Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cold Acquaintance

He's been thinking of taking the cure
Cause his drinking can make things obscure
While soaking in sherry
Did he choke his canary?
He's so stinking he wakes up unsure.

Think of this as a cautionary tale for New Year's Eve. Dan Duryea in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). With a little help and a title from old sot David Cairns. To watch a montage of Duryea going on a bender, go here and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Or see the whole movie on YouTube, here.  Happy New Year, boozehounds!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Unhappy Hour

The fugitive's tilting a beer         
To a fruitful and guilt-free new year
To his signal pursuit
Of a big one-armed brute
And a future that's hillbilly clear.  

David Janssen is crowded by yokels Frank Sutton, John Davis Chandler and Hugh Sanders in The Fugitive.  Belly up to the bar on Fugitive Fridays.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Falsetto Move

Some stinker decided to throttle
A singer -- she died croaking glottal
The law first suspects
Her songwriting ex,
Slowly sinking inside of a bottle.

In Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946), Dan Duryea is Martin Blair, an alcoholic songwriter whose wife has just been silenced. The spine of the plot is a nifty mystery by Cornell Woolrich, but this is also the adaptation that best captures that noir author's doomed romanticism. Title by Norm Knott, aka "The Velvet Frog".

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Double D-Day

What more can one hope for or pray  
Than a flick starring Dan Duryea
As snake, schmoe or cad,
Dan makes you feel glad
You went to the movies that day.

Dan Duryea never quite got his due, but here at Limerwrecks we can never get enough of his distinctive nasal tone and his sneering, sniveling and loose limbed, easy manner. Top: Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street; Above: Duryea gives Yvonne DeCarlo the once-over in Robert Siodmak's Criss Cross (from A Certain Cinema); Below: June Vincent and Duryea on the set of Roy William Neill's Black Angel.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last Mileage

He swears his accusers are lying
But the squares in the jury ain't buying
By fate he's been hemmed
By the state he's condemned
In the chair Johnny soon will be frying.

Dan Duryea walks the last mile in Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street (1945).

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bind Justice

That he's innocent Johnny will swear
It's the truth but he hasn't a prayer
No jury acquits
In a movie by Fritz
And the pimp will get his in the chair.

Though innocent of the murder, Dan Duryea's Johnny Prince goes to the electric chair in Fritz Lang's 1945 noir, Scarlet Street.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rated X-Mas

It's Christmas, and under the tree
The gift he would love ain't "pc"
For comfort and joy
You know he'd enjoy
Unzipping the young Janet Leigh.

In Holiday Affair (Don Hartman, 1949), Robert Mitchum wants to get Janet Leigh under the mistletoe -- or anywhere else for that matter. Here's wishing all of you your very own  Bob or Janet to unwrap.  A very merry Christmas from all of us at Limerwrecks! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Wreckalogue

Because nothing says Christmas quite like murder and mayhem, for your holiday enjoyment we present this epic in rhyme by David Cairns on the "ten plagues" of The Abominable Dr. Phibes.


When Doc Thornton is offed, it's off-screen
As his torment don't warrant a scene
A big swarm of bees
Saves on Equity fees
It's a horrible death, but unseen.


This surgeon's a talented cutter
And he certainly isn't a nutter
He seems mentally healthy
There's no bats in his belfry
But his bedroom's completely a-flutter.


If you moan that the party is dull, you
May find that the host will annul you
Your frog mask is wind-up
Your brains it will grind up
And probably fracture your skull too.


The inexorable tick-tock, tick-tock
Like the works of a grandfather clock

The clinking of cogs
Causes shrinking of frog
And subsequent crushing of doc. 


With his tooth-gap and cigarette holder,
TT feels a tap on his shoulder
Dr Phibes has restrained him
And punctured and drained him
Until he's much paler and colder.

*TT = Terry Thomas


With his features immobile as wax
Dr Phibes plans ignoble attacks
His next victim gets frigid,
He's frozen quite rigid
Don't move him about or he'll crack.


When you pilot your solo one-seater
You don't expect rodent man-eaters
Though you're certain you locked it
There's rats in your cockpit
Now you're flying to meet with St Peter.


Doc Whitcombe don't look too elated
At the way that his chest's been fixated
He won't ever fall
'Cause he's screwed to the wall
By a unicorn horn penetrated


Call an ambulance, maybe a hearse
Dr Phibes' latest curse hits a nurse
His attention is focused
On directing the locusts
You could scoop up what's left in her purse.


Dr Phibes couldn't get much more rotten
He's a medico quite misbegotten
With his custom Rolls Royce
And his phonograph voice
He threatens the son of Joe Cotten.


As Price shuffles off to be damned
With his wife in a casket he's crammed
And as he's embalming
He finds it quite calming
To bask in how madly he's hammed.

