Friday, May 31, 2013

Child Unfriendly

They claim you're a perv, in denial,
And will chain you in stir till your trial
But the kids ain't your thing
Flipping lids pulls your string
Let us say you're a pert-brainophile.

The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). Lon Chaney Jr is The Monster, Janet Ann Gallow is Cloestine Hussman, and Ralph Bellamy is town prosecutor Erik Ernst. Title by childproof D Cairns.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Man-Made Lon-ster

On the monster, thick make-up they slap
He looks wan, like he's taking a nap
He seems dreary and tired
Appears nearly expired
I think Lon needs a break...That's a wrap!

As The Monster, Lon Chaney Jr is a big, lumbering, and less expressive step down from Boris Karloff: The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). Title by manhandled David Cairns.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How the Fright-y Have Fallen

The franchise is hitting the skids
The man-monster's smitten by kids
This creature, once tragic,
Is bleached of his magic
Eyes pancaked, he can't lift his lids.

The Monster (Lon Chaney Jr) has a thing for tiny Cloestine (Janet Ann Gallow) in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Share-Brained Scheme

It sounds odd, but I'll try to explain
His head's shoddy, he's nigh on insane
Unrefined, he's beguiled
By the mind of this child
The big clod wants to pry out her brain!

The Monster (Lon Chaney Jr) holds tiny Cloestine Hussman (Janet Ann Gallow), as Ygor ( Béla Lugosi) tries to hold the door: The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Monday, May 27, 2013

Horror Too Cultured

Our caps off to Cushing and Lee
Two chaps with true corpse de esprit
Playing monsters and madmen
And anonymous badmen
They'd tap into gore, then have tea.

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde themed I, Monster (1971). Stars at Britain's Hammer Films, the actors made more than 20 films together. Today is the birthday of Lee, born in 1922; yesterday was the centenary of the birth of Cushing, who died in 1994. Title by the untitled David Cairns.

Maul My Children

Seems The Monster loves Cloestine madly
But the toddler's not old enough, sadly
And how can he explain
His odd plan for her brain?
It's a plot-thread you know will end badly.

Ygor (Béla Lugosi) counsels The Monster (Lon Chaney Jr) on child abduction, as Cloestine Hussman (Janet Ann Gallow) listens intently. The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Riled in the Streets

This guy doesn't belong in a crowd
In the buzz of a throng he feels cowed
Soon his sense of disquiet
Gets immense, causes riot
Call the fuzz, 'cause he's wrong-brain endowed.

David Cairns

Another rugby scrum with The Monster (Lon Chaney Jr): The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Buried With Children

When young Cloe the giant's befriending
With the locals the guy's soon contending
With the child he starts bonding
Then goes wild with absconding
You just know someone dies at the ending.

Little Cloestine Hussman (Janet Ann Gallow) touches something inside The Monster (Lon Chaney Jr); Ludwig Frankenstein (Cedric Hardwicke) tries to stop him: The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Friday, May 24, 2013

Spare Parts and Crafts

Frye attacks as a ditz from the village
Then in flashback he's Fritz, with brain-spillage
Hardwicke's rather good fun
Playing father and son
Atwilll's quack's left one bit he can pillage.

David Cairns

Cedric Hardwicke (Ludwig Frankenstein), Lionel Atwill (Doctor Bohmer), and Lon Chaney Jr (The Monster) in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). Dwight Frye (not shown) plays a bit part in an angry mob, and also appears as Fritz in footage from the original Frankenstein (1931). It's the ghost of Dwight Frye-Days!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Smothering Heights

He's a brute and as big as he's tall
She's so cute, and her figure is small
Cloe's meeker, he's dumber
So he seeks to become her
Which Herr Hussman ain't digging at all.

In The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942), Lon Chaney Jr is The Monster, and Janet Ann Gallow is tiny Cloestine Hussman. Olaf Hytten plays her father, Herr Hussman.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Wrong and the Short of It

He will terrorize all of Vasaria,
When he's there, there's a pall on the area
With their pigtails and curls
He is big on small girls
And their parents soon ball in hysteria.

In The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942), The Monster (Lon Chaney Jr) takes a liking to little Cloestine (Janet Ann Gallow), displeasing her father, Herr Hussman (Olaf Hytten).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Look Back in Ygor

His neck cracked, best friend back from the dead,
This sad sack isn't right in the head
A fatigued horror vet,
Does old Ygor regret
Thinking back on the life he has led?

