Monday, October 31, 2016

Wedding Night-mare

Preparing for bliss as a bride,
From terror this miss cannot hide
When, about to be wed,
Found passed out on her bed,
There's a hair more than kissing implied.

Boris Karloff corners Mae Clarke in Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931). Happy Halloween from the ghouls at LimerWrecks! Stay tuned, as the fun continues in November with more pre-Code horror!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Severed Hands Down

Of his hands this pianist was fond
To commands his new pair don't respond
From a killer's corpse taken
(Whom they've still not forsaken)
With that man the hands still have a bond.

Stephen Orlac's hands seem to have a will of their own: Colin Clive in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Slapsy Waxy

His face is all freakish, disfigured
When Miss Wray sneaks a peek, panic's triggered
For the skin made of wax
Brow to chin, quickly cracks
Now Fay's become equally jiggered.

David Cairns

Fay Wray batters -- and shatters -- Lionel Atwill in The Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933).

Friday, October 28, 2016


Ending lives was these mitts' last profession
Hurling knives, targets hit in succession
Set to work on the keyboard
Any jerk knows they'd be bored
Now they're Clive's and unfit for jam sessions!

David Cairns and Surly Hack

Doctor Gogol (Peter Lorre) replaces the mutilated hands of pianist Stephen Orlac (Colin Clive) with those of a knife-throwing killer: Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Take My Knife... Please!

The piano quite grandly he'd played,
But this man now must land a new trade
Not grilling or sewing...
He's brilliant at throwing,
And he can't keep his hands off a blade.

Colin Clive and Frances Drake in a still from Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935). Title by eager to please Donald B. Benson.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Needle in a Fay, Stacked

You lie there, clothes stripped, and you cringe
The psycho now grips a syringe!
His goal is ignoble
To control you, immobile
Ivan Igor has slipped from his hinge!

Charlotte Duncan (Fay Wray) is about to be waxed by mad sculptor Ivan Igor (Lionel Atwill) in The Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933), which was filmed in glorious two-strip Technicolor. Title by not-at-all fey Donald B. Benson.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Glands of (Madam) Orlac

In Grand Guignol she's earning her crust
Quite obscenely he's burning with lust
He's agape in the gloom
At her shapely bazoom
How uncleanly he yearns for that bust!

David Cairns

Performer Frances Drake is the object of surgeon Peter Lorre's Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935), based on the novel The Hands of Orlac (Les Mains D'Orlac) by Maurice Renard.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Touch and Gogol

Her act Gogol nightly attends
But back all his flowers she sends
A schnook or a creep?
He looks half asleep
The fact is they'll never be friends.

The obsession of Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) with Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake) can only be described as Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Huston, You Have a Problem

"He sneered!" wheezes Dead-Legs, most torrid
He's weird, beads of sweat on his forehead
Someone fractured his spine
Now his back's out of line
And his feared fetid fetish is florid.

David Cairns

Walter Huston as "Deadlegs" Flint, with Lupe Velez in Kongo (William J. Cowen; 1932).

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Night of the Living Deadlegs

He rules with a bag of old tricks
This ghoul that no magic can fix
By hatred he's powered
By its weight's near devoured
It's the cruelest, most tragic of flicks.

Walter Huston as "Deadlegs" Flint in Kongo (William J. Cowen; 1932) This remake of West of Zanzibar (1928) attempts to outdo the Lon Chaney original in depravity.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Louse of Wax

At the kinky old goat Fay Wray's staring
Soon a pinkish wax coat she'll be wearing
But wait! There's the cops!
And the hateful guy drops--
In the drink he will float like a herring.

Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray visit The Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933), in glorious two-strip Technicolor. Title by Donald B. Benson, waxing eloquently.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wax Finish

His vat is just seething with soup
Old Atwill, that heathen old poop
Has a wax job to spray
Upon flaxen-haired Fay
The mad bat wants her sheathed in this goop.

David Cairns

Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray in Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933).

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


It's not gay like the Waldorf or Ritz
In decay, it's all sprawl and no glitz
It's not straight, but it's solid
Though its state's rather squalid
It's a playhouse that calls for a Fritz.

Fritz the hunchback (Dwight Frye) is dwarfed by the castle stairwell in Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931).

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Room With Abuse

The monster, by torture is greeted
He's put upon, scorched and mistreated
A sick little squirt
Likes inflicting the hurt
On this construct of corpses reheated.

Dwight Frye is Fritz, Boris Karloff is the monster, and Colin Clive is Henry something...oh, yeah. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931).Title by effusive Donald B. Benson.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Countdown to Halloween 2016!

