Tuesday, January 31, 2017
When he finds his lines hard to pronounce
From behind the dark bar he will pounce
Afflicted and addled
With addiction he's saddled
To grindhouse from stardom he'll bounce.
Marjorie Neaver and guest bartender Bela Lugosi at the Hurricane Club, 1940. Source: New York Daily News
Monday, January 30, 2017
This horrible bastard's refined
Both morbid and classy combined
Though his surface is cool
He's a murderous ghoul
Drinking gore by the lass 'til he's blind.
John Carradine as bloodsucking Count Dracula in House of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton; 1944).
Friday, January 27, 2017
Count Drac is the rottenest perp
He'll attack your carotid and slurp
And sloppily drain
Red glop through your vein
Then back away, potted, and burp.
John Carradine as Baron Latos, aka Count Dracula, in House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton; 1945). Title by order of David Cairns.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Keep your eye on his quicksilver form
'Cause this guy thinks that sick is the norm
Victims bleed every night
As he feeds and gets tight
On a diet that's liquid and warm.
Francis Lederer stars in Return of Dracula (Paul Landres; 1958) Title by unfed David Cairns.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
In his cups, he's a bon vivant, boozy
When he sups, he gets wan, drawn and woozy
It's a juicy, good part
Cause he's sluiced from the start
Step up Lon, John and Bela Lugoozy.
Lon Chaney Jr. in Son of Dracula, John Carradine in House of Dracula (1945), and Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931).
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Though the drink and the chick look delicious
He thinks it's a trick, is suspicious
Take care if a skirt
In her lair starts to flirt
If she's slinky and slick, she's malicious.
Joan Bennett offers Dan Duryea a drink in The Woman in the Window (Fritz Lang, 1944).
Monday, January 23, 2017
Black Angel's original scribe
Got deranged, hit the fridge, to imbibe
That icy cold liquor
Sufficed as a kicker
Tales most strange, unabridged he'd describe.
William Irish is one of the pseudonyms of noir crime and suspense writer Cornell Woolrich.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Though Sellers had passed, to be sure
The franchise would last ... or endure.
One film was completed
With scenes once deleted.
The next one would cast Roger Moore.
Donald B. Benson
Image: Joanna Lumley, Roger Moore, and Ted Wass in Curse of the Pink Panther (Blake Edwards; 1983). After Peter Sellers's death, Trail of the Pink Panther had a reporter tracing the vanished Clouseau in a film full of outtakes and deleted gags from earlier films. Curse introduced a replacement bungling detective (Wass) who found Clouseau -- converted by plastic surgery into Roger Moore (doing an enthusiastically goofy Sellers imitation).
Saturday, January 21, 2017
To pastures more sunny and flowered
Went Harlow, Lugosi, and Howard.
But posthumous credits
through doubles and edits
Can leave one a little bit soured.
Donald B. Benson
Image: Between Walter Pigeon and Clark Gable and behind binoculars is actress Mary Dees, doubling for Jean Harlow in Saratoga (Jack Conway; 1937). Saratoga was completed despite Harlow's death; Bela Lugosi "starred" in Plan Nine From Outer Space via a few soundless shots Ed Wood had taken for something else; and Shemp Howard's final Three Stooges shorts used doubles and footage from earlier films.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Drunk Duryea or bored Peter Lorre,
the cur who thinks gore's hunky-dory?
Whodunnit? We're sharing
that one's a red herring
Quite sure that there's more to the story.
Shady nightclub owner Peter Lorre hires composer and pianist Dan Duryea in the noir murder mystery Black Angel (Roy William Neill; 1946). Title by Donald B. Benson, a creepy people person.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Marty reeks like a stumbling bum
He looks peaked, a glum flophouse crumb
Though he swills like a sot
He still ain't forgot
Why he seeks to be comfy and numb.
Dan Duryea stars as booze sodden songwriter Martin Blair in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
He speeds as if chased by the past
He needs one more taste, one more blast
But this booze swilling mope
Plays the blues with no hope
In the weeds, he's a waste, sinking fast.
Dan Duryea runs for his life in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Title by Donald B. Benson.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Poor Danny did not have much luck
Chicks ran when they'd spot him, yelled "Yuck!"
If one gave him a tumble
He'd rave and then crumble
His can in noir plotting was stuck.
Dan Duryea and June Vincent in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).
