Second, this:

17Teleport City’s relationship with Sir Christopher Lee, about which he never knew a thing, goes back almost to the very founding of this site. Where would have been in those early days without Dracula or Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, which though they have since been rewritten and re-dated, represent some of the earliest reviews posted to this site. We have, on occasion, made light of the career and attitude (particularly toward Hammer and Dracula) of venerated horror film icon Sir Christopher Lee, but never with malice. I hope, at least, that came across. Lee was and forever will remain one of the giants of cinema, a man whose dedication to his chosen profession I much admire and whose life is one the likes of which I could only imagine in my wildest dreams. A commando; a key field agent in the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare; a man who stood atop a high tower in the Vatican as the Nazis and Fascists were chased from Rome; a man of great culture and passion and, despite the way he might have at times across, humor.

Lee’s biggest anxiety in life seemed to be that he would only be remembered as Dracula. And when it came time to write his obituary, just about every newspaper, magazine, and website ran with a “Dracula has died” style headline, though many also mentioned his role as a wizard and whatever he was in that Star Wars movie I can’t remember anything about. Ah well, it seems in the end he made peace with Dracula, if not with Hammer, and there are worse things to be remembered for than inhabiting an iconic role, however frustrating it might have been in life when applying for other jobs. We’re not here to talk about Dracula, though, because we’ve already written about all of his Hammer Dracula films and are not yet prepared to write about his role in Jess Franco’s Dracula.

One of the things I most admired about Sir Christopher was his willingness to accept any role and then to deliver nothing less than a competent performance. In other words, his willingness to be a working actor, and to handle even the least of his movies with the same dedication he brought to the best. This resulted in a vast and varied filmography. While not all the movies were of a quality befitting what Lee brought to them, in looking back it’s much more fun I think to have hundreds of really strange roles. And so it is some of his more varied roles we gather here to celebrate, for this is surely a celebration. When a man lives into his nineties, there is in my opinion little reason to mourn and many, many reasons to celebrate. If from time to time we poked him in the ribs regarding his cranky comments about Dracula or his inability to avoid mentioning he was related to Charlemagne, it was done out of the deepest fondness for a man whose accomplishments I could never hope to match and will always admire. He may be gone now, but we, all of us, still walk in his shadow.

Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at Teleport City.