There are some things that I have an irrational, unapologetic, unwavering love of. We all have them. The sort of thing where you see someone on the street wearing something that even closely signifies one of those things that you love and either accost them to talk about this thing or quietly judge them because there’s no way their love is as big as yours.
You know the thing?
Now if I said tacos, or gnomes or Firefly we’d all high five and talk about how we were led to love to be thrown to the side by episode 13, but today’s love is Vincent Price.
Uncle Vinnie. The dark voice of my childhood.
How did I come across such an unmitigated devotion to this horror icon of years long gone by?
Picture it, sneaking out of a darken bedroom, heading into the living room, stopping to grab cereal, and flipping on the TV for my morning dose of the Hilarious House of Frightenstein. A 1971 show about the silly goings on in Dracula castle. It was campy, cheesy, and by today’s standards … just bad.
I loved it!!!
But my favorite was the narrator. He would look at the camera and talk in rhyme.
“Another lovely day begins with ghosts and ghouls with greenish skin. So close your eyes and you will find that you’ve arrived at Castle Frightenstein. Perhaps the Count will find a way to make his monster work today. For if he solves this monster mania he can return to Transylvania. So welcome where the sun won’t shine to the castle of Count Frightenstein ”
Although my friends found him creepy and wouldn’t watch the show with me, I found him comforting and calming. There is something about his voice. It feels like walking in some dark wood, with a protective bear… and cotton candy…and maybe a puppy. Spooky, reassuring and like he’s always telling a joke you’re just not fully in on.
I found out not long after that this man, this creature of the night, was the star of many TV shows, Movies, and cameo appearances in everything from Michael Jacksons Thriller to The Muppets. That day I saw him get bitten by Kermit the Frog gave me life!
This week I got to do the thing I’ve been waiting to do since I gave birth to my own wee monster. Introduce her to Uncle Vinnie. We sat down on a rainy summer day and watched House on Haunted Hill. She was entranced. We watched everything I had with Vincent in it. We’re still looking for more.
She’s a lot like me. She doesn’t find him scary in the least and when the bad dreams come and that thing crawls out from under her bed, she remembers that there was a man, bigger and spookier with a mischief in his smile to scare them away.