Every fan of classic horror, as well as every fan of cinema in general, has reason to mourn this week as we learned of the death of Sir Christopher Lee.
Anyone who knows me or who has visited this blog knows full well my enduring love of the horror genre and Christopher Lee was particularly important to me as the last of the titans. Lee was the last who could be mentioned in the same breath of the indelible icons of my “monster kid” youth: Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Vincent Price and Peter Cushing. This Mt. Rushmore of Classic Horror is only completed by Christopher Lee; and he has sadly now joined these and more horror greats who have awaited him in whatever filmic Valhalla they all reside. But instead of Norse warriors and Valkyries, this classic horror film afterlife will hopefully find Christopher Lee awakening to the outstretched hands and back-slaps of Conrad Veidt and Michael Ripper, Peter Lorre and Michael Gough, Evelyn Ankers, John Carradine, George Zucco and Lionel Atwill, Ralph Bates, Edward Woodward, Hazel Court and Basil Rathbone, Michael Reeves, Val Lewton and Joyce Jameson, Colin Clive, Dwight Frye and Elsa Lanchester among many many more. And before he takes his place seated with the immortals – the Chaneys, Lugosi, Karloff, Price – Christopher Lee will imitate the voice of Yosemite Sam or Sylvester the Cat as he gets a great big bear hug from his dear friend Peter Cushing who tells him, “Why, my dear boy, we’re all here to greet you!”