Monday, May 31, 2010
The frog is a catcher of flies
Its tongue is a sticky surprise
But living in France
increases the chance
its legs will be Frenched with some fries
Top: Cartoon by Sam Gross for National Lampoon; Above: Panel from "The Gourmet", drawn by Berni Wrightson. Written for Plop! by Steven Skeates, the story was directly inspired by the Gross cartoon.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Poor leopard all covered with spots
His nerves are all tied up in knots
A monkey with pencil
in tail so prehensile
just won't stop connecting the dots
Thus opens the cage to a savage week of Animal Limericks. There will be no need to alert the SPCA. No animals will be hurt, only good taste. Words and art © Jim Siergey 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Twin sisters will give you the blues
Or drive you to drown in the booze
Date boyfriends in pairs
play musical chairs
till one takes a permanent snooze
The former Nancy Drew grows up. Bonita Granville plays twins in The Guilty (John Reinhardt; 1947), a low-budget B based on a novelette by Cornell Woolrich. Here are links to two reviews of this noir murder mystery. The first is at Noir of the Week, the other a less than favorable comparison of film to story at Mystery File. Click the bottom poster to play a clip.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Identical sisters confuse
One's good and the other's bad news
But which one is which?
The babe or the bitch?
It's a case of the terrible twos
"Twins! One who loves...and one who loves to kill!" Olivia de Havilland was reflected in The Dark Mirror (Robert Siodmak, 1946). This is our second crack at this terrific psychological thriller about twin sisters. Read the first one here.
Friday, May 21, 2010
There's plenty of fun to be had
for men in a bachelor pad
Fast women and cars
Hot jazz in the bars
This Pottersville isn't so bad
Swinging single Jimmy Stewart gets Gloria Grahame in the alternate reality It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946). What else is the Pottersville sequence but a film noir nightmare?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I went for a walk on the side
where sin and temptation reside
I did something rash
I'm loaded with cash
and running with nowhere to hide
Side Street (Anthony Mann, 1950) reunited Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell from They Live By Night, and co-starred James Craig as a memorably oily and vicious thug.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Two innocents out for a ride
They're hardly a Bonnie and Clyde
The two become one
and find on the run
the love they have both been denied
They Live by Night (Nicholas Ray, 1946-9), starring Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell, was Nicholas Ray's debut as director, and the first adaptation of Edward Anderson's terrific novel, Thieves Like Us. Top: Screen capture from Only the Cinema.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
From gallows a shadow is cast
It's looming from out of the past
Though time we will borrow
like there's no tomorrow
they're moments we know will not last
Jane Greer stops running in Out Of The Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947). Screen cap: FilmsNoir.net
Monday, May 17, 2010
You're tired but won't hit the sack
Ahead lies a road that is black
The past in the mirror
won't get any nearer
It's fate, and there's no turning back
Tom Neal is shadowed by a flashback in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). The highway in the opening credits recedes: It's the road left behind, the past that is lost forever. Another Noir Week is thumbing a ride.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Post-Psycho there followed a flood
A torrent of knock-offs and blood
No match for the master
they're each a disaster
But don't blame Sir Al for the crud
The enormous success of Psycho in 1960 paved the way for many lesser imitations. One of them was Homicidal (William Castle, 1961). The Couch (Owen Crump, 1962) , Strait-Jacket (Castle, 64) and The Psychopath (Freddie Francis, 1966) were all written by Robert Bloch, who wrote the source novel for Psycho. Psycho Week has checked out of Limerwrecks.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
A private detective was hired
To find what had lately transpired
He climbed up the stairs
Was caught unawares
And found that his license expired.
Martin Balsam as P. I. Milton Arbogast, whose investigation is cut short in Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960). This limerick and it's title were inspired by the blog Arbogast on Film.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
You dragged her and all of her junk
and dumped the whole mess in the trunk
But then, in the muck
the car became stuck
You sucked on your thumb till it sunk
Anthony Perkins gets nervous in Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960).
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
This writer of nonsense did worse:
He championed limerick verse
His wordplay and rhyme
ahead of his time
has left me a terrible curse
Happy birthday, Edward Lear. Lear's 1846 volume A Book of Nonsense popularized the limerick as a form of poetry. His most famous piece of nonsense is The Owl and the Pussycat. Both the limericks and illustrations at the top and which follow are all by Lear. I thought the first limerick might be hard to read, so I've transcribed it here:
There was an Old Man with a beard, who said "It is just as I feared!--
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
have all built their nests in my beard!"
There was an Old Man of the Coast,
Who placidly sat on a post;
But when it was cold he relinquished his hold,
And called for some hot buttered toast.
There was an Old Man on some rocks,
Who shut his Wife up in a box:
When she said, "Let me out," he exclaimed, "Without doubt
You will pass all your life in that box."
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
As fantasy's great patron saint
he lusted and muscled in paint
His figures were grounded
with pulses that pounded
Like Rubens without the restraint
Frank Frazetta, 1928-2010. Frazetta is arguably the most influential fantasy artist in history. The line about Rubens is from an article in Newsweek of many years ago. Below: A self-portrait.
When Lena was feeling the weather
I could have been knocked with a feather
She carried a torch
with sizzle and scorch
Burned beauty and talent together
Accompanied by Cab Calloway's Orchestra, with the wind blowing through an open window, ruffling the diaphanous sleeve of her dress, there was nothing hotter that Lena Horne singing the title song in Stormy Weather (Andrew Stone, 1943). Pictured: Bill Robinson, Lena Horne and Cab Calloway.
He's nervous and terribly shy
and can't look a girl in the eye
But while she undresses
his face to wall presses
and catches a glimpse on the sly
Anthony Perkins peeps in Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960). Psycho image: Film Sufi.