Friday, October 20, 2017

Edifice Wrecks

On the stair made of stone it's quite gloomy
Frigid air chills the bone -- it's too roomy
And except for the lab
So decrepit and drab
Sitting there all alone it feels tomb-y. 

Dwight Frye as hunchback Fritz is dwarfed by the massive sets of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931).

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dragging His Features

Once a man, now a musty old mummy
He's uncanny, but crusty and crumb-y
But one nip of this brew
And his grip's good as new
For the tana he's just a big rummy.

Lon Chaney Jr. stars as Kharis in The Mummy's Hand (Christy Cabanne; 1940), the first Mummy film after Karloff played the character in 1932. From this point on. the Universal Mummy shambled silently, with a distinct morning-after look. But his only refreshment was a potion of tana leaves.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Colin Clive's dashed to bits in a crash
He's alive! But his mitts are now hash
With his fists gone astray
His poor wrists cannot play
This deprived Horowitz ain't a smash.

David Cairns

Colin Clive is Stephen Orlac, a concert pianist who undergoes a double hand transplant in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ready, Set, Gogol!

Gogol's morbid, and missing a screw
Guignol torture he'll blissfully view
When the featured performer
Gives a screech he gets warmer
Has Ms Orlac a sis? Are there two?

Doctor Gogol (Peter Lorre) is obsessed with Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake) in Mad Love ( Karl Freund; 1935).

Monday, October 16, 2017

Poker Fazed

With a brand that could roast her they're poking
She can stand more than most, but she's soaking
As her sweat turns to steam
This stage vet starts to scream
"The Grand Guignol's posted 'non-smoking!'"

Madame Orlac (Frances Drake) performs in le Théâtre des Horreurs in Mad Love ( Karl Freund; 1935).Title by David Cairns, who's just getting warmed up. Our Countdown to Halloween continues..

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Disneyland of Lost Souls

This madman's a medical nut
A baddie who's ready to cut
This sicko's a pest
With chickens obsessed
The cad tries de-heading your mutt!

Pluto is threatened by The Mad Doctor (David Hand; 1933), a very scary and eerily atmospheric Mickey Mouse cartoon. The doc's experiment: transplanting Pluto's head onto the body of a chicken.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Piano Manic

Both his wrists in a crash have been hewn
Playing Liszt now, he'll bash out a tune
Due to mental disease 
Almost denting the keys
What a twisted and passionate loon!

Colin Clive plays a concert pianist who undergoes a double hand transplant in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Friday, October 13, 2017

Assistance is Futile

Signs of strain, the maniacal laugh
It's quite plain Hank should try the half-caf
Playing God is the pits
With a clod such as Fritz
Drop a brain? Why's this guy still on staff?

Brain-dropper Fritz (Dwight Frye) watches from the background as Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) is restrained by Dr. Waldman (Edward Van Sloan) and Victor Moritz (John Boles): Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931). It's hard to imagine Karloff posing for stills wrapped as the Monster.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

May the Beast-Man Win

This jackal cuts out all your "flaws"
He hacks at your snouts and your paws
At each scalpel foul
You screech, yelp, and howl
But strike back when he flouts his own laws.

Doctor Moreau (Charles Laughton) and Montgomery (Arthur Hohl) operate in the "House of Pain": Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton; 1932).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Beast Must Diet

Don't get caught by his belt, half-man flunky
You'll have bought a new welt, Mr. Monkey.
When that whip goes KER-ACK!
It will rip up your back
Doc Laughton's not svelte, but he's spunky.

David Cairns

Charles Laughton is whip-cracking Doctor Moreau, with Bela Lugosi as the "Sayer of the Law," one of the many beast-men on the Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton; 1932).

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Happy birthday, David Cairns!

Happy birthday to filmmaker, teacher, writer of too-much-stuff-to-mention, cat-wrangler, LimerWrecker, and genial host of the film blog Shadowplay, David Cairns!

Hanky-Pank Panther

From panther to woman transfigured!
She's anthropomorphic'lly jiggered
When this gal meets a friend
All her talons extend
Cat antics hormonally triggered.

David Cairns

Kathleen Burke as Lota, the Panther Woman, in Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton; 1932).

Monday, October 9, 2017

Cuts Up Doc?

Disdainful of nature's selection,
Through pain he creates a collection
An island he'll rule
Through science most cruel
His reign one of hateful dissection.

Doctor Moreau (Charles Laughton) looks down on his creations: Island of the Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton; 1932).