The last "plague of darkness" the bad doctor saved for himself. Vincent Price is The Abominable Dr. Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971). The Vincentennial will return for its big finish in January. Image source: Head Injury Theater Images © 1971 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 23, 2011

Captivity Scene

Kimble's wish-list is numbered at three:
A convicted one-armed amputee,
His name to be cleared
and Gerard to be jeered
For this Christmas he wants to be free.

Happy holidays from all of us at Limerwrecks, wishing all of you the most festive of Fugitive Fridays.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Revenge of the Pith

With Vulnavia lending a hand
The ol' knave finds that vengeance is grand
Roundabout and poetic
And without anesthetic,
He will savor the endings he's planned.

Virginia North is Vulnavia, mute assistant to Vincent Price, The Abominable Dr. Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971). Image source: IMDb.               Stills © 1971 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Doctor, You've Got to be Killing

The end of his Mrs unhinges
And sends him to visit the fringes
Where he styles a vendetta
With a silent brunette, a
Mad vengeance with biblical tinges.

His hatred's for medical men
He slays them again and again
With beasts, boils and bats,
Plus locusts and rats,
The plagues that he visits are ten.

Eight physicians whose skills didn't save
His late Mrs he kills in a wave
To that add a nurse
And the last, final curse
Will be his as he chills in his grave.

Vincent Price is The Abominable Dr. Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971). That's a photo of Caroline Munro as Mrs. Victoria Phibes. Images  © 1971 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vengeance is Fine

The plagues of the old Jewish tribes
Are just what this doctor prescribes
With his face like a skull
All his foes he will cull
That abominable doc Anton Phibes.

David Cairns

Vincent Price is The Abominable Dr. Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971). Image source: IMDb. Movie still © 1971 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 19, 2011

That Sinister Purge

This sinister torturer presses
Each "witch" till by force she confesses
Any errors he'll make
He'll burn at the stake
So his slip-ups get scored as successes.

Vincent Price is cold, cruel and not at all not campy as the Witchfinder General (Michael Reeves, 1968). Image source:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

As the Worm Burns

His stance against witches is firm
He's happiest watching them squirm
This grim horror show
Has no hint of the Poe
And no chance of a conqueror worm.

David Cairns

Vincent Price in Witchfinder General, aka The Conqueror Worm (1968). In an attempt to cash in on the earlier and highly successful Price Poe films, the alternate title -- and the poem by Edgar Allan Poe -- was slapped on for American distribution. Image source:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sepulchre Face

When the strange Mr. Fell had remarried
He strained from the baggage he carried
To wed can be daunting
With dead wives a-haunting,
And a pain when one doesn't stay buried.

Vincent Price is Verden Fell, haunted by his first wife Ligeia, in The Tomb of Ligeia (Roger Corman, 1965). This was the last of eight Poe adaptations by Corman. Title by David "Joker Face" Cairns. Image source: That Obscure Hollow.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Shady on a Train

In the darkness his face is reflected
Until noir spins a fate unexpected
William Conrad has spoken
And though hand-cuffs are broken
To Gerard he'll be staying connected.

"Richard Kimble ponders his fate as he looks at the world for the last time, and sees only darkness. But in that darkness, fate moves its huge hand."  Fate, or Fugitive Fridays.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Death's Door Prize

Though the plague to his doorstep had spread 
His own Satanist orgy he'd led
There this skunk who liked watching
Such drunken debauching
Found he hated the horror of red.

Vincent Price and Jane Asher in Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964). 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Never Say Diabolism

When his date starts to spin on a pole
Then his fête's just beginning to roll
Such deplorable revelry
Makes adorable devilry,
And to Satan this Prince gave his soul.          

Vincent Price and Jane Asher in Masque of the Red Death. Image source: Can't Stop the Movies. Title by devil-may-care David Cairns.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Invitation to the Danse Macabre

I'm throwing this special soirée
There's a show, and a hellish buffet
Please r.s.v.p.
Me a.s.a.p.
If you don't, there's the Devil to pay.

Vincent Price and Patrick Magee in Masque of the Red Death (1964).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bored to (Red) Death

An ape's set aflame by a troll!
Is my gala way out of control?
No, the decadent floor show
(Half-nekkid and more so)
I'd say's rather tame, on the whole.

Yet the bash is a riot of sin
And my castle is wild with the din
An orgy contiguous
With morals ambiguous...
Like some hash-house in Weimar Berlin.

Patrick Magee and Vincent Price enjoy the Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964). Image source: Dial V for Vintage.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gorillas in Their Midst

You can dress as an ape and make hay
Chasing babes all across the parquet
But if you're ignited
By that midget you slighted
You're our next pyrotechnic display.

David Cairns

That's one way to keep warm in December. Skip Martin plays the vengeful midget "Hop-Toad" in Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964). Image source: Chilling Scenes of Dreadful Villainy.