Wednesday, October 1, 2014
This horde is a pall on the seas
When they board, better fall to your knees
Their cutlasses curvy,
They suffer from scurvy,
Their corpses all crawling with fleas.
Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) leads the undead crew of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). Assist by David Cairns, cabin boy.
Welcome to the Countdown to Halloween, a month-long celebration of horror and horrible rhymes.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
These lowlifes just blow on the breeze
Yo ho! They disrobe where they please
Dropping anchor in port
It's with skanks they cavort
Their gonads two globes of disease.
Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) leads a cursed crew in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).
Monday, September 29, 2014
These scalawags kill, rape and pillage
Then bail out the bilge-water spillage
Now these villainous scum
Who swill the worst rum
Set sail for your ill-equipped village.
Image: Pirates attack in Anne of the Indies ( Jacques Tourneur; 1951).
Sunday, September 28, 2014
The pirate will pillage and plunder
Yelling "Fire!", their cannons will thunder
Opened wide from the blast
You'll be tied to the mast
And expire as your frigate goes under.
Image: a frame from Anne of the Indies ( Jacques Tourneur; 1951)
Saturday, September 27, 2014
If your swashes need buckling call Flynn
For panache and a puckish, wry grin
This Tasmanian devil
Will zanily revel
Then he'll - gosh! - tuck proverbially "in".
Errol Flynn as English privateer Geoffrey Thorpe, The Sea Hawk (Michael Curtiz;1940).
Friday, September 26, 2014
With cries of "En garde!" and "Have at you!"
This pirate ain't scared to combat you
This red buccaneer
Has the world by the ear
With his quiet compadre Cravat too.
Nick Cravat is the mute Ojo, and Burt Lancaster is Captain Vallo, The Crimson Pirate (Robert Siodmak; 1952)
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Human flies to a parapet cling
Way up high in the air they will swing
And the feats they attempt
From repeats are exempt:
They could die, or end wearing a sling.
Image: Nick Cravat and Burt Lancaster in The Crimson Pirate (Robert Siodmak; 1952). Cravat and Lancaster created an acrobatic act called Lang and Cravat in the early 1930s, and worked in various circuses and in vaudeville. Cravat co-starred with Lancaster in nine films.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
A nimble and quick acrobat
Was the thimble-sized, slick, Nick Cravat
Though his stature was short
Wee Cravat could cavort
Dance the limbo and bell the ship's cat.
Nick Cravat as Ojo, sidekick to Burt Lancaster, The Crimson Pirate (Robert Siodmak; 1952).
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
When lacking a playmate that's curvy
These jackals will stray to the pervy
Missing fruits in the larder
Listless brutes lose their ardor
On their backs, turning grey from the scurvy.
The crew gets scurvy in The Crimson Pirate (Robert Siodmak; 1952). Title by fruitful David Cairns.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Scaling masts hand o'er hand is our Burt
Leaping fast, he can land without hurt
For the rum he'll be swigging
As he jumps from the rigging
Keeps this master/commander alert.
Burt Lancaster used his considerable acrobatic skills as The Crimson Pirate (Robert Siodmak; 1952). Sadly, Lancaster's interference as a producer drove director Robert Siodmak back to Europe. We're taking a break from horror, monsters and Frankenstein.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Robert Newton's a jolly jack tar
With a parrot called Polly he'll spar
And this slimy ship's cook
Needs no eye-patch or hook
To let rip with a rollicking "ARRRH!"
Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The day's patron saint is the late English actor Robert Newton, best remembered for playing the wild-eyed Long John Silver and inventing the phrase "Arrrgh, matey!" in the Walt Disney version of Treasure Island. That portrayal became the standard for screen portrayals of pirates and he is often credited with inventing the stereotypical "pirate voice" by exaggerating the accent of his native West Country.
Image: Robert Newton as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (Byron Haskin, 1950), with Bobby Driscoll. Newton also played the colorful pirate in Return to Treasure Island (54), Long John Silver (54), and a television series, The Adventures of Long John Silver (1955).
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
With her hair in a tower of frizz
She's a scary and powerful Ms.
I would woo her to wed
But we two belong dead
As she glares, a KAPOW! makes us fizz.
The Monster (Boris Karloff) blows up the Bride (Elsa Lanchester) in Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1935).