Those who follow me on Twitter may notice that I often offer salutes to folks connected with Horror, Science-Fiction & Fantasy on the anniversary of their passing. In almost each instance, I open such posts with, “On this date, Prince Sirki visited…”, or something similar. If it seems familiar to you, it SHOULD. It’s a decades old tradition that I’ve chosen to honor. The origin of said tradition?
In Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, the late, great Forrest J. Ackerman would often write of the passing of old Masters (and Mistresses) of Horror and Science-Fiction, by saying that “Prince Sirki had visited them,” in the headline. Hey, if it was good enough for “Uncle Forry”, It’s good enough for me. But again, WHO is this mysterious Prince? For those of you who do not know, here is your answer.
Prince Sirki was the Earthly alias adopted by The Grim Reaper, as played by Frederick March in the classic film, Death Takes a Holiday. In the film, Death decides to take a three day break from his duties to find out why mortals fear him. He adopts the guise of Prince Sirki and he stays at the estate of Duke Lambert. During his stay, he meets and discovers the lovely Grazia (Evelyn Venable) has fallen in love with him, and he, with her. The Duke, whose son was to marry Grazia, begs him to renounce his love and let her live. Death must decide to seek his own happiness or to sacrifice it to let Grazia live. I’ll leave it to you to watch it for the outcome.
So there you are. This is where the reference came from. Another reason I mention this, is that soon I will be undertaking a project of renewal (of sorts). Included within that project will be something called ‘Sirki’s Summons’ and will detail the notable names of ‘Imagi-Movies’ (another term coined by the afore-mentioned ‘Uncle Forry’) on the anniversay of their passing. For now, I’ll be posting ‘Sirki’s Summons’ here on The Draconic Verses for those who deserve a better tribute than 140 characters can offer.