention here. You all know the story of Dracula, so I won’t bore you with it here.

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I have already covered how Bela Lugosi’s Dracula has become immortalised/well remembered and rightly so too. For me, Lugosi’s Dracula is the better of the two here. But everything else about the Spanish version is far superior. Carlos Villarías as Dracula in this version may not be as famous or as influential as Lugosi, but he’s still pretty damn good. The camera work is also much more interesting in this version with sweeping movements and it all feels much more kinetic, while the American version is much more static and stiff. The supporting cast in the Spanish version are great to watch as well. Check this one out, its overlooked and not as famous as the Bela Lugosi version, but I personally think the Spanish film is the superior of the two.

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Frankenstein (1931): Universal carried on the success of their monster films with this take on the classic Mary Shelley story. Directed by James Whale and starring the legend that is Boris Karloff as the monster. Quite possibly the most famous version of this tale and while I’m going to be talking about the original here, I also have to mention its sequel; Bride of Frankenstein (1935) which for me is the better film of the two.

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Its interesting to note that originally it was actually Bela Lugosi who was cast to play the monster, but he pulled out after (supposedly) finding the make up difficult and uncomfortable to work with. Desperate for a replacement, Boris Karloff was found in the studio canteen and offered the part instead. It was also reported that the studio executives felt that Karloff was so unimportant to the film that he wasn’t even invited to the film’s premiere. Yet just as with Bela Lugosi’s Dracula before, it was Karloff’s monster that made this film what it is and cemented a true classic monster of film both figuratively and literally. Universal Studios made some great monster movies in the 1930s such as The Mummy, Werewolf of London, The Invisible Man as well as others. But I want to move on from the Universal pictures but still recommend checking out some of their others.

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King Kong (1933): This really is the grandfather of monster movies, I mean, its King fucking Kong. Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack (both uncredited), this film changed film making forever. You know this one, a group of people reach the mysterious Skull Island where they find the giant ape, King Kong. Kong takes a liking to one of the female members of the group. Long story short, Kong is captured and brought to New York where he is put on display, breaks free and famously runs amok wreaking havoc.

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I have to make a confession here… I don’t like King Kong as a film. I find it drawn out and boring with bland and annoying characters. I enjoy the plot, that ‘Beauty and the Beast’ style story is just fine. But I don’t think its put together very well (I much prefer the Peter Jackson remake). Yet even with my not liking this picture, I will always defend it for its sheer brilliance in terms of effects work. This film pioneered and created revolutionary effects work that are still being used today in one form or another. Yeah the effects look a little ropey today, but back then, people hadn’t seen anything quite like this before and it terrified audiences. I don’t like this film, but it has every right to be regarded as one of the most celebrated films ever made.

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Mark of the Vampire (1935): One of the long lost horror films is; London After Midnight (1927) directed by Tod Browning. It is believed that the last ever print of that film was destroyed in a fire at MGM Studios in 1967. London After Midnight is the holy grail of horror films and enthusiasts still believe that somebody somewhere must own a print (hey, Nosferatu was also lost for many decades…). Anyway Tod Browning remade his own film and this is the result. After Sir Karell Borotyn is found murdered in his home, it is believed he was killed by a vampire and Count Mora (Bela Lugosi) is the number one suspect.

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Yes, Bela Lugosi is back playing a very Dracula looking non Dracula vampire. As I said before, this film is thought of as a remake of the long lost London After Midnight and about as close as we are ever likely to get to seeing that film. This is an eerily atmospheric film and one with an interesting twist at the end that I won’t spoil here. The film originally ran at 80 minutes, but it had 20 minutes removed. In the film Count Mora is seen with a bullet wound in his head which is never explained in the cut down version. It has been reported that there was a scene where Count Mora had an incestuous relationship with his daughter Luna and he committed suicide through guilt and this is what turned him into a vampire… but this was all removed so the bullet wound makes no sense in the final cut. I really like this film though the ending caused quite a bit of backlash then, Lugosi hated it. The film is well worth checking out.

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The Man They Could Not Hang (1939): Directed by Nick Grinde and starring the the horror icon, Boris Karloff playing Dr. Henryk Savaard. Dr. Savaard has an obsession about bringing the dead back to life through his science and he’s sure he had made an important breakthrough in his research. A medical student offers himself to be killed and brought back to life, but the police arrest Dr. Savaard before he can complete the experiment, he is sentenced to hang for his crimes and he vows revenge on the judge and jury. After being hung to death, Dr. Savaard’s assistant retrieves his body and brings it back to live, proving the Doctor’s research was working. Savaard then extracts his revenge via a killing spree.

