Say what you like about Count Dracula. He might have had his faults, but a lack of good manners was not one of them.
And by Dracula, I mean of course the effortlessly aristocratic Christopher Lee. The one. The only film incarnation of the world’s most beloved vampire.
I know there were other Draculas, including that fella in the BBC series that the internet forgot, and of course there was Kinski who contributed the avatar here for quite a while until it turned out he was just another pervert.
In an interesting re-casting of the Muslim mantra that there is no God but God, I have to tell you there is no Dracula but Dracula, and that Dracula is of course Christopher Lee.
I’ll forgive him his ludicrous prancing around in a dress in the Wicker Man. I’ll forgive his outrageous over-acted Saruman. I’ll even forgive his geriatric snit when he found out that he wasn’t going to be in the final film of the trilogy, largely because I was on his side there and thought Peter Jackson was completely wrong to omit him. As if Peter Jackson gave a rat’s arse what I thought about anything.
None of it matters.
Christopher Lee, to people of my vintage, is Dracula, despite many other credible representations, many other Draculas, in some ways more terrifying, but none as satisfying as Christopher Lee with his magnificent baritone and his imposing physical presence.
If we could have a popular vote for the satanic vampiric presence we’d most want to be terrified by, I think we’d probably elect Christopher Lee.
Let us cast a gentle veil over his roles as Bond villain and as Tolkien wizard. Let us pass by his career as a heavy-metal performer. Long before he accepted these jobs, he had already done his finest work and established himself as the quintessential, the one, the only lord of darkness, a demon of impeccable manners and implacable evil.
Tonight, we all mourn the loss of Christopher Lee for giving us heathens a tiny frisson of the fear experienced by true adherents to The Faith.
Imagine how scary it would be if you actually believed in this religion stuff.