Friday, August 31, 2012

A Stiff in the Drink

The guy went to the floor with a thunk
I pretended his corpse was a drunk
Though I weighted and bound it,
A bit later they found it
It was then that my fortunes were sunk.

Dana Andrews tries to dispose of the Mark Stevens' body in Where the Sidewalk Ends (Otto Preminger, 1950). Title by no longer wet-behind-the-ears Norm Knott.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Right Hook, Flatline and Sinker

'Tween a rock and a hard place I'm stuck
Know the knock will be "cop run amok"
His last breath's not my fault,
But says "death by assault",
So this sock-'em-first slob's out of luck.

In Where the Sidewalk Ends (Otto Preminger, 1950), when tough cop Dana Andrews kills Mark Stevens, he assumes that no one will believe it was by accident. Title by punch drunk David Cairns, of Shadowplay.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Stiff That Dreams Ain't Made Of

There's no pulse, and my gut starts to sink
Just one punch, the mutt's gone in a blink
Though he's "late" as in "dead"
From the plate in his head,
Better dump his cold butt in the drink.

Ironic Fate puts violent cop Dana Andrews behind the eightball in Where the Sidewalk Ends (Otto Preminger, 1950). Title by dreamy Norm Knott.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Killer Fill 'er Up

Just a guy whose V-8 needed filling
Well then why has your blood begun chilling?
An old face from the past
In your place to get gassed...
Time to lie down and wait for the killing.

The past and Albert Dekker catch up with and Burt Lancaster in The Killers. This was inspired by an earlier gas station noir by David Cairns, Grease Monkeyshines. Image source: Film Forno

Monday, August 27, 2012

McGraw Talent

He's been gargling whisky for days
And his voice rasps like gravel ablaze
With a pile-driver chin
Made of granite, not skin
All life wilts 'neath his terrible gaze.

David Cairns

Actor Charles McGraw lent his gravelly gravitas to many a noir. Here he's letting off steam in Narrow Margin (Richard Fleischer, 1952) and T-Men (Anthony Mann, 1947), with Wallace Ford as "The Schemer". Stick around as we crawl into the back alley for a week of film noir.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pigment of the Imigination

Deranged, off he plods in the night
Having changed to an odd shade of white
As the snake peels its skin
He reveals what's within:
A mangy and Sadeian fright.

David Cairns

Supernatural blaxploitation bonus round: Bernie Casey is the man in the dark mirror, Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (William Crain, 1976).

Hyde and Shriek

There's a Dr. in Watts name of Pryde,
With a lot he keeps bottled inside
If you hustle, sweet sister,
Don't you tussle with "Mr.",
That monstrous pale rotter called Hyde.

Supernatural blaxploitation extra: Bernie Casey stars as Dr. Pryde, aka Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (William Crain, 1976), whose "albino" alter ego has it in for hookers and pimps. Read more on the film here.

Black Reign

The invincible Blac had arrived
With no wince-causing shuckin' and jive
Royal bred, he'd been cursed
With a dreadful red thirst,
But his dignity somehow survived.

William Marshall is the one and only Blacula. Our blaxploitation series bites the dust, but Vampire Weekends will return.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

In Living Dead Color

There were shadows prolonged not from lighting,
But that saddest of wrongs film was righting
Many actors, adept,
To the back had been swept
Now they'd add to the throng who'd been biting.

William Marshall creates an army of black vampires in Blacula (William Crain, 1972). Title by David "color me crazy" Cairns. 
David finishes his freaky fortnight on supernatural blaxploitation with a look at Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde. Vampire Weekends hasn't bled out.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Flesh Prince of L.A.

No mere shill just collecting his check,
Our big Bill chills with soul -- unlike Schreck
He's both scary and brown,
A true heir to the crown
Who will drill two small holes in your neck.

Surly Hack and David Cairns

William H. Marshall brought gravitas and bearing to the African prince turned vampire in Blacula (1972) and Scream Blacula Scream (1973). Actor Max Shreck played the first take on Dracula 50 years earlier in Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922). Thanks to David Cairns for all his great limericks these past two weeks. Be sure to read David's Shadowplay for articles on the many backwaters of film history, such as this take on the blaxploitationer The House on Skull Mountain.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's So Sleazy Being Green

By a demon unruly, possessed,
Her libido is duly undressed
But this beast overheated
By a priest is defeated
With this he-man it shouldn't have messed.

Carol Speed is Abby (William Girdler, 1974), daughter-in-law of preacher and archaeologist William Marshall. Apparently possessed by Eshu, a frisky spirit of the Yoruba religion let loose by Marshall in Nigeria, Abby turns green and grows bushy eyebrows. The film virtually disappeared after Warner Bros.sued over copyright infringement of The Exorcist. Here's David Cairns on Abby.


Big bad Blacula's back, and Grier's got him
He won't slacken, though coppers have shot him
All the ladies emote
When he goes for the throat,
Not attracted to chest or to bottom.

William Marshall returns as Blacula,and is joined by voodoo priestess Pam Grier, in Scream Blacula Scream (Bob Kelljan, 1973). Title by rubber-neckers Norm Knot and David Cairns. David writes about The Blaxorcist--I mean, Abby--at his blaxploit blogathon at Shadowplay.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


It's Blacula V Rasulala
A duel you might view in Valhalla
The demonic prince dwelt
On the African veldt
A regular Vlad the Impala.

