Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Sprain in the Neck

Pale and ghastly, perverted and rapt
Bela's casting is certainly apt
With his head to one side
He looks dreadfully snide
As a bastard whose vertebra's snapped.

David Cairns

Béla Lugosi as Ygor in Son of Frankenstein (Rowland V. Lee; 1939).

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Counsel for the Offense

In the lab as the creature reclined,
Angry, aberrant Ygor opined:
"We were meant to do wrong.
I'm demented, you're strong.
I am rabid, you're meager of mind."

Ygor plants a thought in the mindless monster: Béla Lugosi and Boris Karloff in Son of Frankenstein (Rowland V. Lee; 1939).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Off-Track Vetting

At the station his speech is a dud
Wolf's oration just lands with a thud
And his welcome committee
From hell isn't pretty
For the Frankenstein name is still mud.

Baron Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone, right) gets the cold shoulder in Son of Frankenstein (Rowland V. Lee; 1939).

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Lab Four

Check his pulse, is his heart again beating?
Yes, this bulk from spare parts death is cheating
Thus, once more he will wander
And his morbid thoughts ponder
Though for hulks without smarts thoughts are fleeting.

Edgar Norton is Benson, Boris Karloff the Monster, Béla Lugosi Ygor, and Basil Rathbone Wolf, aka the Son of Frankenstein (1939).

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The God Couple

One's a scion of Frankenstein's line
One's a swine who was yanked in the spine
As a pair they are odd
As they dare to play God
'Cause combined they're more rank than divine.

David Cairns

Béla Lugos and Basil Rathbone join forces to revive Boris Karloff's Monster in Son of Frankenstein (Rowland V. Lee; 1939).

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lone Wolf and Snub

To the son they're not raising a stein
He's not done with pop's crazy design
This new von will continue
Sewing monsters from sinew
It's so fun, there's no way he says "nein."

Edgar Norton as Benson, and Basil Rathbone as Baron Wolf von Frankenstein, the Son of Frankenstein (Rowland V. Lee; 1939).

Friday, January 25, 2013


Basil's castle can comfortably house
Both his spouse and this louse in a blouse
While Basil is chiseled
Poor Bela's be-grizzled
But between them big Boris they'll rouse.

David Cairns

Son of Frankenstein stars the three Bs:
Béla Lugosi as Ygor, Basil Rathbone as Wolfgang von Frankenstein, and Boris Karloff as the (snoozing) monster. Image source: Doctor Macro's Movie Scans.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Rounds of Silence

As they fire off round after round
He perspires and falls to the ground
His face fearful and drawn,
With his hearing aid gone
He expires without any sound.

In The Big Combo (1955), Brian Donlevy (top) is gunned down in silence as mob boss Richard Conte (below) watches implacably.

Film noir and The Big Combo will return to LimerWrecks, but up next our Frankenstein fest continues with Son of Frankenstein.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Die Hard of Hearing

Racketeer, gangster, hooligan, thug.
When the earpiece is pulled from your lug
I'll silently drill you
And violently kill you
So you won't hear the bullets go 'plug'.

David Cairns

Brian Donlevy's last scene in The Big Combo is played with no soundtrack -- to startling effect. With Richard Conte, Earl Holliman and Lee Van Cleef.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Combo Patter

When Fante and Mingo appear
You can't help but think something's queer
Holliman and Van Cleef
Almost leave you stone deef
When they plant something right in your ear.

David Cairns

The only warmth in The Big Combo is generated between gunmen Lee Van Cleef and Earl Holliman, while their mobster boss Richard Conte uses a hearing aid as a weapon against cop Cornel Wilde.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Brown Identity

A big wheel runs the mob in this town
And the heel with the job's Mr Brown
He is perched on the top
But the jerk's gonna drop
And the deal-making slob's going down.

Mobster Richard Conte and his captive lover Jean Wallace in The Big Combo (Joseph H. Lewis, 1955).

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Conte Cruelle

Yes, he best likes a lass with loose morals
But ain't resting his ass on his laurels
This big stinker will please
When he sinks to his knees
And the test that he passes is oral.

David Cairns

Richard Conte slides out of frame -- and view of the censors -- in The Big Combo (1955). The actress is Jean Wallace, and when her co-star and husband Cornell Wilde finally saw this scene he was not happy.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Combo Mambo

The blonde is this bastard's main squeeze
What he's fond of the rat never frees
She's a delicate flower
And she's held by his power
She's in bondage, a captive to sleaze.

Mobster Richard Conte and girlfriend Jean Wallace in The Big Combo (1955), a stylish film noir from director Joseph H. Lewis.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Parting Shotgun

It's appalling, but certainly clear
That for Waldo the curtain draws near
There's no deathbed confession,
Just this breathless expression --
Though his gall bladder's spurtin' -- a sneer!

Dana Andrews as Detective Mark McPherson (top right), and Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker, in Otto Preminger's Laura (1944).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Pipsqueak and the Pendulum

In his grandfather clock he'll secrete
Not a Glock nor a Walther, petite
When concealed, a revolver's
An ideal problem solver,
But this crock wants to pack far more heat.

David Cairns

Clifton Webb, Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney in Laura (1944).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Putting the Cartridge Before the Hearse

With her beauty all men want to score
Just one view and they yen for much more
But there's one, rather snide,
Who's undone when denied,
And in lieu seeks a vengeance, twelve-bore.

Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker takes aim at Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944). Title by shot putter David Cairns.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Making a Pygmalion of Yourself

When this creep meets this chick, in he takes her
Not to sleep with -- his shtick's to remake her
But the babe gathers suitors
As he labors and tutors
She won't keep, so the sicko must break her.

Clifton Webb is Waldo Lydecker and Gene Tierney is Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944).

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Lowdown Dirty Lydecker

The old flake who she shunned has come back
And he's taken his gun off the rack
He has vowed he won't share her
And so now he won't spare her
Her mistake? Having fun in the sack.

Clifton Webb is Waldo Lydecker, and Gene Tierney is Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944). Title by lowbrow David Cairns.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Clock Stopper

This wise-ass resides 'neath a rock
He decries and he chides and he mocks
He has flair and he's haughty
But it's terribly naughty
The surprise that he hides in a clock.

Clifton Webb is Waldo Lydecker in Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944). Title by clock star David Cairns.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Head Off, Into the Sunset

His one wish is to take her to bed
But the dish has no face on her head
He's the cop on the case
But he's stopped from first base
No physician can make her less dead.

Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) has the hots for the portrait of the title murder victim in Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944). Title by head man David Cairns.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Laura Supply and Demand

This detective kicks ass and takes names
Likes perfection and class when in frames
Though his head might be hard
Dating dead girls is barred,
Nixing necking with passed away dames.

Dana Andrews as Detective Mark McPherson, falling in love with the lovely-but-late Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944). Title by demanding David Cairns.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Svengali Gee Whiz

She's his Trilby, he's Laura's Svengali
Though he builds her, adoring her's folly
He instructs her on poise
But constructs only toys    
And he thrills choosing drawers for this dolly.

Clifton Webb's Waldo is a perverse Pygmalion to Gene Tierney's Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944). Title by whiz-banger David Cairns.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Malignant Obsession

With his culture and taste he'll impress her,
Then the vulture lays waste to possess her
But carbolic old elves
Just wants dolls for their shelves
The result is he'll never undress her.

Clifton Webb's Waldo molds, then wants to keep Gene Tierney's Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944). Title by magnificently indignant Norm Knott.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Loathes Make the Man

Quite a sight in a Brooks Brothers pose
Impolitely he looks down his nose
When a rival is near
He revives his pet sneer,
And recites his best poisonous prose.

Clifton Webb is Waldo Lydecker, and Gene Tierney in Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Smart as a Quip

When parting his dastardly lips
This smartypants bastard makes quips
And the words he emits
In a verbal-bomb blitz
Are all artfully acid-dipped pips.

Lydecker: "If you come a little bit closer, my boy, I can just crack your skull with my walking stick."

Lydecker: (snootily) Very well. I hope you'll never regret what promises to be a disgustingly earthy relationship.

Lydecker: (callously) Let me put it this way. I should be sincerely sorry to see my neighbors' children devoured by wolves. Shall we go?

Clifton Webb is Waldo Lydecker, and Gene Tierney is Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944). Title by smart aleck David Cairns.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

There's Waldo

An imperious, decadent dandy,
He will sneer at Napoleon brandy
With each caustic remark
From this frosty-tongued shark
It is clear that a quip is his candy.

Clifton Webb is quick-witted columnist Waldo Lydecker in Laura.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Pain in the Necrophile

There's a flame in his heart for a stiff
As the love theme by Raksin goes riff
Would the love strains have lasted
Had her brains not got blasted
You can't blame him for asking "What if?"

David Cairns

Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) falls in love with a lovely murder victim by the name of Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944).

Friday, January 4, 2013

Down By Laura

He adores a dead femme, cruelly killed
By this "Laura" his R.E.M. sleep is filled
Stirring steamy, deep urges,
From his dreams she emerges
He's both floored and dementedly thrilled.

Gene Tierney is Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944), and Dana Andrews is Detective Mark McPherson, just one of the men obsessed with her. Title by downy David Cairns.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Shotgun Heading

Shotguns horribly mar your complexion
Spreading gore near and far by projection
Taken off at the neck
Your identity check
At the morgue gets a tardy correction.

David Cairns

Gene Tierney is Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hot Tub Slime Machine

Like Marat, Waldo writes in the tub
Each bon mot he types smites like a club
This most vicious old queen
Like a fish, epicene,
Soaks his rottenness, rub a dub dub.

David Cairns

Absent from movie screens since 1930, actor Clifton Webb returned to film as acerbic columnist and radio personality Waldo Lydecker in Laura (Otto Preminger; 1944). Webb as Lydecker has many memorable lines in the film: 

“I don’t use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.”
“I’m not kind, I’m vicious. It’s the secret of my charm.”
“In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject quite 
so worthy of my attention.”

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

She's Laura, But She's Only a Theme

Raksin's score to this mystery's haunting
But amor for dead misses is daunting
Though she's only a dream,
All alone he will steam
For her portrait's a bliss that is taunting.

Dana Andrews is obsessed with the portrait of Laura (1944), played by Gene Tierney. David Raksin wrote the memorable music, and Johnny Mercer later put lyrics to the theme. When asked why she had turned down the part of Laura, Hedy Lamarr said, "They sent me the script, not the score." With over 100 film scores and 300 television scores to his credit, Raksin became known as the "Grandfather of Film Music."