Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Neal Down (and Out)

The loser par excellence Neal
An abusive and petulant heel
Hits the trail on the thumb
But they nail the poor bum
To the hoosegow he'll exit last reel.

David Cairns

Tom Neal is driven to his distressing destiny in Detour (1945).

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pay Dirt Cheap

You may judge it deranged or bizarre,
But the blood in its veins is pure noir
It was shot on a dime
And, a lot like this rhyme,
Had a budget of change in a jar.

Tom Neal and Ann Savage scrape and claw in the top drawer noir from the bargain basement, Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ladies Man-Bat

This old wreck masquerades in a cape
Thus bedecked, like a shade, changes shape
He takes flight, incognito,
Off to bite, like mosquito,
Unsuspecting young maids round the nape.

Surly Hack and David Cairns

John Carradine is a suave Count Dracula in House of Dracula (1945).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dropped Dead Gorgeous

Have a care with this classy old knave
Debonair, he makes lasses his slave
The fair ladies succumb
To this Hades alum          
Unaware that he's passed from the grave.

John Carradine (as the title Count) vamps Martha O’Driscoll in Universal's House of Dracula (1945). Title by dapper David Cairns. Vampire Weekends is putting on its top hat.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Choke Is On Her

When with Vera just two was a crowd
She'd give linings of silver a cloud
First she'd snap and she'd bitch,
Then pull crap to get rich --
Now she's wearing a funeral shroud.

Ann Savage and Tom Neal head west but go south in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). Title by cartoonist Norm "Noose" Knott.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Caller OD

I just can't get her out of my hair
I'd transplant it but she'd still be there
The phone line got tangled
And so she got strangled
Now my pants will get steamed in the chair.

David Cairns

Tom Neal disconnects Ann Savage in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). Title by dial tone deaf Norm Knott.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Der Tod Couple

She's a snake and her soul is all rotten
He's a flake, and all told, misbegotten
She's depraved, but hot stuff,
And he's craven enough
That their brake-up just won't be forgotten.

Tom Neal and Ann Savage play out the tawdry tragedy of Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rear Dejection

He departs but can't guess the direction
Once they start the distressed rear projection
The road winds and he wends
And then finally ends
Behind bars in a house of correction.

Tom Neal looks rundown in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). Title by back-dropper David Cairns.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pick-Up, Smack-Down

Ev'ry thick-headed Dick tries to get her,
But don't pick up this chick in the sweater
From afar she's delicious
In your car she'll turn vicious
With a stick in the eye you'd do better.

Ann Savage gets the ride of her life in Detour (1945).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Flop O' the Morning

An undead, who in fact, never died,
It's at bedtime that Drac hits his stride
But by day must repair
To his grave--who knows where--
Or instead the old hack is sun-dried.

John Carradine's Count Dracula is toasted in House of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton, 1944). It just dawned on Vampire Weekends.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Casket Case

With his casket left out in the sun,
The poor bastard is not having fun
To the task Drac proves equal,
'Cause he's back for the sequel
Though his ass is, for now, overdone.

John Carradine's Dracula bites the dust in House of Frankenstein (1944). Vampire Weekends needs some sbf 2000 sunblock.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sneer Miss

She's Vera, a poisonous hen
She cheers sending boys to the pen
This skirt's been around
And to hurt you she's bound
She sneers and destroys lesser men.

Ann Savage's Vera glares in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Goodbye Forever Girl

Lady Luck is a date that's capricious
But this schmuck meets a fate pretty vicious
When Tom Neal gives a ride
To ol' Beelzebub's bride
He gets stuck with a mate that's malicious.

Tom Neal picks up Ann Savage in Detour (1945). Dave Kehr described the pair as "...a catatonic unknown and the most metaphysically distressing actress ever to grace an American film..."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Motel 666

With this gal in a fleabag motel,
It's like jail with no key to the cell
Stuck with Vera, a room
Becomes nearer a tomb,
And it's Al's own idea of hell.

Tom Neal is Al and is Ann Savage is Vera, in the seediest road movie of them all, Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Schmoe Better Blues

Yeah, he's surly, unshaven and gruff
But the churlish noir knave's had it rough
He's a jobless young stooge
And his problems grew huge
When a girl that's depraved gave him guff.

David Cairns

Tom Neal hits the pavement and Ann Savage in Edgar G. Ulmer's scruffy 1945 noir, Detour.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Roads Scowler

Al bums a ride west in a car,
But thumbing won't get him that far
This B movie "quickie"
Will slip him a Mickey,
While plumbing the depths of film noir.

Tom Neal is sad sack Al Roberts, hitting the road in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). Title by wheel man Norm Knott.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Nurse of Dracula

No affliction contracted was worse
Than the sickness that's Dracula's curse
So this doc runs some tests,
But is shocked and protests
When Drac dicks with his stacked bombshell nurse.

Onslow Stevens is Dr. Edelman, John Carradine is Dracula, and Martha O'Driscoll is Milizia Morelle (no, really) in House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton, 1945). Thanks to D Cairns for the bedside manner.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

For Bitter or Verse

Drac repaired to the castle for curing,
Where he stared at a lassie alluring
She'd look great as a bride,
Their two crates side by side...
Or was marriage disaster enduring?

