Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Squid Row

Here's a monster flick good for a yuck
With a mollusk whose suction cups suck
A sad octopod beast
A mad doctor released
In a movie they shot for a buck.

Tor Johnson wrestles with a rubber cephalopod in Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster (1955), a Z-grade cheapie starring an ailing Béla Lugosi as Dr. Eric Vornoff, who conducts experiments to turn people into super-beings through the use of atomic power and a sub-atomic script. Some trivia from the IMDb: The prop octopus was stolen from Republic Studios and was constructed for the John Wayne film Wake of the Red Witch. The motor which controlled the octopus' tentacles was not stolen with it, as is obvious to the casual viewer.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Its Happen Every Spring

They arrive from the sea and won't quit
(They survive when 3D takes a hit)
Across screens giant critters
Give the teenagers jitters
At the drive-ins big creatures are "IT".

It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955) features the nifty stop-motion work of Ray Harryhausen. Tentacle Week has destroyed seven days and is reaching for a fortnight.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It Came From Beneath the Screen

From the sea comes a beast, today's catch
The police on the beat are no match
Like in gum, they get stuck
And are plumb out of luck
When the thing's giant B-cups attach.

B-movie cups, that is. It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955) features the stop-motion monster work of master animator Ray Harryhausen.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Here's Looking at You, Squid

Be careful exploring much deeper
Beware of a snoring sea-sleeper
When taking a dive
Try staying alive
When it glares from its horrible peeper.

It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955) features stop-motion creature animation by master Ray Harryhausen. Title by David Cairns, always on the lookout.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Little Green Menace

© 2013 Hilary Barta All rights reserved

Hunting prey, they are famously brainy
Plus their alien frames are all veiny
To these maniacs green
You're sustaining cuisine
Grab your ray-gun and aim like Dick Cheyney.

This is a print which I'll be hawking this weekend in Artist Alley at C2E2. It is also available online from Pseudo Press. Color by dāvpunk! Title by green around the gills David Cairns. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pitching a Tentacle

In this rousing and crowd-pleasing flick
Harryhausen allowed a few tricks
Like the physical quirk
Which would save him some work
"It"s endowed with not eight legs but six.

David Cairns and Surly Hack

It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955) features an aquatic creature by the great stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On the Trail of the Lonesome Octopus

Like some sloppy and eight-legged snail,
Slimey octo creates quite a trail
With his tentacles gripping
And lamentably dripping,
Bring a mop and a great honking pail.

The 1919 serial Trail of the Octopus. Title by David "Dinner at Eight" Cairns. Over at his blog, Shadowplay, David is posting a serialized appraisal of this wild and woolly entertainment.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eight Legs to Hold You

The oddity came from beneath
I'd shop for a funeral wreath
This up-from-the-mucker
Will cup with its sucker
Thank god the thing doesn't have teeth.

It Came from Beneath the Sea (Robert Gordon; 1955) features stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen. David Cairns wrote our title, and informs us that the film's creature was given only six tentacles--instead of eight--to save labor when animating.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Gangsters Mollusc

Like a squiggly thing from the id
Comes this wriggling wrinkly squid
Its appendages' suction
Ends in tendril destruction
Do not giggle -- no, heaven forbid.

David Cairns

A frame from Bride of the Monster (Ed Wood; 1955).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Giving Up The Ghost of Frankenstein

He's beleaguered, by demons pursued,
He's fatigued, in an evil bad mood
His frame shoddy and failing,
From his body he's bailing
Beaten Ygor is clearly unglued.

Béla Lugosi as the one and only Ygor in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). Our chronological limericking through Universal's Frankenstein films will return after a brief intermission.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Minds Over Matter

There's no clue to whose brain he'll be sporting
Through both shrewd and insane ones they're sorting
All this bod and mind swapping
And the odd case of dropping
Tell me who could explain such cavorting!

Lionel Atwill and Cedric Hardwicke eye a supine Lon Chaney Jr in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dwight Place, Wrong Time

Mister Frye was a credit to crime
When defiling the dead was sublime
On a mad doctor's staff
He did bad for a laugh
With a style way ahead of his time.

Dwight Frye brought a macabre humor to grave situations. Pictured: Ernest Theisinger as Dr. Pretorius, Ted Billings as Ludwig, and Dwight Frye as Karl in Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1935).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ingrate Minds Think Alike

Ygor clamored, harangued, and he ranted
As the camera angles grew canted
He was only conspiring
To postpone his expiring
So his damnable brain was transplanted.

Doctor Bohmer (Lionel Atwill) considers the crazy scheme of Ygor (Béla Lugosi) in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thug Lobe Theatre

If transplanting your brain were a cinch
What man would refrain, who would flinch?
At your brawny new shape
Poor John Law has to gape
And abandon obtaining a pinch.

David Cairns and Surly Hack

In The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942), who doesn't want a brain transplant? Ygor (Béla Lugosi, right) asks Ludwig Frankenstein (Cedric Hardwicke) to put his brain in the Monster.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Clod Bless the Child

The town which he lumbers above
Won't allow him his underage love
It's not that it's blind
He's just hot for her mind
When they crowd him he'll give them a shove.

Lon Chaney Jr and Janet Ann Gallow pose for a still for The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Roof and Tumble

Lon Chaney is not one to grouse
No complaint is he heard to espouse
With advanced analytics
He answers his critics
If you pain him you're hurled off a house.

