Horror Movie Hall of Fame II: Bela Lugosi’s Dead

My second admission to my hall of fame is an obvious one, and, yes – it is a bit of a cop out, but still: Bela Lugosi.

In my defence, this man starred in some of my favourite movies, and, along with my crush on Wednesday Addams, helped to ruin my childhood. I don’t award places in my hall of fame just because a person is famous, I award them also for their impact on me personally.

So, because Bela Lugosi is so iconic, with songs named after him and books written about him, this entry is purely celebrating the impact of his movies upon my childhood.

Bela Lugosi  first became a horror icon as Dracula, first on broadway and then on the silver screen. That movie had a huge impact on me as a child, because I didn’t know that movies could be scary. I’ve always been a reader, and I was very aware of the power of books to suck you in to a whole new world, and keep you there long after the last page had been turned. But I hadn’t seen a movie that I was unable to look away from until Dracula.

I found the acting to be nothing short of captivating, and Bela Lugosi’s Dracula gave me some sleepless nights. The suspense, and the pure, old-fashioned talent genuinely terrified me. I had met the first on-screen character that I never wanted to meet.

This is however, a sad moment for me. I rarely see horror movies that are this suspenseful anymore, I have never been a fan of jumpy, shock movies that make you leap out of your seat, because you leave the cinema without any lasting fear. I genuinely miss movies that give me chills for days after I watch them. I miss the gothic horror, and I despise the modern-day vampires of Twilight. Being a vampire isn’t supposed to be fun.

So this movie throws me back to a time when immortality was considered a curse, rather than a chance to get more done. This iconic movie, that is a bastion of horror movie culture, was made by Bela Lugosi’s performance. And for that, Mr. Lugosi is awarded a well-deserved place in my hall of fame.

Sigh. They don’t make them like they used to.

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