5 Classic Christopher Lee Bloodbaths To Watch On Youtube

Art & Culture

This week, Christopher Lee died, and the world became that little bit less.

As far as I'm concerned, there's only proper way to pay homage to the man who gave face to villainy for seven decades – a serious splurge on his 50s – 70s horror output. There are a handful of Lee films – some well known, most less so- available on Youtube, and they are all eminently watchable. They may be camp, silly, and riddled with plot holes, but they're also majestically creepy, shot through with moments of genuine terror. Lee himself is often perfect, a brooding presence of arched eyebrows and deep set wickedness. So here are 5 films to remember a true great by. Christopher Lee, we salute you. 

1) City of the Dead

Atmospheric, and still with the power to shock, City of the Dead is a forgotten classic. It's tale of age old witchcraft resurfacing in the modern age has Lee appearing as a professor of the occult, and he inhabits the part with slick mastery. The film is also beautifully shot, and has ended up inspiring several metal acts over the years. really, if you're going to watch one old school horrow, make it this.

2) Horror of Dracula  

Lee's first outing as Dracula – and he's still the greatest vampire to ever grace the screen. Lee's Dracula barely talks across all 7 of his films, and it's testimony to the actors physical capabilities that he made such an impact with body language alone. Obviously Peter Cushing is ace in this as well, and it's worth wathcing just to see the first outing for a duo who became titans of British horror.

3) The Devil Rides Out

Time to watch Lee play a good guy in this golden age Hammer Satan worship cracker. Sometimes considered Lee's finest Hammer performance, The Devil Rides Out has an excellent score, effects that aren't totally woeful, and a tensely executed central struggle between good and evil. This is the kind of flick that made and justified Hammer's position as a power house of horror… next, on the other hand

4) Dr Terror's House of Horror

OK, so this is a hammy and at times ridiculous horror anthology, but dammit, I like it. There's some class actors – alongside Christopher Lee, who plays a bitchy art critic out for revenge, there's Peter Cushing tying it all together as Dr Terror, Donald Sutherland in a ho-hum vampire short, and Roy 'Record Breakers' Castle in a brisk tale of voodoo and jazz that's either seriously racially suspect, or a sly satire on Europeans stealing culture, or, more likely, a bit of both.  A bit of research proves I'm not alone – loads of people love this film, so maybe it's not as dodgy as I remember…

5) The Satanic Rites of Dracula

And we'll finish on Lee's final Dracula, the 7th in the series which saw him reunited with Peter Cushing. A lot of die hard Dracula fans hate this outing, because it brings the Count into the modern age. However, outside of that, Satanic Rites of Dracula has found an unusual cult following among David Icke fans, largely because it's plot revolves around Satanic ritual abuse at the top levels of British society. Go onto the David Icke forums (if you dare) and you'll find all sorts of nutters posting about how the script writer 'must have known' what was going on in England at the time – and with the current revelations about the abuse rife in 70s Britain getting darker by the day, who knows? Maybe they did… Regardless, this is an entertaining watch, a strange mix of horror and spy thriller that sees Dracula pretty much relegated to the last third. And when you see the politicians done up in cowls shuffling round a pentagram, it's hard not to wonder what goes on behind the scene's at those Tory party fund raisers…