David Cairns

Lon Chaney Jr and Janet Ann Gallow (or their stand-ins) look down on The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Over Uneasy

An eruption inside her is growing
Rising up in her eye holes and glowing
What this flare-up evokes
Is a pair of fried yokes
Her corruption won't die and it's showing.

Surly Hack and David Cairns

In Black Sunday (Mario Bava; 1960), the evil within the corpse of Barbara Steele revives. Black Sundays is looking at you, kid.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Splat From a Hot Tin Roof

From the ledge hapless villagers fall
From their heads the blood spills where they sprawl
But the guy never harms
The small fry in his arms
Why drop dead for a silly old ball?

The Monster (Lon Chaney Jr) climbs a roof to retrieve a ball for little Cloestine (Janet Ann Gallow): The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). David Cairns dropped off the title.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Renfield Fly Rule

He's a nebbish with mad, glowing eyes
Spinning webs so to nab a few flies
While on insects he's snacking
In the bin he is cracking
This most febrile and addled of Fryes.

Dwight Frye as Renfield goes nuts in Dracula (Tod Browning; 1931). Title by fly-by-night David Cairns. We're crazy for Dwight Frye-Days.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

From the Grave to the Cradle

Ygor grabs him, explains to him twice
That "The nabbing of wains isn't nice."
German moms and pops worry,
And form mobs in a hurry,
Plus "My crabby old brain should suffice."

The Monster wants to put a little girl's brain in his noggin: Béla Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr and Janet Ann Gallow in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). Thanks to David Cairns for digging up the title. Limerick Lexicon: wain is Scottish for child

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Invasion of the Toddler Snatcher

With no bride, this poor slob can't call booty
Yet inside he still throbs eyeing beauty
Why he'd kidnap this wain
Only id could explain
When he tried, one more mob did its duty.

Lon Chaney Jr reaches for child actor Janet Ann Gallow in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942). Thanks to toddling David Cairns for today's title, and for adding a new word to our Limerick Lexicon: wain is Scottish for child or baby.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Smash Mob

One more mob always mounts an attack
But The Monster just bounces right back
Although ever so dumb
He will never succumb
For survival some clowns have a knack.

The villagers react when The Monster (Lon Chaney Jr) picks up little Cloestine (Janet Ann Gallow) in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942).

Monday, April 8, 2013

Same Old Throng

As he lumbered along in the dark
He was numbed by a strong, blazing spark
But by lightning bolt charged
His great might was enlarged
Now he rumbles with throngs for a lark.

David Cairns

It's the Monster (Lon Chaney Jr) vs the mob in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Socket to Me

Her demise at the stake is appalling
As she dies, for revenge she is calling
Then her rest's interrupted
When by pests she's corrupted...
In her eyes creepy spiders are crawling.

Barbara Steele's corpse is bug feed in Black Sunday (Mario Bava; 1960).

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Yawn Patrol

This is schlock in familiar terrain
There's a doc who has skill with the brain
It is fate that he'll face
His dead pater's disgrace
But this crock makes the chilling mundane.

Ralph Bellamy, Cedric Hardwicke and Lionel Atwill watch Lon Chaney Jr stretch after his power nap: The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Friday, April 5, 2013

Frye Baby

He giggles and brays and he cackles
In the brig they should chain him in shackles
With a little chagrin
And a spittle-flecked chin
His sniggering raises your hackles.

David Cairns

No one made with the madness like Dwight Frye, here as Renfield in Dracula (1931). We all go a little crazy on Dwight Frye-Days.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dad on Arrival

He's warned by his dead father's shade
Not to horn in on what his dad made
He may find, says pa's ghost
That he'll wind up as toast
When reborn is that mad thing, decayed.

David Cairns

Ludwig Frankenstein is visited by an apparition or optical effect of his father: Cedric Hardwicke in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Brainwave Goodbye

Ygor's love is abnormal obsession
A rapport that transforms to possession
In the monster his brain
Gets ensconced (it's insane!)
An abhorrent new form of succession.

David Cairns

Ludwig Frankenstein, Ygor, and Doctor Bohmer argue about whose brain goes into the Monster: Cedric Hardwicke, Béla Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., and Lionel Atwill in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Stalk This Way

Mighty white, like he fell in some chalk
Quite a sight in the dell on a walk
Chaney's Monster's been stained
And soon Lon is de-brained
It ain't right that like Bela he'll talk.

Surly Hack and David Cairns

Ygor has designs on the big guy's body: Lon Chaney Jr and Béla Lugosi in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1942).

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Sours

The Smoking Pun

Foolish bloke and his money soon parted
He was broke, and what's more, brokenhearted
And thus lacking the means
Started snacking on beans
Acrid smoke from his his crack just departed.

Surly Hack

Bet you thought we were going to use "farted"...Oops! We just did. My apologies for abusing this lovely frame from Josef von Sternberg’s sweet smelling Underworld (1927).

Poe-lar Exploration

There was a young man of Nantucket
Whose ship was a leaky old bucket
He sailed to the Pole
And fell straight down a hole
The bottom was deep and he struck it.

David Cairns

A Nantucket limerick that is really about...sailing. April Fools! This 1884 etching by Robert Swain Gifford is called Wreck of the Grampus, and is an illustration from the novel 'The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket' by Edgar Allan Poe.