Thursday, June 11, 2015

Honoring Sir Christopher Lee

Let me start off my eulogy to Sir Christopher Lee by putting my love for him in perspective for you. My wife knew the news would be so important and jarring for me that she immediately woke me from my sleep as soon as she found out by gently putting her hand on my arm and telling me softly, “Honey, Christopher Lee died.” The shock stopped me in my tracks and sent me into a whirlwind of thoughts about the legendary talent.

I know what you’re thinking: “He was 93! How could you be surprised?!?!” Let me explain how I could be surprised. Lee was Dracula and the Prince of Darkness never dies! No matter what Van Helsing or any of his distant relative threw at him, he always found a way to live on.

Words can’t even describe what he meant to me as a lover of all sorts of genre films. Here is a man who spanned decades playing Frankenstein’s Monster, a James Bond villain, a Sith Lord, and the right-hand Wizard for Sauron. Let’s not forget his battle with Captain America in the 1970s and even the devil himself in the 1960s. There wasn’t any role the man couldn’t take on and convince the viewer he was either good or bad.

Let’s not overlook Lee’s fascination with music and the heavy metal genre in particular. For the past several years, he would release a new album on his birthday. They consisted of operatic power metal that showcased his love for the dark and doomy musical sound and blended it with his passion for history as he took on subjects like Charlemagne and others. At Christmastime, he was known to deliver metal Yuletide cheer that was either dead serious and reverent or comedic and profane.

As a Christian, I would like to think that Sir Christopher Lee is in a better place now, hanging out with his old buddy Peter Cushing and discussing their joy at never having to be in another B-rate horror flick to pay the bills ever again. Although he never came right out and said it in public that I’m aware of, there were many hints to make me believe Lee might have been a religious individual. The man made it a ritual to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy once a year. Everyone knows that Tolkien’s epic is deeply stemmed in Biblical allegory.

A video Lee made a few years back is the main clue that made me think he was religiously inclined. He was asked about his thoughts on Satanism and warned the audience that getting involved in such dark practices will cause an individual to “not only lose your mind, you will lose your soul.” He also stated in an article when asked about his role in “The Devil Rides Out” that he “thought… people should know about the dangers of Satanism, and diabolism does exist - there's no question about it.”

We’ve lost a cinematic treasure and talented artist in Sir Christopher Lee. One could argue he was one of the hardest working men in the film world who had every intention to keep being active until the very end. He had a planned role in an upcoming film named “The 11th” that wasn’t even scheduled to be released until 2016. It’s also evident from any interview Lee ever gave that he was a respectful gentleman that loved and lived life to its fullest.

May you rest in peace, good gentleman.

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