As a child I spent a lot of time at the Dyker Heights movie theatre. It was one of those old theatres that you don't see nowadays... a balcony, sculptures, frescoes... I loved that place. A matinee double feature and a bucket of popcorn and a soda for a buck. Jesus I'm old.
Anyway, my strange little friends and I would go as often as possible but always when the double bill was horror. Hammer horror, more precisely. Nothing of the slasher psycho killers of today; this was gothic, dark, velvet-lined somewhat sexy horror. Vampires, mad scientists, husbands out to kill their wives, monsters of the night. Still love them.
The stars were always gentlemen with a sick side to them, even if they were heroes, and became the stars of my nightmares from about age 8: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. The only one still living (and still acting) is Sir Christopher Lee.
By coincidence all three were born within 36 hours; Mr. Cushing on this date in 1913, Mr. Price (1911) and Mr. Lee (1922) sharing tomorrow, May 27th.
Happy Birthday, gentlemen of horror. Thank you all for such vivid and "exquisite agony."
A fan's tribute to all three:
Remembered on QI with love and laughter: