That isn’t me in the morning with a hangover but rather a shot of Christopher Lee in his famous portrayal of Dracula. Christopher Lee who is also famous as the James Bond villain with the Golden Gun and that long-haired guy in Lord Of the Rings, passed away last weekend. The news was announced yesterday. Even though he was in his mid-90s, he was about to start a film with Uma Thurman.
Upon hearing the news of his passing, I had a recollection from my boyhood. A friend of mine and I would sit up into the wee-hours of the morning watching his Dracula movies. Lee is probably responsible for me being into vampire movies. We’d sneak into a room with a tv – in an era when there was no cable – because late at night on weekends there would always be horror shows.
There were three channels that often showed the Dracula movies. Two of them would run like 15 minutes apart (if that) and so you could watch the movie on one channel, when it hit commercial break, flip over to the next station and see the scene again which we thought was great when Dracula was biting a victim or getting a stake through the heart by Peter Cushing. Then a third channel would show the same movie again when the other two finished so essentially by dawn we’d seen the movie twice. The parents would fall asleep first, my friend next. It didn’t matter whose house we were at, I was normally the guy who flipped off the tv set.
For a young boy, staying up late like that was awesome and the thrill of a cheezy vampire movie only added to the fun. When I heard the news of Christopher Lee’s death, I paused to recall those warm summer nights, and the little 12″ black and white tv set we normally used, and the fascination I had with the movie I was watching. RIP Mr. Lee and thanks for your part in pushing a young boy to the limits of his imagination.