by Mike Howlett


It's hard to know when the first time I actually saw a Peter Cushing movie, but I know the first time I knew I was witnessing his greatness!

I'd always been a fan of monster movies, and on my 10th birthday, a friend brought me a very special gift... Famous Monsters #91! (OK, I'm an old codger... so what!) I pored over the pages of this magazine countless times, but one picture in it scared me just a little bit more than the others... page 43... a shot of Arthur Grimsdyke in Tales From The Crypt! The caption said he was played by Peter Cushing. So began my quest to see more!

It wasn't long before I found a Peter Cushing film! There used to be a Midnight Movie every night on some local (Central New York State) channel, and the next Friday was "Revenge of Frankenstein", starring Peter Cushing! I asked permission to stay up that late and, thanks to a lot of tea, I made it! (Though the frequent bathroom trips almost defeated the purpose of caffeine intake!) I sat there, just a pup of 10, at midnight watching this man make a monster... struck by his determination and his humanity... taking in every move and gesture... actually realizing that I was witnessing a genius! Well, at 10, maybe I didn't know THAT, but I sure enjoyed it! And I can still, to this day... almost 30 years later, watch "Revenge of Frankenstein", and be right back there at the end of the couch, in the dark... thrilling to the performance that started me off on this fascination and love of the greatest actor to ever step in front of a camera!

© 2000 Mike Howlett