LILITH, ANNO DOMINI
Sometime ago in my misbegotten youth, as a child, I remember being left alone in my parents car one fateful night after a day out visiting the British Natural History museum. My parents had dashed off to acquire a meal of soggy fish and chips from the local chippie, before returning home.
While waiting for my parents return with the aforementioned meal, I looked out of the passenger window and noticed a billboard featuring a huge Lamb’s Navy poster of the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.
Even though I was but a kid, with no bristles to yet erupt forth upon my physiognomy, requiring copious amounts of Noxzema shaving cream, she stirred something deep within me.
I felt that my head was going to explode, it was like a mystical revelation. The experience was of similarity to what I had far earlier experienced when seeing a poster for Barbarella, but that’s another story.
The sensation was not necessarily sexual, more like that of recognition, as if she had triggered a memory I could not as yet remember in its entirety; the only way I can describe it as being like déjà-vu.
But then I was nightly experiencing the Old Hag Syndrome with its ensuing sleep paralysis, prior to attaining conscious ingress into the dream, which in retrospect, probably made me more sensitive to something quite other.
The woman I later to find out was Caroline Munro who I started to notice was being featured in an advert for Manikin Cigars on my parent’s flickering black and white TV set, which I made a point of seeing, to the point of becoming nigh obsessed; I’m surprised I didn’t end up becoming a chain smoker, let alone an alcoholic.
I was not the only one who had been hypnotised by Munro’s High Priestess looks, Hammer Films CEO, Sir James Carreras, also spotted Munro on a Lamb’s Navy Rum poster of a Tarot card. He asked his right-hand man, James Liggett, to find and screen test her.
She was quickly signed to a one-year contract. Her first film for Hammer had proven to be something of a turning point in Munro’s career, who as a Muse, stirred my unusual dreams.
It was during the making of the 1972 film, Dracula A.D., Munro decided from this film onward that she was a fully-fledged actress.
Munro acted in Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, in 1974, which is one of my childhood favourites.
The film was directed by Brian Clemens, in which Munro plays the part of a barefoot gypsy girl named, Carla.
In Paramount Pictures DVD commentary, Clemens explains, he had initially envisioned the role as being played by a fiery, Raquel Welch type, red-head; but Munro was far more archetypal of Witch looks for the part.
Munro has the distinction of being the only actress to have ever been signed to a long-term contract to Hammer Films. She later turned down the lead female roles in Hammer’s Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, and the unmade Vampirella film, since they required nudity.
It was not a case that Munro was a prude, she had a raw sensuality anyway, oozing eroticism upon a look, which did not require her to be nude. Although I could not help wondering what was hidden behind her Genie veil.
Whereupon when my stirred sexual impulse was introverted, the nightly Old Hag Syndrome was transmuted into another experience by prior mediating upon her two-dimensional picture.
Wherein of the dream, I encountered a Succubus looking just like a Caroline Munro of a three-dimensional interactive reality, to otherwise know as… Lilith.