Monday, January 16, 2017
Perpetual schlub, schmoe and loser
Pathetic night-clubber and boozer
This poor Dan's a sad dope
Has no chance, has no hope
He's no threat, just a substance abuser.
Dan Duryea played more than his share of down and out drunks. And no one did a flophouse alky better than he. With June Vincent in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Like carrion snacking on feasts
They tear and attack like wild beasts
Then wearing death-masks
They carry out tasks
Not caring the actor's deceased.
Surly Hack with David Cairns
The late Peter Cushing does not appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Gareth Edwards; 2016), The character of Grand Moff Tarkin is a creepy computer generated simulacrum, a digital zombie. Shame on the film's producers, and shame on Cushing's estate.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Your eyes and your nose, some guy's head
Disguising his pose in your stead
Abusing your face
In a gruesome disgrace
One dies but the show's never dead.
The late Peter Cushing does not appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Gareth Edwards; 2016). Grand Moff Tarkin is a fabrication: it's actor Guy Henry with layers of CGI "fake-up".
Friday, January 13, 2017
Hangdog Dan's started slurring his words
Got some brandy and gurgled two-thirds
Post-blackout, all's hazy
This rancid liqueur's for the birds.
Dan Duryea drinks like there's no tomorrow in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).
Thursday, January 12, 2017
In spirits awash, I go blurry
My fears have been quashed, I've no worry
Like the grime of the day
My crimes fade away
So, cheers! Let's get sloshed in a hurry.
Dan Duryea's drunken flashback in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Title by David Cairns, all business.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
How drunk can this guzzler get?
Eyes sunken, he's fuzzy and wet
What booze does he use?
The usual brews
In a funk, he get's buzzed to forget.
Dan Duryea has a drunken flashback in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
For his anguish he drinks: anesthesia
For a hangover, milk of magnesia
But he blacks out, gets fuddled
All cracked-up and muddled
Now he's jangled, can't think: it's amnesia!
June Vincent watches Dan Duryea sleep one off in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Our title could refer to any number of tales by author Cornell Woolrich, writer of the film's source novel.
Monday, January 9, 2017
For the blues and the shakes he gets blotto
"All the booze that it takes" is his motto
The keyboard gets drunk
The music they make is staccato.
Dan Duryea hits the skids in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Title idea by rhapsodic Donald B. Benson.
Friday, January 6, 2017
Though he favors light music when boozy,
What he craves is a screw -- and a doozy
So they make him a mate
Though his ache is still great
'Cause, post-graveyard, this floozy's still choosy!
Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff in Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1935). Title by no-worse-for-wear Donald B. Benson.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
These stars shine undimmed on our screens
Incarnate in glimmering scenes
But the slob misbehaves
Who's robbing their graves
With tarnishing sim-like machines.
Peter Cushing first portrayed Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars.(George Lucas; 1977). The actor died in 1994, but for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Gareth Edwards; 2016), CGI technicians grafted his features onto the head of another actor. How long before this troubling procedure becomes common practice? Here's a report from Variety.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
So I'm napping a binge off in bed
And a tapping unhinges my head
Then this broad barges in
Good lawd, what a din!
Her yapping would injure the dead.
June Vincent disturbs drunk Dan Duryea in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Title by David Cairns, who keeps hanging around.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
In this new Star Wars sequel they're pushing
You can view the unique Peter Cushing
With select, cut and paste
And execrable taste
The crew give his features a smooshing.
Peter Cushing first portrayed Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars. The actor died in 1994. For Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Gareth Edwards; 2016), ghoulish CGI technicians grafted the late Cushing's features onto another actor. In this case, special effects equals grave robbing and reanimating a corpse. At Disney, dollars outweigh dignity. With our repurposing of stills and screengrabs, LimerWrecks itself is a site on the slippery slope of digital transgression. Here's a New York Times article on the issue.
Monday, January 2, 2017
With a girl in the palm of his hand
This gorilla feels amorous, grand
Should he mess up her garments
Or wrestle some varmints?
Is this surly ape's family planned?
Fay Wray finds herself in the grip of King Kong (Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack; 1933).
Sunday, January 1, 2017
His cranium's pickled and grilled
Like his brain, his tongue's thick and unskilled
The poor dope really tries
But can't open his eyes
They're both draining hard liquor, distilled.
The morning after: June Vincent rousts Dan Duryea in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Reeking of cheap booze and skid row, Duryea is my favorite down and out drunk in film. And yes, we know how to spell "whiskey". Title by David Cairns, all business.