Saturday, November 11, 2006

R.I.P. Jack Palance

Jack Palance's death holds a special meaning to me. Palance is the only actor to have ever given me a nightmare.

Palance made his career as a bad guy. In a career that spanned 50 years (1954-2004), his most memorable roles were either bad guys (Shane), or good guys with a VERY dark side (City Slickers).

But Palance's role which will always be engraved in my mind was Dracula. Maybe it was because I was only 8 years old when I saw it, and had a nightmare that very night. Regardless, he built a home in my subconscious which meant fear to me.

Ironically, when I saw Palance in Batman many years later, I found him scarier as mob boss Carl Grissom than Jack Nicholson's Joker. Subjectively, I always felt it was miscasting to have Palance play a secondary bad guy to Nicholson. Sure, Nicholson is a better actor, and has done some wonderful bad guys over the years, even better than Palance. But Palance just SCARES me.

I recognize it is completely irrational for me to feel this way. But the 8 year old boy in me who ran screaming from a vampire doesn't think of it as irrational.

Rest in peace Mr. Palance. You have my respect...and my fear.


Myrhaf said...

He had the creepiest smile in movie history.

EdMcGon said...

You'll get no argument from me. ;)