David Cairns

Thalmus Rasulala's pathologist opposes William Marshall's vampire prince in Blacula (William Crain, 1972). Title by short-in-the-tooth Norm Knott. David Cairns opines on the 1936 zombie voodoo “race film” Ouanga, aka The Love of Wanga. over at blaxploitation central, aka Shadowplay.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sugar Shocker

They're a batch of unholy ex-slaves,
And they scratch from the holes of their graves
Though to kill is their task,
In Ms.Hill they will bask
She's a catch a dead soul brother craves.

Marki Bey is Sugar Hill (Paul Maslansky, 1974),  raising zombies to take revenge on the gangsters that killed her boyfriend. Title by semi-sweet meat David Cairns, who digs up Sugar Hill over at Shadowplay.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Striking Out a Pose

Gary Cooper and Babe Ruth posing for Pride of the Yankees.

For those of you interested in poetry and baseball, let me steer you over to, where my limerick rhymes have been appearing for some time. My default subject is my struggles and frustrations as a long suffering Cubs fan, but I also write on other aspects of the game, including these two recent posts on batters vs. pitchers, found here and here. There's also one on Anthony Perkins in Fear Strikes Out, here. And lastly, one of the many on those laughable, lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs, about the team's new owners, the Ricketts family.

Voodoo Unto Others

From their graves all her hit men arose
Former slaves now dead sisters and bros
Just doin' their thang
Pursuin' a gang
With some crazy-ass shit in their 'fros.

Beautiful Marki Bey stars as Sugar Hill (Paul Maslansky, 1974).

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Puncturation Marks

An exciting, high-keyed monster drama
That will bite and then bleed on yo momma
Blac's revived by a cult
With the jive-ass result
Of a title in need of a comma.

William Marshall returns as an African Prince turned vampire, in Scream Blacula Scream (Bob Kelljan, 1973). Title by toothsome David Cairns. Vampire Weekends is the undead end of the week.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Superfly by Night

He is Blacula, frightful and mighty
And he snacks with delight ev'ry nightie
Down at Sunset and Vine
The bros' blood flows like wine
He'll be back for a bite out of whitey.

William H. Marshall is the one and only Blacula (William Crain, 1972). Vampire Weekends got soul.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Eddie's limbs were blown off by a mine
Left him prone with a boffin called Stein
So this egg-headed dude
Gives new legs, arms and 'tude:
Bedridden no more, but malign.

David Cairns

Joe De Sue stars as Eddie Turner, a quadriplegic Vietnam vet turned into a monster in Blackenstein: The Black Frankenstein (William A. Levey, 1973). A boffin is a stock character in UK culture: a scientist, engineer, or other person engaged in technical or scientific research.
Over at the indispensable Shadowplay, David looks at the early "race films" of the twenties and thirties, focusing on Son of Ingagi. And then he tears Blackenstein limb from limb.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Deadly Moor

The drama, that sweetest of arts
Is famished for meatier parts
But ruddy Bill Marshall
To blood will be partial
Though ham is still dear to his heart.

David Cairns

William Marshall returns as Blacula in Scream Blacula Scream (Bob Kelljan, 1973). At The Forgotten, David bites into Ganja and Hess.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Voodoo the Right Thing

He's been raised by black mass, now he's here
Quite unfazed by the passing of years
This poor ghoul would be good
And with voodoo he could
His malaise is outclassed by Pam Grier.

David Cairns

In Scream Blacula Scream (Bob Kelljan, 1973), William Marshall returns as Blacula, trying to lift his vampiric curse with the aide of voodoo priestess Pam Grier. David writes more about the film here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gore West, Young Man

Once attractively crowned, now passé,
Here come Blacula, pouncing on prey
An undead, regal vamp,
Blac's the red bloody champ
Out of Africa, bound for L.A.

Blacula's coffin was shipped to Los Angeles by two interior designers, called "faggots" in the film (one is pictured, below). Remember, this was the far from politically correct seventies. Reading my limerick above, David Cairns topped me with the following variation.

Out of Africa, bound for L.A.
Here comes Blacula, pouncing on prey
An undead, studly vamp,
He's the red bloody champ
Though his victim's resoundingly gay.

William H. Marshall is African Prince Mamuwalde, turned vampire in Blacula (William Crain, 1972). Title by the sexually progressive David Cairns.

Stupid Bicuspid

This prince has a darker complexion
But evinces the marks of infection
His face goes all hairy
And his fangs grow quite scary
Since they lack any dental correction.

David Cairns

William H. Marshall is African Prince turned vampire, Blacula (William Crain, 1972). David Cairns writes more about Blacula.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blaculala Land

He's been cursed for forever, then crated
But his bloodthirst can never be sated
When his lid is unsealed
What was hid is revealed:
His first lover is reincarnated.

David Cairns

In 1780, an African Prince (William H. Marshall) is turned into a vampire by Count Dracula and sealed in a coffin. Revived in present day Los Angeles, he encounters a woman (Vonetta McGee) whom he believes is the reincarnation of his deceased wife.  

Bloody Blaxploitaion week starts at the beginning with the big bad daddy of black horror films,  Blacula (William Crain , 1972).

Be sure to read the accompanying articles by David Cairns all week long at Shadowplay

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hypnotize That Binds

Never gaze into mind-blowing eyes
They're ablaze, and you'll find it unwise
For their Looney Tunes glower
Has you soon in their power
In a daze you will say your goodbyes.

John Carradine hypnotizes Martha O’Driscoll in House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton, 1945). Vampire Weekends is getting sleepy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Who'll Be the Necks in Line?

Upon people this scamp is a pox
Likes to sleep in a damp wooden box
And his stare casts a spell,
So be wary, young belle:
He's a creep, but this vamp's an old fox.

John Carradine as Count Latos/Dracula, in House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton, 1945). Title by rubber-necker Norm Knott.