Film Review: Horror Channel Honours Christopher Lee

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We all mourned the great Sir Christopher Lee last week as the horror icon and legendary movie villain passed away aged 93. In light of this, Horror Channel has cleared it's schedule to honour the star with a Christopher Lee marathon, inspired to highlight some of the key moments of his career.

With a career spanning nearly seventy years and whether you knew him as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings franchise,  Count Dooku (Star Wars II : Attack of the Clones, 2002) or Lord Summerisle (The Wickerman, 1973) - Christopher Lee has surely made his mark on film history portraying some of the most iconic characters of all time. But many modern-day film fans may not know that Lee shot to fame as a lead within the horror genre. 

Images supplied to me by The Horror Channel/CloutCom PR

Also starring Peter Cushing, Dracula (1958), established Lee as a huge star for his chilling portrayal of Count Dracula and paved the way for countless other Hammer Horror productions. For those of you unfamiliar with the Hammer Horror era, Hammer Films or Hammer Pictures are the creations of a British film production company based in London. Founded in 1934, Hammer Horror produced some of the most iconic, raunchy and (then) terrifying horror creations between 1950 and the 1970s.

Among horror film fans, Christopher Lee is pretty much 'it'. However, despite the success gained from the horror films, Lee resented his role as Dracula believing it to have caused him to be type-cast. Lee shifted his horror image, going on to play many powerful and varied roles both on the small and silver screen.

Christopher Lee as Frankenstein's monster in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
And so to honour Lee's success, Horror Channel are devoting an entire night to everyone's favourite villain. Stewart Bridle, Horror Channel’s manager, stated that July 2nd would be Christopher Lee night: 

“'We feel the movies chosen for the night represent some of his most iconic characters and performances during his time with Hammer Films and in the horror genre. Watching these you realise why he was so highly respected as a fantastic character actor who could both be a stoic hero and also a terrifying villain. He will be greatly missed but he lives on through his amazing legacy of movies”.

So, with popcorn at the ready - what's in the line up? 

9PM – THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968)

Nicholas investigates the strange actions of the son of a friend, Simon, who has a house complete with strange markings and a pentagram. He quickly deduces that Simon is involved in the workings of the occult and he must rescue him from a devil worshipping cult.  However, during the rescue they disrupt a ceremony on Salisbury Plain in which the Devil himself appears.

10.55PM  – DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966)

Directed by legendary horror director Terence Fisher, two couples traveling in eastern Europe decide to visit Karlsbad despite warnings from the locals. Abandoned outside the village by a terrified coachman, they soon find themselves at the local castle and are surprised at the hospitality extended by the sinister-looking Klove. The castles owner, Count Dracula, is pleased to welcome their visit.



 12.45PM – SCARS OF DRACULA (1970)

The opening scene reverts back to the ending of the film's prequel, Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) in which we see the remains of Dracula. Thinking they have finally defeated him, Paul and Alice are horrified when Count Dracula is once more resurrected.

2.35AM– TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER (1976)

Catherine is a nun with the Children of the Lord, a mysterious heretic order who is allowed to come home to visit her occult writer father, once a year on her birthday. But after Catherine arrives, Father Michael Rayner (Lee), makes all efforts to get Catherine back and uses black magic in his efforts. Her father and his friend soon learn that the order really harbours a group of practicing Satanists who have prepared Catherine to become an avatar of Astaroth upon her eighteenth birthday.

Will you be checking any of these out? You can tune in to The Horror Channel on July 2nd to check out Sir Christopher Lee in all his glory.

TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 | Freeview 70

What performance of Christopher Lee's stands out for you? What will you remember him as? Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far, 

Until next time film fans, 


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6 comments:

  1. I've seen a bunch of his Hammer movies including where he starred alongside Peter Cushing many times. They were in Horror of Dracula (1958) which is his first and best Dracula movie, imo. My favorite Christopher Lee film is the Wicker Man where he (as Lord Summerisle) and his village befuddle a hapless Edward Woodward. I am glad that he played an important part in the Star Wars and LOTR/Hobbit franchises. I am going to track down Jinnah (1998) and Curse of Frankenstein (1957) because I haven't seen those films.

    Sophie, I noticed that you mentioned you weren't feeling well on twitter and that Jack got you a pizza. I hope you're feeling better now. BTW, your niece is very cute :) xx

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    1. Thanks Gil, feeling a bit better now - just a cold that doesn't seem to want to go away! Thank you :) She's adorable xx

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  2. Its so sad that he's died! I loved him in LOTR and Star Wars! RIP Christopher Lee! xo

    Aimee ox

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    1. I know, it's so sad - he was a true film legend, especially within the Horror genre. Definitely had a very full and amazing career though! x

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  3. Such an amazing actor and an icon of the horror genre. It's so sad though he was awesome right up to the end! He even made a heavy metal album in his 80's. What a dude! Thanks for sharing this! Did Horror Channel contact you?

    Ashley Christie x https://imamovienerd.wordpress.com/ x

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    1. I know, what a legend! So glad Horror Channel are doing this though (despite Lee not necessarily liking his Horror past!). Yeah this was sort of a collaborative piece for Horror Channel after they contacted me. Thanks for your comment! x

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