Monday, 10 December 2012


One of the nightmare figures that haunts some of the key films of the 70’s, is the Vampire Patriarch, the corrupt, Masonic elder who sits at the centre of webs of hidden power, most notably incarnated twice by John Huston, in Polanski’s justifiably revered Chinatown and William Richert’s Winter Kills, (which stars Bridges again as the wayward son), in which he is literally prolonging his life with blood transfusions from the young. Here we might think of Arnold as the Fearless Vampire Killer, a force for (as the Historian Norman Stone is wont to phrase it with reference to Thatcherism) “tissue regeneration”, the sudden emergence of a young, vital, disciplined and powerfully self-made figure, an immigrant, a man without place or history.

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