Doctor Bohmer (Lionel Atwill) listens to Ygor (Béla Lugosi) in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). Title by backbencher David Cairns.

Monday, May 20, 2013

He So Horny

When he's threatened by various foes
Ygor lets in some air and then blows
Coming soon, to his side,
A big goon who once died
They're a veteran pair, and best bros.

Ygor blows his horn: Béla Lugosi returns in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Stomping Groundskeeper

They're a pair of nefarious brutes
One's a terrible, hairy old coot
One's not ample of brain
And will trample terrain
In his scary, hilarious boots.

Lon Chaney Jr is The Monster and Béla Lugosi is Ygor in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). We return to our chronological ramble through the Universal Frankenstein films, picking up where we left off on 4/21/2013.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Faith Facts

Though in parts she's inept, or confused
From this starlet the sex appeal oozed
Howard Hughes would discover
When he'd lose her as lover
Break her heart and this ex is short-fused.

A poster for Cult of the Cobra (Francis D. Lyon; 1955) starring Faith Domergue. Thanks to faithful David Cairns for title and the edit.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Student Groans

Faith degreed in the school of H Hughes
PHD'd in the paying of dues
But when class was dismissed
The poor lassie was pissed
So high-keyed, she was seeing chartreuse.

Faith Domergue goes ballistic in Where Danger Lives (John Farrow; 1950); with Robert Mitchum.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Faith Debased Initiative

Howard Hughes turned her into a starlet
Did he use her then spurn her, the varlet?
When Miss Gardner came next,
Was his ex-partner vexed?
Did the blues make the harlot burn scarlet?

David Cairns (and Surly Hack, kibbitzer)

A poster for the Hughes production Vendetta (1950). From Mr Cairns: When Howard Hughes jilted his discovery, Faith Domergue, in favor of new squeeze Ava Gardner, Domergue came after them both, ramming into their car with apparent homicidal intent.

Later, Gardner discovered Hughes was bugging her apartment and stunned him with a blow to the head with an ashtray. Being a millionaire playboy can be dangerous.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Casting Ouch

Howard Hughes, when he wasn't Spruce Goosing,
Put loosely, was movie producing
He obsessed on re-shooting
And undressed, while recruiting,
Those beauties he loved "introducing".

Faith Domergue, in the trailer for the film noir Where Danger Lives (John Farrow; 1950). Domergue was one of the many starlets Hughes signed to film contracts, in many cases as a means to add them to his Las Vegas harem.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Faith Front

Howard Hughes liked his men to be lusty
To enthuse them his women were busty
A voluptuous chest
In a D-cup impressed
But the news is tycoons aren't trusty.

David Cairns

Robert Mitchum and Faith Domergue in the film noir Where Danger Lives (John Farrow; 1950), a movie made at RKO, the studio owned by millionaire Howard Hughes.

Monday, May 13, 2013

This Island Mirth

An Island? They say that no man is
He may try, but don't buy what his plan is
With no girlie to pet
He'll grow surly and fret
Any guy that's not gay goes bananas.

Rex Reason looks longingly at Faith Domergue in This Island Earth (Joseph M. Newman; 1955), and a gorgeous panel from the Aquaman comic drawn by the great Ramona Fradon. There, we just tied our Faith Domergue thread and Tentacle theme 
together by stretching one long rubber limb. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Faith Wonder of the World

To be tactless, an actor she's not
Faith, in fact, just distracts from the plot
But we'd keep ev'ry frame
Of this sleepy-eyed dame,
Krakatoa-like, active and hot!

Surly Hack
and David Cairns

Kenneth Tobey and Donald Curtis fight over a smoldering Faith Domergue in It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955). Wouldn't you?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Eats of San Francisco

There you stand, when you're tossed in a pit
Life is grand, then it's lost, sans obit
Angry sea-life attacks
And on people it snacks
Though on land, you're accosted by IT.

It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955) features the stop-motion creature animation by the late, great Ray Harryhausen.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The IT and the Pendulous

In aisle seats men are craning their necks
Not at beasties, nor special effects
They are straining for views
That once drained Howard Hughes:
Domergue's see-worthy, brain-blowing sex!

