Friday Favorites: Trilogy of Terror

As most of us know, the 26th & 27th of this month was the birth date of three of the biggest icons in the horror genre (though one is probably still not happy about that!). Of course, it would be Peter Cushing (born May 26, 1913), Vincent Price (born May 27th, 1911), and Christopher Lee (born May 27th, 1922). Whether it is because of the multiple titles from Hammer Studio, the work with AIP, or William Castle, these three actors have given us horror fans countless hours of chills, shivers, and entertainment. I couldn’t let these two days go by without posting something in honor of these iconic actors.

For myself, it would be damn near impossible for me to pinpoint one particular favorite for each of these guys, but just off the top of my head, here’s what I can think of. For Peter Cushing, I would have to go with Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969). His performance of Dr. Frankenstein in this one just proves how much of a sadistic deviant he was. For Vincent Price, it would be his incredible performance as the tormented soul of Nicholas Medina in Roger Corman’s The Pit and the Pendulum (1961). And lastly, for Mr. Lee, I was almost going to say Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man (1974), but I will go with Horror Express (1972), as the arrogant Prof. Sir Alexander Saxton.

I know this is going to cause a lot of brain knots by posing this question, so I won’t hold you to whatever you come up with, but let’s hear some of your favorites of these three amazing actors.

12 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Trilogy of Terror

  1. This is a tough one especially Cushing. but I would have to agree with you on Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, I love his Van Helsing but his take on the Doctor in Destroyed is great. For Price I would have to go with Masque of the Red Death. For Lee I would have to say the Wicker Man, his Dracula films are a favorite on mine and his performances in those are good for the most part but he stands out in as Lord Summerisle.

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  2. I truly enjoyed Peter Cushing as the first Dr. Who, he portrayed the character so well. Yet, that is not horror, but to be mentioned. As for Vincent Price, he would be my all time favorite as, The Abominable Mr. Phibes ,

    Are you ready for Dr. Phibes…….lol

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  3. So many fantastic roles to choose from, how do I pick just one from each???!!! Lol!

    Price: Last Man On Earth
    It remains the best screen adaptation of I Am Legend and also my favorite Price film!
    Lee: Saruman
    I know that he always wanted to play Gandalf, but he was perfect as Saruman!
    Cushing: Gustav Weil
    So cold, cruel, and absolutely fanatical!

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  4. Yes, three monumental actors of the Cinema Macabre! Peter Cushing has had so many wonderful film roles, but I would say my favorite was his performance as Doctor Robert Knox in The Flesh and the Fiends (1960), with The Curse of Frankenstein as a close second. Christopher Lee’s performance as Lord Summerisle in The Wicker man (1974) has to rate as my my top choice. In my opinion, the best performance of Vincent Price was his immortal role of Edward Lionheart in Theater of Blood (1973), with his performance of Matthew Hopkins in Witchfinder General (1968) as a very close second place.

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    • Flesh and the Fiends is another one that I wished more people knew about. Not only is Cushing great, but the whole film is so good, and damn chilling.

      Same with Theater of Blood. Many like to say that Price is just hamming it up, but that’s the whole point, and he does it so well and damn scary too! But his role in Witchfinder General still is one that proves how terrifying he could be.

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  5. I will nominate all three together in a not-so-great film: “Scream and Scream Again” (1970) I remember seeing this when it came out and thinking what a crazy mixed up script, it didn’t know if it was horror, scifi or just plan fun 😉

    Nick

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    • I have never been a fan of Scream and Scream again which I think goes back to the first time I watched it, thinking that with Cushing, Lee, and Price in it, it was going to be amazing, only to be disappointed when they really didn’t have any screen time and Cushing was only in one scene if I remember correctly. Need to go back and rewatch it and see if I like any more.

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  6. For Mr. Price, it would have to be Theater Of Blood. He loved Shakespeare and you can tell he’s having a blast. For Mr. Cushing, it’s Amicus’ Tales From The Crypt. Not his biggest role, but it’s the first movie I ever saw him in, and it’s the best segment of the movie.
    For Mr. Lee, The Devil Rides Out. I still get chills everytime I hear him say, “The Goat of Mendez! The Devil Himself!”

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    • Price had mentioned in interviews how much fun he had doing Theater, being able to play all these different roles in one film, as well as acting alongside some of England’s greatest actors.

      As good as Cushing is in Tales, it always makes me a bit sad for him because he really is channeling the grief from his own life.

      I think the Devil Rides Out is one of Lee’s greatest roles. A nice change for him to play someone good, and he did it really well. There was talk back in the 90s that they were going to remake it, with Lee returning to the role. As he said, the character in the original book is more Lee’s age at the time, than in the original film. That would have been amazing!

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