Thursday, March 31, 2016

Crime Must Not Play

Our daughters shown playing at vice!
Such naughty displays aren't nice
When virtue's destroyed
The Church gets annoyed
They ought to be paying a price!

Randolph Scott and Nancy Carroll do the laundry on Hot Saturday (William A Seiter, 1932). In 1934, the Catholic organization the National Legion of Decency put pressure on the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America to more vigorously enforce the Production Code. Title by musty David Cairns.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Censor's Sensibility

Onscreen things grew spicy and lacy
Obscene things enticing Lee Tracy
Such taboos were displayed there
That the blue-nose brigade chair
Joe Breen made them splice out the racy.

David Cairns with Surly Hack

Image: Lee Tracy ogles Lupe Velez in a still from The Half-Naked Truth (Gregory La Cava; 1932). Censor Joseph Breen became "chief" of the Production Code Administration in 1934.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

In the Realm of the Censors

Talking pictures with sin were ablaze
They'd depict it in infinite ways
Or at least innuendo
Which increased to crescendo
'Til restricted by skin-flint Will Hayes.

Chester Morris takes a gander at the gam of Jean Harlow in Red-Headed Woman (Jack Conway; 1932), written by Anita Loos, lightening a first draft by F. Scott Fitzgerald, based on a novel of the same name by Katherine Bush. Censor Will Hays headed Hollywood's production code.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Purple Hays

Movie morals this snot would protect
And the sordid could not go unchecked
Just one sniff of the lewd
And this stiff came unglued
Hayes deplored that which got him erect.

Namesake of the Hays Code, Will Hays was the official censor of American films, the first president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) (1922–45). The MPPDA adopted the code in 1930, began enforcing it in 1934, and (as the MPAA) abandoned it in 1968, in favor of the subsequent rating system. The enforcement of the Code in 1934 ended the early talkie period of racy product, films which are now called "pre-code".

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Zombie Flesh Easter

It's Easter, give praise and don't mourn
Your deceased savior's raised and reborn
But these dead, now alive,
Open heads to survive
And will feast on your brains Sunday morn.

Pasty-faced extras lurch through Night of the Living Dead (1968). Our title is by David Cairns, and is a nod to Zombies 2, aka Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979). We're going to hell for reposting this holiday limerick. Just like the living dead, new limericks will return!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Past His Sell-By-Date Night

On some frightened, unfortunate chickee
His bite leaves much more than a hickey
A forgettable date,
And getting home late,
First light turns him horribly icky.

Looking suspiciously like Dracula, vampire Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi) gets fried by sunlight in The Return of the Vampire (Lew Landers; 1943). Title by post-dating David Cairns.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Disintegrate Day In the Morning

Poor Dracula crumbles to dust
He crackles and slumps in a crust
Just a powder remains
From his brows to his brains
And it's whacked up the lum by a gust.

David Cairns

Dracula (Christopher Lee) meets his fate in Dracula, aka Horror of Dracula (Terence Fisher; 1958). Limerick lexicon: David tells us that "lum" is a "nice Scots word for chimney flue."

Friday, March 11, 2016

Desiccated to the One I Loathe

They say, though he died, Drac's undying
But at daybreak, outside, the guy's crying
Seems as shadows recede
That the baddie can't feed
When the rays hit his hide it's quick-drying.

Count Dracula (John Carradine) greets the dawn in House of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1944).

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Final Curtain Call

Old Count Drac's the most soulless of snakes
He attacks, we console at the wakes
At his game we can't lick him
So the aim is to trick him
Throw him back down a hole full of stakes!

Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) finishes off Dracula (Christopher Lee) at the end of Dracula A.D. 1972 (Alan Gibson; 1972). On his filmblog Shadowplay, David Cairns refers to the scene as one of "Hammer’s patented overkills," because they'd "...never JUST shove a stake through Dracula — try throwing holy water in his face, causing him to fall from a belfry into a pit with a stake in it, then poke him with a shovel just for good measure."

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Undeath Warmed Over

On his insides the sunlight is rough
And his finish is unpleasant stuff
All through him he cooks
Plus it ruins his looks
First his skin gets all runny, then sloughs.

Image: Christopher Lee in Dracula A.D. 1972 (Alan Gibson; 1972). Drac is not done in by sunlight in the film, but I trust we'll be forgiven the dramatic limerick license.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Lez Miserables

Like at camp, bimbos giggle, cavort
We grow damp as they jiggle, disport
They're the devil's eye-candy
And they, ever-so-randy,
With a vamp, grim but wiggly, consort.

David Cairns

The Vampire Lovers (Roy Ward Baker; 1970): In the early19th century, a vampire named Carmilla (Ingrid Pitt) seduces and bites the darling daughters of Styria. Left to right: Kirsten Lindholm, Pippa Steel, Kate O'Mara, Madeline Smith, and Pitt.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Date Night-mare

Virgin flirt hits the sack for a nuzzle
But she's hurt to find Drac wants a guzzle
Seems the gent's only thinking
Of dentally drinking
The young skirt should start packing a muzzle!

Maria falls under the spell of Dracula: Veronica Carlson and Christopher Lee in Hammer Films' Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (Freddie Francis; 1968).                                    

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Lass is Half Empty

Drac's nighttime vitality waning,
His sights on a gal he starts training
And firstly he'll check
For a thirst quenching neck
Inviting her home for a draining.

Béla Lugosi eyes Helen Chandler's carotid artery in Dracula (Tod Browning; 1931).

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

He who calls for a Glass without G

A sherry the Count did decline,
Intoning "I never drink ... wine.
Though bottles have necks,
They're not much for sex
And so I choose vein over vine."

Donald B. Benson

Béla Lugosi and Helen Chandler in a classic still from Dracula (1931).

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Frost Bite

At break of each day this undead
Starts making her way to her "bed"
Her den you must seek,
For it's then she is weak
The stake, straight away--then behead!

Sadie Frost as Lucy, confronted by Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing, in Bram Stoker's Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola; 1992). Title by frosty David Cairns.