Monday, April 30, 2012

Vine Intervention

In some Eden divine near Botswana
While swinging from vines or liannas
Lord Greystoke protects
The gentler sex
By wringing the necks of iguanas.

David Cairns

And don't think they don't appreciate it. Pictured are Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan as Tarzan and Jane.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Grampires curse in surprise at a cross
But what's worse is incisor tooth loss
And sad misadventures
When saddled with dentures --
This flawed verse will advise that they floss.

Al Lewis as Grampa Munster, and Sesame Street's Count von Count.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Loopy Groupie

He's Sandor, the pasty-faced putz
This ass-wipe is basic'lly nuts
He has pangs for his boss
Whose two fangs he must floss
And whose casket each daybreak he shuts.

Sullen Sandor wants to spend eternity undead with Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer, 1936): Irving Pichel and Gloria Holden.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bill Skowron, R.I.P.

I'd shower those Yankees with boos
but not the Chicago boy, Moose
Bill Skowron was tough
Inside, a cream puff
There's some folks you just hate to lose

Norm Knott

Bill “Moose” Skowron, 1930-2012. Skowron was a four-time All-Star first baseman who helped the New Yankees win four World Series titles in the 1950s and 1960s. From the Chicago Daily Herald: Skowron was a major league infielder for the White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, and others from 1954-1967. Born in Chicago, Skowron is said to have earned his nickname in childhood as his grandfather claimed his haircut looked like a dictator- Mussolini, shortened to "Moose". Skowron in recent years was a member of the Chicago White Sox organization.

Called Off-icer

So the murder on Kimble was pinned
At this turn of events I'm chagrined
No justice was served
And it wasn't deserved
Guess I'll learn if the guy is thin-skinned.

Barry Morse in the final season of The Fugitive. The chase is nearing the end on Fugitive Fridays. Image source: Dvd Talk.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stampede Collector

With some spittle, ol' Tarz gives a yell
And the critters come charging pell-mell
They screech and they trample
And each leave a sample
It's a little bit farmy, the smell.

Johnny Weismuller gets a lungful as Tarzan.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Johnny One-And-Done Note

Being blessed with a resonant chest
Tarzan yodels and pounds on his breast
But though heard from afar
This reverse CPR
Could cause cardiopulmonary arrest.

David Cairns

Johnny Weissmuller says a mouthful as Tarzan.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yodel Recall

Big game hunters are evil and cunning
And to plunder his kingdom they're gunning
With a yell all ends well
(All except for the smell)
When a jungle of beasts comes a-running.

Johnny Weismuller is Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), lord of the jungle.

Monday, April 23, 2012

This is a Vine Romance

Jane's new husband's in marvelous shape
At his muscles all carved she's agape
His physique, when he squeezes,
Makes her weak in the kneeses...    
'Cause she loves it when Tarzan goes ape.    

Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller do what comes natural in the provocatively pre-code Tarzan the Ape Man (1932). There's more Tarzan on tap, and our previous rhymes on Tarz and Jane are here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Faux Pair

When into her eyes you have peered
The feeling she gives you is weird
This grave femme fatale
Is craving a gal
That Sandor guy's merely her "beard".

Surly hack and David Cairns

Odd couple Irving Pichel and Gloria Holden, as manservant Sandor and his mistress, Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer, 1936).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Les Vampires

Has this lady a strain of the sapphic?
Or is she just plain psychopathic?
Looking pallid and tragic
She's most haemophagic
It's safer to play in the traffic.

David Cairns

Gloria Holden eyes Nan Grey in Dracula's Daughter. Part one of our double-creature-feature on Vampire Weekends.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vanishing Action

On the run, to succeed on his mission
He's a cunning and speedy magician
The condemned disappears
When his nemesis nears,
Outdone by a pediatrician.

David Janssen fades into the woodwork on Fugitive Fridays.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Everybody Wants to Be Mabuse

You'll find you're a little bit woozy
Each time you see Dr. Mabuse
You're his to control
Mind, body and soul
And the crime you'll commit is a doozy.