'Til the end of the month we'll be counting
The tension--or something--is mounting
Of our poems be wary
Though, you know what is scary?
My brother-in-law's in accounting!

LimerWrecks is just one of the many blogs and sites celebrating Halloween horrors all month. Visit the Countdown Headquarters for links to all of this year's participating spooks and spectres.

Creator, and Some of His Parts

How pleasant to know Mr. Clive
Who desires the prognosis "revive!"
He supplies the remains
With fresh eyes, feet and brains
And will presently crow, "It's alive!"

David Cairns

Boris Karloff is the monster, and Colin Clive is Henry, Henry Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931). Stick with us as we delve into Pre-Code Horrors in our annual limerick countdown to Halloween!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mannequin's Best Friend

Although she is only a dummy,
Doc Gogol, the troll, thinks she's yummy
When he looks on Yvonne
The poor schnook gets turned on
And so, takes her home to get chummy.

In Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935), Doctor Gogol (Peter Lorre) is obsessed with Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake), the star of the Grand Guignol Theatre of Horrors. He's so obsessed that he buys her lookalike dummy to have it near him. Title by limerick-friendly David Cairns.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

No Briefs Encountered


"Invisible Man" was reviewed
By censors in search of the lewd.
In memos they wrote,
Did anyone note
His sins were all done in the nude?

Donald B. Benson

Claude Rains gets dressed in The Invisible Man (James Whale;1933). It's October 13th,  the perfect date to start our celebration of Pre-Code Horrors, which runs through Halloween.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Astor Risk


One's shamefully funny, robust
One's tame and well-done, upper-crust
The wise-cracking whore
Or the prize who's a bore
Two dames, only one you can trust.

Clark Gable is caught in a triangle with Jean Harlow and Mary Astor in Red Dust (Victor Fleming; 1932). What the film has to say about virtue is more nuanced than you might expect. Title by the risqué James Finn Garner.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Clark Raving Mad

Red-blooded, and get 'er done Gable
Looked ruddy and willing and able.
From ardor they'd swoon
For this star so rough-hewn
King stud of the Metro-run stable.

Clark Gable and Jean Harlow heat up Red Dust (Victor Fleming; 1932).

Monday, October 10, 2016

Of Humid Bondage

When cast as a matron demure
Mary Astor is stately and pure
Yet what Joe is so damp
He’d forgo the hot tramp?
High class doesn’t rate ‘gainst a hooer.

James Finn Garner

Red Dust (Victor Fleming; 1932). Rubber plantation ramrod Clark Gable (there's a, um, mouthful) is torn between married society dame Mary Astor and prostitute Jean Harlow. Title by Bond villain Donald B. Benson.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Indochina Pattern


No lady, she's lolled on the street
For a payday she's followed the fleet
Who'll he choose between classy
And this floozy who's brassy?
I'm afraid that this doll can't be beat.

Jean Harlow and Clark Gable star in Red Dust (Victor Fleming; 1932).This steamy melodrama about a love triangle is set on a rubber plantation in what was then called Indochina. Title by male patterned James Finn Garner.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Harlow Can You Go?

In a barrel this "Lily" is splashing
Sans apparel she's thrillingly thrashing
Bare-naked, with sponge,
She's taking the plunge
Doesn't care that civilians she's flashing.

Jean Harlow as Vantine Jefferson and Clark Gable as Dennis Carson in Red Dust (Victor Fleming; 1932). They call each other "Lily" and "Fred," as though neither can be bothered to remember the other's name. Title by go-go Norm Knott.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


To a cheap rubber farm Harlow’s gone
'Til the heat settles down in Saigon
She’s testing Clark Gable
As best as she’s able
Now Jean’s a renowned “barrel blonde.”

James Finn Garner

Jean Harlow and Clark Gable in Red Dust (Victor Fleming; 1932). James Finn Garner writes novels about a clown detective and poetry about baseball. And you think I'M weird.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Red Dust in the Sunset

This bargirl of loosest repute
Likes sparring with boozer and brute
Wears flimsy apparel
And swims in a barrel
Jean Harlow is truly a hoot.

Jean Harlow. Clark Gable and Donald Crisp in Red Dust (Victor Fleming; 1932).

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dust Never Sleeps

The setting's a steamy plantation
For a sweaty, unseemly flirtation
They fight and they spoon
Through a frightful typhoon
Dry or wet, this screen team's a sensation.

Clark Gable and Jean Harlow in Red Dust (Victor Fleming; 1932).The actors made six films together.