Onslow Stevens, John Carradine and Martha O'Driscoll in House of Dracula, the film where both Drac and the Wolfman see a doctor about a cure for their supernatural afflictions.Title by wedding banner Norm Knott. Vampire Weekends is in the House.

Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Raining Menace

When the rain showed no sign it would stop,
I pulled over to put up the top
So the guy hit his head--
He can't die if he's dead!
Try explaining that line to a cop.

Tom Neal is all wet in in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). Neal's Al Roberts may or may not be the unluckiest sap in film, but there's no doubt that Detour is a tale of fickle Fate made for Friday the 13th.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"B" Sting

From PRC, Poverty Row
It's a product of genius, not dough
The budget was strained
But un-grudged and unchained
Did the odd creativity flow.

David Cairns

Tom Neal stars in the minimalist masterpiece Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). PRC is the acronym for Producers Releasing Corporation, one of the less prestigious Hollywood studios that comprised what became known as Poverty Row. The studio cranked out mostly routine, low-budget B-movies from from 1939 to 1947.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Noiry, Wrong Number

This flick bleeds paranoia pitch black
And it's lead's an annoying sad sack
On a foolish blind date
With a cruel, fickle Fate,
He proceeds but destroys his way back.

Norm Knott and Surly Hack

Ann Savage has a hold on Tom Neal in Detour. Norm (as Jim Siergey) has also written a longer poetic take on Detour over at Third City.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

For Hitcher, For Poorer

In this spare, inexpensive film ode,
Do beware of the gent who just slowed
Though he's going your way,
You must know you will pay
In the chair at the end of the road.

Tom Neal looks gets a ride from Edmund MacDonald and takes a Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). Title by cheap date David Cairns.

Monday, July 9, 2012

De-tour Guide

This squat-budget noir pic is thrifty
It's plot is fetched far but it's nifty
Killer con men and dames
Fill its ominous frames...
It's not just the cars that are shifty.

Tom Neal runs into trouble and Ann Savage in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). Image source: Like... Deamsville. Limerwrecks is taking a detour for the next few weeks.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Count Downer

It's a door like a lid to a coffin
And he opens it early and often
Standing still near your bed
He will fill you with dread,
Knowing Orlok likes bitin', not boffin'.

Max Shreck in Count Orlok in Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (F. W. Murnau). Vampire Weekends is going out for blood.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bite Sighs

It's a blot, it's a stain, it's undead 
And like rot or the plague, it will spread
From its resting place, crawling,
Comes this pest so appalling...
Nosferatu spells danger ahead.

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (F. W. Murnau, 1922).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ardath Bey Watch

It's that dangerous priest, Imhotep
He's quite ancient, but ain't lost a step
Says his name's Ardath Bey,
But you dames stay away:
Though deceased, the old beast has a rep.

The Mummy (Karl Freund, 1932). Boris Karloff is Imhotep, aka Ardeth Bey, and Zita Johann is is the reincarnated princess Ankh-es-en-amon. This is the original, and still the best Universal Mummy film.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mummy Dreariest

It's no wonder the mummy's morose:
To his honey he bid adios
Was entombed while alive,
Then exhumed his sex drive --
Now she shuns him because he looks gross.

Zita Johann and Boris Karloff as The Mummy (Karl Freund, 1932).

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

You're Darn Tutan Khamen!

This poor square reads a glyph on the sly
Soon he's staring a stiff in the eye
With a lady got chummy,
So they made him a mummy
'Cause the Pharoah was miffed at the guy.

Bramwell Fletcher reawakens Boris Karloff in The Mummy (Karl Freund, 1932). Title by well-preserved David Cairns.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Credit Where Credit is Dubious

Chaney Junior, but how do you know?
All those bandages cover him so
With the booze Lon had troubles,
So they'd use a few doubles...
It could truly be any old schmo.

Lon Chaney Jr. played the mummy in three films, but the only place you see his face is on a poster. The actor said he "didn't like the part at all. There wasn't anything you could do with the Mummy. You just got into the makeup and bandages and walked around dragging your leg."  Below: Master makeup artist Jack Pierce touching up Chaney.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Egyptian Conniption

Standard fare, by-the-numbers, on cue,
Neither terror nor mummy were new
With a dried up old plot
They relied on a lot,
So that Kharis had something to do.

It seems that every Mummy sequel made by Universal had essentially the same plot. The Mummy's Ghost (Reginald Le Borg, 1944) starred Lon Chaney as the jealous mummy Kharis (when it wasn't a stunt double), Ramsay Ames as his repeatedly reincarnated princess, and John Carradine as the high priest that always falls for her.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Either Orlok

An undead, and most frightening herr,
Of this dreadful old nightmare, beware!
When Count Orlok comes calling,
Bar the door--and quit stalling!
In your bed, tucked in tight, say a prayer.

Mysterious Max Shreck in Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau, 1922). The first film adaptation of Dracula, this wasn't nearly as influential Tod Browning's 1931 version starring Béla Lugosi. But the film made a significant contribution to vampire lore: exposure to sunlight is fatal.  Vampire Weekends ist kaput.