What are the chances that two of THE best actors that have ever lived were born on the same day? The SAME DAY. I spend a good deal of time in the Twilight Zone, but honestly, this sounds like a set up for a really scary movie — as I’m marvelling at this amazing coincidence, I’m also waiting for what must be a terrifying punch line.
“1911: St. Louis, Missouri. The ghosts are moving tonight, restless… hungry. For a remarkable baby was just birthed into the world. This baby will grow into a man. A man desperate for power and control. He will hunt for witches, showing them no mercy. He will seek vengeance many times in his life. And he will terrorize and torment people for his own amusement — making a game of their fear.”
*screen caption* Meanwhile, across the pond, half a world away, eleven years later . . .
“The year is 1922. As the full moon rises over the quiet forests of Belgravia, a wolf howls. For on this day, the greatest evil the world will ever face has been born. This man will become an unstoppable monster with a thirst for blood. This man will spend centuries mummified in a tomb. And this man will be assembled, piece by grotesque piece, by a madman on a quest to play God.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d watch this movie. Especially if these two men were portraying themselves.
Today’s blog post is dedicated to the other two parts of my Trilogy of Terror: Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. These two masters of horror were both born on May 27th, which as I just explained, seems like an incredible coincidence. And if that wasn’t creepy enough, those who read yesterday’s post know that my number one guy in the Trilogy, Peter Cushing, celebrated his birthday just a day earlier, on the 26th.
Think about this. The three greatest actors (not only in the horror genre, but in the history of film) were all born in this tiny window of time. I’m sorry, but that’s amazing. And I think it was God’s way of making a fun statement, to be honest!
No one can argue that these three men, all born in a two-day period, were not blessed with talent in abundance. I covered all three of them in last year’s Halloween post, “The Art of Fear“, if you’d like a more in-depth overview of Peter, Christopher and Vincent.
But today, I just want to share a few photos of Lee and Price’s most memorable roles to celebrate their birthdays.
Sadly, Vincent is no longer with us, but Dracula is alive and well and living in London. (A little “Satanic Rites of Dracula” humour for you there.)
Whether playing villain or hero, both Lee and Price poured everything they had into each and every character they portrayed. And for we the viewers, their dedication paid off in spades — incredibly sharp, pointed spades that could be used to stab someone’s eye out if he found himself in the wrong movie at the wrong time.
~ Christopher Lee as Kharis in Hammer Films’ “The Mummy” (1959)
~ Vincent Price as “Dr. Death” in Amicus Productions’ “Madhouse” (1974)
~ Dracula’s demise in Hammer’s first Dracula film starring Christopher Lee, “Horror of Dracula” (1958)
~ Vincent Price as Dr. Browning in “Scream and Scream Again” (1970)
~ Christopher Lee as the Monster in “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957)
~ Vincent Price (Dr. Robert Morgan) and Franca Bettoia (Ruth Collins) in “The Last Man on Earth” (1964)
~ Christopher Lee in “El Conde Dracula” (1970)
~ Vincent Price in “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” (1971)
~ Christopher Lee as Franklyn Marsh in “Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors” (1965)
~ Vincent Price (Julian) and Christopher Lee (Dr. Newhartt) in “The Oblong Box” (1969)
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And in the case of incredible actors like these, this couldn’t be more true. Each of these photos make me want to pop some popcorn and park myself on the couch in the dark for the next six hours.
So on this most unusual but delightful of occurrences, a happy 92nd birthday to Christopher Lee. Wishing you continued health and happiness, my dear sir. And to our beloved Master of Menace, Vincent Price, who would be 103 today, thank you for every wonderful chill you’ve ever sent down my spine. I have an unquenchable thirst for both of you.
Now if you’ll all excuse me, I think I’ll go watch “House on Haunted Hill“.