Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lorre, Lorre, Hallelujah!

LimerWrecks and featured star Peter Lorre will return on Monday.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Handed House

Not as tall as the tiniest midgets
It crawls up your spine and then fidgets
Director R. Florey
Selects star P. Lorre
For a brawl with malign sticky digits. 

Is there something loose, bumping off heirs?
Fingers, thumb, gruesome stump, on the stairs
Does it crawl, unconfined
Is it all in the mind?
You'll succumb, obtuse chump, unawares!

David Cairns

The Beast with Five Fingers (1946), directed by Robert Florey. Peter Lorre plays a musicologist obsessed with what he believes is the ambulatory severed hand of a dead pianist.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


He's a nut, the most bogus of cranks 
But for what does Doc Gogol gives thanks?
For the hands he can switch 
And so dandily stitch?
That most utterly roguish of pranks!

Transplant surgeon Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) spins out of control in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935). Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Moveable Beast

It's a hand, just a small, severed thing
It's not grand, but it's all about bling
From the box where it's kept
It has noxiously crept;
Cannot stand, so it crawls for its ring.

Hilary Cummins (Peter Lorre) is mesmerized by the severed hand in The Beast With Five Fingers (Robert Florey; 1946).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Five Fingers Exercise

This creepy and manic man-elf
Shan't sleep after scanning the shelf
His suspicion's increased
A musician, deceased,
Can't keep his dead hand to himself. 

Peter Lorre wrestles with a severed hand in The Beast with Five Fingers ( Robert Florey; 1946). Title by light-fingered David Cairns.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hack The Knife

The brain of this nut has a crack
He's insane -- they should cut him some slack
But he chokes the poor wife
Of a bloke with a knife...
There's a stain where it juts from his back.

Peter Lorre, Frances Drake and Colin Clive, as Dr. Gogol and Yvonne and Stephen Orlac, in Mad Love ( Karl Freund; 1935). With the completely unnecessary Ted Healy.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pratt Falls

Boris Karloff was born William Henry Pratt on this day in 1887. Image: Karloff and Peter Lorre mug their way through the horror-comedy The Boogie Man Will Get You (Lew Landers; 1942).

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rhyme and Punishment

We've decided to take weekends off. Don't be sad, LimerWreckers. Peter Lorre will be back on Monday. Image: Lorre and Marian Marsh  in Crime and Punishment (Josef von Sternberg; 1935).

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gogol Images

On the scaffold like meat he's been chopped
Not in half: but discretely de-topped
From the dead he's then snatched
With his head reattached
Gotta laugh: hands have neatly been swapped.

David Cairns

Peter Lorre as Dr. Gogol in Mad Love ( Karl Freund; 1935), based on the novel The Hands of Orlac by Maurice Renard. From David Cairns: Well, Gogol pretends to be a man who's been guillotined and reanimated and whose hands Stephen Orlac now has the use of...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Nutty Aggressor

Back in shadowy stairwells he'll lurk
He's a cad with a character quirk
In the spookiest get-up
This crazed kook doesn't let up
Once just mad, now he's fairly berserk.

Doctor Gogol (Peter Lorre) tries on his Halloween costume in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Guillotine-Age Kicks

Now, there's some feel at home when they're shopping
But this scum-sucking gnome digs head-cropping
Some shed tears when at weddings
Gogol cheers at beheadings
Crying Yum! at the moment of chopping.

David Cairns and Surly Hack

Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) is goofy for the guillotine in Mad Love ( Karl Freund; 1935).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chopping Blockhead

Passing by a beheading he'll stop
Doesn't shy from the dread, fatal chop
As the head's disconnected
Gogol's steady, collected
Though his eyeballs look ready to pop.

In Mad Love ( Karl Freund; 1935), Peter Lorre plays Dr. Gogol, a transplant surgeon who attends executions to acquire used parts.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sedate With Destiny

Here's a ghoul who in bed wields a crop
And stays cool while a head gets a lop
When the neck is bisected
Keeps in check, stays collected;
As the pool starts to spread, gets a mop.

Peter Lorre calmly eyes the guillotine in Mad Love ( Karl Freund; 1935).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hearts and Grafts

His life's filled with surgical sewing
But your wife, it's emerged, gets him going
He's appended two fists
On the ends of your wrists
And a knife they've the urge to start throwing.

David Cairns

Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) Stephen Orlac (Colin Clive) and Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake) form a strange triangle in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Saturday, November 15, 2014


It's clear that he's under a strain
We fear for his wonderful brain
Gogol knows he could crack
But there's no turning back:
Try steering a runaway train.

Peter Lorre as Dr. Gogol in Mad Love ( Karl Freund; 1935). Lorre was keenly fascinated with mental illness, and claimed that he studied with Freud and Adler in Austria. Title by pie-eyed David Cairns.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The NeverEnding Lorre

In masterpiece chiller and cheapie
He's cast as a killer most creepy
Made of pliable dough
With both eyelids hung low
He's the nastiest villain -- though sleepy.

Peter Lorre as mad surgeon Dr. Gogol, in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Lorre

No matter his character's arc,
Of madness he carries a spark
Seen half in his eyes
And his laugh, which implies
This bad boy's not scared of the dark.

Peter Lorre is surgeon Dr. Gogol in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Le Grand Gogol

Each night he reports to his box
He's polite, but he's sort of a pox
Much more than attracted
To the horrors enacted,
He delights in the torture and shocks.

In Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935), Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) obsessively attends every performance of actress Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake) in the Grand-Guignol styled "Le Théâtre des Horreurs." Title by grand title-master David Cairns.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Peter Unprincipled

Cast in horror or crime-ridden thriller,
Ghastly Lorre's sublime as a killer
He may jest or get mad,
But he's best when he's bad
He's adorable slime -- and no pillar.

Peter Lorre in All Through the Night (Vincent Sherman; 1941). Title by David Cairns, the principal of limericks titles. From The Bogie Film Blog: Lorre plays Pepi, the Nazi hitman and sometimes piano accompanist to Kaaren Verne’s Leda Hamilton. Pepi kicks off the storyline by murdering “Gloves” Donahue’s (Humphrey Bogart) favorite cheesecake baker, setting off a chain of events that leads New York’s most notorious gangsters up against the Third Reich in this comedy thriller.

Lorre enters the film walking through the door of a baker’s shop, eerily humming a tune before teasing the poor baker and then beating him to death. Referred to as “the goggle-eyed little rat,” by ‘Gloves,’ Lorre is wonderful, and one of the true highlights of the film.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Fight For Love and Lorre

Peter flirts and the women all groan
Because skirts by his image are thrown
And repelled by his touches,
Run like hell from his clutches
Come the curtain, the imp's all alone.

Rochelle Hudson and Peter Lorre, playing her sadistic husband in Island of Doomed Men (Charles Barton; 1940).

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Handy Mains

Being given a murderer's hands,
You grow livid at certain commands
They insist you throw knives
At assistants and wives,
And you're driven to serve their demands.

Colin Clive is Stephen Orlac, a concert pianist who undergoes a double hand-transplant in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935), which was adapted from Maurice Renard's story "Les Mains D'Orlac."

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Mad Lover

She's his muse--or he's truly obsessed
He pursues her, and proves he's a pest
For his pick-up technique
Has a sick, twisted streak
And he'll lose, for such ghouls shes detest.

Frances Drake can't stand to look at Peter Lorre in Mad Love ( Karl Freund; 1935), based on the novel Les Mains D'Orlac (The Hands of Orlac) by Maurice Renard.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gogol Chrome-Dome

When he shakes your hand Gogol seems charming
Then he takes it -- this rogue is disarming
But the hand he's sewn back
Will be prone to attack
No mistake -- this bald ogre's alarming!

David Cairns

Above: Frances Drakes as Yvonne Orlac, and Peter Lorre as Doctor Gogol, in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935). Below: Lorre being shaved for the role.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Man Who Chewed Too Much (Scenery)

The accent of Lorre is quirky
To the max he's abhorrent and murky
He's a curious star
His allure is bizarre
He's a whack-job, all foreign and lurky.

David Cairns

Peter Lorre in The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock; 1934).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Peter Lorre Principle

In a horror film, lit from below,
Peter Lorre's the hit of the show
But with snicker convulsive
To the chicks he's repulsive
Grossly morbid, unfit as a beau.

Peter Lorre in The Beast with Five Fingers ( Robert Florey; 1946). Image source: David Cairns' Shadowplay.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Demon Runyon

No escape, 'cause that thing sticks like glue
Out of shape, it's the wringer I'm through
Start the hearse, I can't shake it
It's a curse! I can't break it
What's this paper that clings to my shoe?

Professional skeptic Dr. John Holden (Dana Andrews) is pursued by a ball of supernatural smoke in Night of the Demon aka Curse of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur; 1957).

After reading the above limerick, David Cairns sent me the following response, along with the revised limerick: Maurice Denham's line "It's in the trees, it's coming!" was made famous when sampled by Kate Bush for The Hounds of Love. (click on the link see the Kate Bush video, which features a sequence inspired by Demon

Smoky shape in the trees, coming through
No escape, this unease sticks like glue
Though I try, I can't shake it
Cursed am I, and can't break it
What's this paper that Beezlebub drew?

David Cairns

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cummins and Goings

With her relative fizzed by a morlock
(Who's the hell-spawn of wizard or warlock)
Peggy's seeking revenge
Round the peaks of Stonehenge
Like that fellow on business from Porlock.

David Cairns

Peggy Cummins is Joanna Harrington, whose uncle is electrocuted while fleeing the demon in Curse/Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur; 1957). From David Cairns: "As poetry-lovers, you must know that Night of the Demon quotes Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Coleridge himself was plagued not by a "frightful fiend" but by a "person on business from Porlock" who interrupted his creative process and caused him to lose the thread of his poem Kubla Khan, which had come to him in a dream but will now be forever unfinished. It may be stretching a point to say that Peggy Cummins' character (above) interrupts the satanic Professor Karlswell's "great work" in a similar way..."

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Frank Sin-Eater

This ravening demon will rend you
To cavernous realms he will send you
You'll be burning in hell
Cause you haven't done well
But he'll have you well-done to amend you.

David Cairns

Night of the Demon aka Curse of the Demon (1957). Having learned under master of implication Val Lewton, director Jacques Tourneur didn't want to show the cheesy monster. But the film's producer insisted, and had his way. Subtlety good, producers bad.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

No End to His Talons

In his paw ancient writing was placed
Then he saw something frightful, was chased
Out of breath, tried to hide
Scared to death, the guy died
In the claw of a nightmare, laid waste.

Satanic cult leader Dr. Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis) gets what's coming to him in Night of the Demon aka Curse of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur; 1957). No end to the titles by David Cairns.