A gaggle of reporters are happy to see Faith Domergue in It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955); the "It" title creature is a stop-motion octopus animated by Ray Harryhausen.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Seas Gotta Have IT

In demand as a B-movie queen,
Faith left land for some seafood cuisine
But when locked in a sub
She's just octopod grub
It's a can in which she's a sardine.

Faith Domergue submerges in It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955), which also stars an octopus manned by master stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Send In the Marine Biologists!

Some seafood in Frisco smells fishy
From the deep it came, pissed off and squishy
It has split from its trench
And emits a great stench
It won't keep, says this miss, oh so dishy.

Faith Domergue and Donald Curtis play marine biologists in It Came From Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955), which climaxes in San Francisco. The title creature is an octopus animated by the late, great Ray Harryhausen.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Last of the Titans

His unceasing creations from clay
Make a beast-animation ballet
Forehead's horned and one-eyed,
Things were born and they died,
Life unleashed by the patience of Ray.

Long live Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013), master of stop-motion monster animation. Shown here are the Cyclops and dragon from The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958). 

Ray of Life

From his fingertips, into his art
He would lovingly life's breath impart
Like some demiurge, Ray
Made them surge to obey
With his eye and his hand and his heart.

David Cairns

Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013), modern master of stop-motion animation.

R.I.P. Ray Harryhausen

To temptation or terror reacting,
His creations are characters, acting
Moved not inches, but fractions
For convincing smooth actions
Animation is very exacting.

Raymond Frederick "Ray" Harryhausen (June 29, 1920 - May 7, 2013). Inspired by King Kong, Ray Harryhausen became the king of stop-motion animation, bringing vivid life and personality to the fantastic.

P. Squiddy

From Stygian depths something slips
Each hideous tentacle drips
It's pink and lime green
And stinks of latrine
Amphibious, yet it has lips.

Art by yours surly, originally drawn for the comic book Fear Agent. Color by marvelous Michelle Madsen. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Age of Aquaria

This inkblot from out of the blue
Is an octo with nothing to do
Seen in Citizen Kane
It seems not quite germane
It's a stock shot from old Fu Manchu.

David Cairns

From Mr Cairns: "A shot of a fake octopus in Citizen Kane's newsreel sequence, representing part of Kane's private zoo, is stock footage lifted from The Drums of Fu Manchu." The frame used above is from the same footage, but was grabbed from yet another film that reused it--Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster! David wrote about all this, as well as edited a short film mash-up of it, here on Shadowplay.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

All is For Nautical

With a sidearm, Duke's bidding was done
Many died, Ringo Kid always won
But when under the water
Wayne would blunder at slaughter
When not fried, giant squid are no fun.

John Wayne wrestles with a giant squid in Reap the Wild Wind (Cecil B. DeMille; 1942). Wayne played the Ringo Kid in Stagecoach (John Ford; 1939), the film which lifted the actor out of B westerns.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wayne Dwops

Wayne's billing when acting was starry
If villains attacked they were sorry
But his fans were all tested
And his manhood molested,
When he thrillingly hacked calamari.

Wake of the Red Witch (Edward Ludwig; 1948) was the second time that John Wayne battled a giant squid on film. This was the mechanical squid that was stolen and used in Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster. David Cairns dropped in the title.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Squid and the Wail

Of the copious grim things he did,
Did the dope ever swim with a squid?
If one tendril he saw
Like some bendable straw
I suppose, knowing him, Frye just hid.

A frame of stock-footage from Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster.  Dwight Frye-Days is scraping the bottom of the barrel. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dark Passage Beneath the Sea

When the sea spewed a briny new threat
Film noir he-men grew shiny with sweat
All their guns couldn't hit
The big undersea "it"
And they'd need a strong line and a net.

This mash-up was inspired by two films which both use the Golden Gate Bridge. Pictured are Humphrey Bogart and Clifton Young in Dark Passage (Delmer Daves; 1947), and a bit of Ray Harryhausen's monstrous stop-motion mollusk in It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Squid Stays In the Picture

The tendrils are wiggly and loose
Lending bendy and jiggling abuse
Ron Mattey's creation
Grows fat on predation
Like that menace he rigged up called Bruce.

David Cairns

In 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Richard Fleischer; 1954), Captain Nemo (James Mason) and the crew of the Nautilus battle a giant squid made by Ron Mattey, who later created Bruce, the mechanical shark used in Jaws.