David Cairns and Surly Hack

Director Fritz Lang made three films featuring the psychiatrist, mesmerist and criminal mastermind known as Doctor Mabuse: Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (33), and The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960). Rudolph Klein-Rogge (above) portrayed Mabuse in the first two films.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Bare Lady

When Lady Godiva went riding
She displayed dreamy thighs she'd been hiding
At the bombshell a creep
Name of Tom took a peep
I'm afraid with no eyes he'll need guiding.

Maureen O'Hara lets down her hair as Lady Godiva of Coventry (Arthur Lubin,1955). In this version of the tale, Peeping Tom is blinded by Victor McLaglen's flaming torch. Title by pallid rider David Cairns, whose write-up of an earlier, silent film version of the story inspired this limerick. You'll find it here at his blog, Shadowplay.

Destiny's Child Custody Battle

Of Fate we're all deathly afraid
'Cause our bed has already been made
And in it we'll lie
Till the minute we die
And the date has been set for the fade.

Bernhard Goetzke as Death, with Lil Dagover in Destiny (Fritz Lang, 1921). The original German title is Der müde Tod, "Weary Death".

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pariah Scary

He's skewed by an inner compulsion
A sinner who's viewed with revulsion
His acts are so hideous
So black and perfidious
The Berliners pursue his expulsion.

David Cairns

Peter Lorre doesn't like the verdict in M (Fritz Lang, 1931).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Anti M

This slasher is killing the kinder
His acts are political tinder
The criminal class
Puts a crimp on his ass
So their cash in the till he can't hinder.

Peter Lorre stars in M (Fritz Lang, 1931). Title by David M Cairns.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Drac in Black

Looking spooky and luridly ashen
She's pursuing a prurient passion
Going on the attack
She'll be donning all black
In the ghoulish couture that's her fashion.

That goth girl in the gallows get-up is Gloria Holden, aka Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer, 1936). The title is by that gruesome grammarian, David Cairns.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ladies Night of the Living Dead

Count Dracula's dastardly daughter
Went back to the castle he bought her
Lips parted to bite,
She partied all night,
Attacking the cast like he taught her.

Gloria Holden is Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer, 1936). Title by resident ladies maniac David Cairns. Image source: This Island Rob.

Friday, April 13, 2012

One-Arm-Missing Link

Together by life they've been tossed
Forever in strife they'll be crossed
One was tried, one was not
But they're tied in a knot
And the tether's the wife Kimble lost.

Fugitive Fridays features Bill Raisch and David Janssen, seen here in the show's final, color drenched season. Image source: The Fugitive blog.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coffee Breakdown

Her fury is sizzling hot
It''ll burn Marvin's criminal blot
When she trots out the java
It's a shot of hot lava
As, in turn, Grahame gives him the pot.

Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin feel The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953). Next week, Lang's German roots and a few of his silent films.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Who can know what another might think
To what low a new lover could sink
From childhood what pain
Runs wild in their brain,
Earning dough for some mother-trained shrink.

Michael Redgrave and Joan Bennett in Secret Beyond the Door (1947), Fritz Lang's late entry in the 1940s Freudian fad. Title by Doctor of Psycho-ology, David Cairns.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

His & Hearse

When next you are due to be wed
Run a check on your suitor instead
Look into his past
And the sins he's amassed
Those selected for woo might get dead.

Joan Bennett and Michael Redgrave in Fritz Lang's Secret Beyond the Door. Title by the easily engaged David Cairns.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Burning Down the Spouse

In the basement he's buried it deep
But the secret he's carried won't keep
She searches their house
To learn if her spouse
Is a freak...and she married the creep!

His secret, exploring, she'll learn
By giving the doorknob a turn
But the woe that she'll find
Will blow Joanie's mind
And she might end up stored in an urn.

Joan Bennett finds the Secret Beyond the Door ( Fritz Lang, 1947), a visually dense Freudian update on the Bluebeard story.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Staking Identity

How pleasant to meet Prof Van Helsing!
Vampirology's resident wellspring.
With his bible and cross
He's the ghost-slaying boss
Omnipresent dispatcher of hell-things!

David Cairns

 Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing, and Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chilly Count Carnage

Count Dracula's cold and he's clammy,
Has an accent, is overly hammy
For a rascal so crafty  
His castle's too drafty
He should pack up and go to Miami.

Bela Lugosi is Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931), and this is Vampire Weekends. Title by Chef-Destroyardee, David Cairns.