My Cousin Vinnie vs. the Vampires, by Michael H. Price

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10 Responses

  1. Alan Coil says:

    I really can't say I ever saw The Last Man On Earth, but I enjoyed the remake The Omega Man. I have absolutely no desire to see the newest remake. In fact, I find the thought repulsive. There are a handful of actors today who are making millions for themselves by robbing the graves of far better actors, writers, directors, etc.

    • Michael H. Price says:

      Well said, Alan. Thanks. And yes, the modern-day prefabricated-hit movies tend to be soulless concoctions — where the low-rent exploitationers of an earlier day had about them a spirit of enthusiasm that stemmed more from the storytelling impulse than from any ticket-selling or merchandising imperative. Producer Robert L. Lippert, of "The Last Man on Earth" and many other titles, was primarily an independent broker and pitchman, though equipped with big-studio connections, but he peopled his productions with storytellers whose energies often overcame the limitations of a pinch-penny budget. (Lippert also pioneered the concept of the "multiplex" theatre as a cost-cutting measure.)The extravagances of the modern-day studio productions overwhelm the communion of storytelling at every turn — overall, the same level of dramatic immersion that one finds in a 30-second teevee commercial.

  2. Linda Gold says:

    Michael, I love your cousin Vincent (I can not bring myself to call him Vinnie). He has always been one of my absolute favorite actors and one of the few I can honestly say I would watch in anything. I can remember when many years ago he did TV commercials for a series of bargain books and I would run from any room in my apartment as soon as I heard one just to listen to that wonderful voice. "Last Man On Earth" is one of my favorite films. I much prefer it to "Omega Man" and am trepidatious about the new remake. For those who only know his later horror film work I recommend looking up some of his earlier work like "Dragonwyck".

  3. John Tebbel says:

    All props to your Cousin Vinnie. I've got the Treasury of Great Recipes he did with his wife Mary and it's grrreat! You can get a used copy on Amazon. You can hear his voice in the little paragraphs that introduce the recipes, mostly wangled from restaurants around the world. Made the dutch pea soup last week, yummy. Cute period touches abound, like a recipe for baba ganoush he calls "taheeni", and one for pit roasted pig. And before all this he was a a leading man.

    • Michael H. Price says:

      Got that same book of recipes in perpetual use around the Price household's kitchen, John. As valuable for its insights into the personality as for its culinary delights.

    • Marilee J. Layman says:

      I had pit-roasted pig a lot when I was a kid. We were stationed on Navy bases in the Pacific and many of our Filipino neighbors (usually stewards in the Navy) roasted pigs for celebrations.

  4. Michael H. Price says:

    Thanks, Linda. "Dragonwyck" is among the all-time favorites, here — and one of Vincent's, too. George Turner and I devoted a chapter to "Dragonwyck" in our movie-villain book, "Human Monsters" — with the generous participation of Vincent his own self, who considered "Dragonwyck" the basis of his much later image as an interpreter of Poe. (Anya Seton's novel drew inspiration from a verse by Poe.)And yes — what a voice! Big sense of humor, too. That humor shows through even in Vincent's grimmer portrayals — and especially in the boisterous comedies, like "Champagne for Caesar," for example, and the wine-tasting sequence with Peter Lorre in "Tales of Terror." To say nothing of the guest-appearances with Red Skelton.

  5. Alan Coil says:

    And to mention another place where his famous voice is heard, some younger readers would recognize his voice from Michael Jackson's Thriller.

    • Michael H. Price says:

      Good call, Alan. Thanks for the reminder. That "Thriller" rap of V.P.'s became, in turn, a standard element in his stage-show appearances during the 1980s — he'd close the "Villains" lecture, then do an encore with a recitation of Poe (often, "The Raven" or "Alone") — then treat the audience to a second encore with the "Thriller" piece. Vincent's combination of scholarship, showmanship and humor was astonishing.

  6. carmen price says:

    i was just looking up to see if vincent was related to sterling and this popped up!!!! i guess we are all related! ha!