Thursday, 18 February 2010

Lord of Misrule II

In his autobiography Christopher Lee described bursting into Peter Cushing's dressing room shouting "I have no lines!" Cushing replied "you are lucky, I've read the script". Later he mentions staying with Mr and Mrs Cushing in Whitstable where he had an "elaborate aquarium of tropical fish". Like my companion he also tells of Cushing's enormous ornithological knowledge.

I was most taken by another passage on pages 274-5

"dying as Dracula was usually worse than having a tooth out. Being struck by lightning was the least of my discomforts. The worse was the time they discovered that vampires cannot abide hawthorns. I thought the religious connotation in dubious taste, but a film studio is not the ideal setting to thrash out a theological issue. I had to crash through a tangle of hawthorn bushes with a crown of thorns on my head, with Peter Cushing on the further side waiting to impale me with a stake snatched from a fence. They lacked the foresight to provide a dummy tree and I had to tear a way through vegetation with spines two inches long, emerging for tge coup de grĂ¢ce shedding genuine Lee blood like a garden sprinkler.
Bullets, daggers, paper-knives, stakes, darts and lances were embedded in me. Poison, heart failure and old age attacked me from within. I became dust - red, green or sooty. I was drowned, asphyxiated and incinerated, and three times when I was burnt, the barn or studio went up too. I always came back for more. Through clouds of nuclear waste I intoned, 'the world shall hear of me again.'".

-- posted abroad

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