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This film is a low budget effort, but a great ‘last hurrah’ of the 1930s. It also foreshadows where the future of horror films lie in 1950s with the rise of Sci-Fi. There is a bit of Frankenstein here mixed with the revenge motif that slasher horror films of the 80s would adapt with the likes of Freddy Krueger, etc. A wonderful and engrossing horror film with Boris Karloff giving an amazing and scary performance.

Well, I’ll end part I here at the end of the 1930s. Part II will cover the last of the monster classics in the 40s and the rise of the sci-fi horror films of the 1950s.

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Sir Christopher Lee

I’ve wanted to do an “In Memorandum” feature on this site for a while. In fact I recently started to put together a list of people we’ve lost over the years to offer my own personal remembrance when I heard the news of the passing of one of cinema’s all time greats…

Sadly its the death of one of my favourite villainous actors and someone I grew up watching; Sir Christopher Lee that is to be my first “In Memorandum”.

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Born Christopher Frank Carandini Lee 27 May 1922 in Belgravia, Westminster, London. Before becoming a cinematic icon, Christopher Lee served in World War II and fought in Winter War, North African Campaign, Allied invasion of Italy, Battle of Monte Cassino as well as others.
After serving in World War II it was Christopher’s cousin, Nicolò Carandini who suggested he should become an actor. His film début was in Terence Young’s Corridor of Mirrors (1947).
Christopher Lee became a British film institution, especially with the Hammer Horror production company. Christopher Lee’s first Hammer Horror film was The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) where he played Frankenstein’s monster alongside Peter Cushing as Baron Victor Frankenstein. This would mark the first time this great coupling happened…but not the last.

Christopher certainly had a long and varied career. Over the last few years, Christopher Lee had a resurgence in his career. Working with the likes of Tim Burton, George Lucas and Peter Jackson. Christopher has even had a heavy metal album; Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross released in 2010…yes Christopher Lee was a heavy metal star. But this was not his first foray into music as Lee sang on The Wicker Man soundtrack as well as numerous other singing projects.

But where do you start to remember a man whose career started way back in 1947?
Well, this is how I’ll always remember him…

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Some people always favour the great Bela Lugosi when the character of Dracula is brought up and rightly so too.
But for me, the one true Dracula was Christopher Lee.
Fond memories of my childhood flood back of watching Hammer Horror films where Christopher Lee was often teamed up with another legend; Peter Cushing. I even remember listening to the Hammer version of Dracula on vinyl…yes we had horror records back then.

I bet that brings back some memories, eh Mom?

I bet that brings back some memories, eh Mom?

The image of Christopher Lee in full Dracula costume with wide eyes and blood soaked fangs is one that is burnt into my subconscious forever.
But of course Christopher Lee was famous for roles other than Dracula.

How about Francisco Scaramanga, AKA The man within the golden gun.

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One of the best Bond villains along with his sidekick; Nick-Nack.

Or maybe Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man.

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In the late 70’s, Christopher left England for America as he feared he was being typecast as horror villains.
His first American film was the disaster film Airport ’77. Lee would even show his funnier side by appearing on American TV institution, Saturday Night Live. He was even originally offered the Dr. Barry Rumack role in Airplane! which was ultimately played by another legend; Leslie Nielsen (I just want to tell you both good luck. We’re all counting on you.)

Lee certainly broke those horror roots and went on to be one of the most loved and recognised actors ever. Appearing in various films and genres, but never forgetting his Hammer Horror heritage, and every time I would see him in a new role, a smile would emerge on my face as it was great to see someone who had been acting as long as Christopher had and yet still getting roles.

Christopher’s career was still going strong in the 2000’s when he was cast as Saruman in the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy from Peter Jackson as well as Count Dooku in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith from George Lucas.
As well as working with Tim Burton in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows.

Lee’s favourite performance of his own was in the film Jinnah from 2002 where he played Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

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He was even up for the part of Magneto in the big screen adaptation of the X-Men.
Even the word “prolific” seems too small to describe his career.

But it was not just his acting or singing he became known for.
Lee was appointed a Commander of the Venerable Order of Saint John in 1997.
2001 as part of that year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, Lee became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire “for services to Drama”.
Lee was also made a Knight Bachelor in 2009 as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Eventually, Lee was knighted by Prince Charles.

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Christopher Lee’s final onscreen performance was The Boss, Mr. President in Angels in Notting Hill (2014). However, the film has (as of writing) not been released.

Christopher Lee died June 7, 2015 in Chelsea, London. He was 93.
Thanks for the years of entertainment Christopher. You will be missed, Prince of Darkness.

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Christopher Lee:When the Second World War finished I was 23 and already I had seen enough horror to last me a lifetime. I’d seen dreadful, dreadful things, without saying a word. Seeing horror depicted on film doesn’t affect me much.

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