Sunday, April 17, 2022

Zombie Flesh Easter

It's Easter, give praise, do not 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 in an Easter basket for resurrecting this blasphemous limerick each year.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

All's Well that Ends Welles?

So Menzies was wearing a wire?
Old friends should play fair, or retire
You shoot, but alack,
The coot then shoots back
It ends for you there, in the mire...

Orson Welles as Hank Quinlan meets his end in Touch of Evil (Welles; 1958).

Friday, February 25, 2022

Dietrich or Treat

Marlene, black-wigged, eyes beholders
Our main man's grown big as some boulders
But his wistful, sad gaze
Through the mist of past days
(And chain-smoked cigars) sadly smoulders.

David Cairns

Marlene Dietrich and Orson Welles in Touch of Evil (1958).

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Candy, Cane

Sheriff Hank gave up booze, now eats candy
When he drank he'd get woozy on brandy
Though he limps through this thriller
He's no gimp, he's a killer
And he strangles that loser Joe Grandi.

David Cairns

Orson Welles is Sheriff Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil (Welles; 1958). Quinlan carries a cane, and he leaves it behind after strangling Joe Grandi, played by Akim Tamiroff.

David Cairns notes that various observers have commented on Welles being undone by his cane/Kane. But David might be the only one to point out that Welles freezeframes the hotel door sign saying Make Sure You Haven't Left Any Belongings Behind.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Hell Toupee

Uncle Joe cuts a fig short and squat
Face of dough, flips his wig when he's caught
In a cheap hotel room
The poor creep meets his doom
As this slow-moving pig ties the knot.

David Cairns

Sheriff Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles), Uncle Joe Grandi (Akim Tamiroff), and Susan Vargas (Janet Leigh) in a sordid scene in Touch of Evil (Welles; 1958).

Monday, February 21, 2022

House of Girth

A hulking and gritty grotesque
A skulking and bitter burlesque
Of clout and ambition
Now out of condition
His bulk doesn't fit 'neath his desk.

Joseph Calleia as Sgt. Pete Menzies, and Orson Welles as the massive meat-mound Hank Quinlan in
Touch of Evil (Welles; 1958)

Friday, February 18, 2022

Vargas' Girl

In a sweater all busty and pert
Like Betty, she's thrusting, overt
Now plunged into Hades
With grungy Mercedes
She's fretful, nonplussed, but unhurt.

Davd Cairns

Touch of Evil (Orson Welles; 1958): Susan Vargas (Janet Leigh) is terrorized by a gang led by actress Mercedes McCambridge.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Pigment of the Imagination

This Vargas, all manly and hale
This swarthy, gargantuan male
Is a fake, no Latino
Just make-up and Beano
By the jar smearing "Tan-Away-Pale".

Charlton Heston plays Mexican special prosecutor Miguel Vargas, here his American wife played by Janet Leigh. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles; 1958).

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Ham and Sleaze

On the border where Tex and Mex meet
When disorder is vexing...some cheat
Will Hank blame the right perp
Or just frame up some twerp?
We're floored when he gets to his feet.

David Cairns

In Touch of Evil (1958), the entrance of Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles) is a low angle shot of the bulky police captain getting out of a car.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Lightning Round

Avoid round-the-bend, driven dames
Ask Freud why they tend to play games
They're muddled, all nerves
Make sudden, sharp swerves
Destroyed, they'll descend, burst in flames.

Darryl Hickman and Mercedes McCambridge in Lightning Strikes Twice (King Vidor; 1951).

Monday, February 14, 2022

Crawl the Police!

Exhausted, these cops on patrol
Have tossed every flop, dive, and hole
Despising all scum
Some guys can grow numb
The cost is a whopper: their soul.

Bitter and cynical police detective Robert Ryan is On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray; 1951). With Charles Kemper and Anthony Ross.

Friday, February 11, 2022


A mirror-maze shoot-out is crazy
What appears to be true gets quite hazy
The antagonists shatter
In fragments and scatter
When smoke clears they're all slew -- call Scorsese!

David Cairns

Everett Sloane, Orson Welles, and Rita Hayworth crack up in The Lady From Shanghai (Welles; 1947)

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Shanghai Lowdown

This honey's too hot for a nun
She's done for, from shots from a gun
In every direction
Her severed reflection
This funhouse is rotten, not fun.

Rita Hayworth is The Lady From Shanghai (Orson Welles; 1947).