Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Olive Oyl Branch

My oh my, you're both rough and so strong
But this violent stuff is just wrong
All the noise is a fright
So you boys mustn't fight
Why oh why can't you toughs get along?

Popeye and Bluto come-a-courting Olive Oyl in Pleased to Meet Cha! (Dave Fleischer; 1935). The louts at LimerWrecks wish you a happy and peaceful New Year. We all want peace on Earth--though not necessarily in cartoons!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Au Bon Brain

One man crazy, and three very sane
They may praise him, but me they disdain
They're society's cream
I'm some guy makes you scream
I'm amazed they'd trust me with the brain.

David Cairns

When Victor questions his sanity, Henry says 'One man “crazy”, three very sane spectators.' Of course he leaves out Fritz, our narrator. Dwight Frye (Fritz), Edward Van Sloan, John Boles (Victor), Mae Clarke, Colin Clive (Henry), and Boris Karloff, in  Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931).

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Work is done, but a cool, soothing dip
Is no fun if you're losing your grip
Something black's on the prowl
Which attacks with a growl
Never run by the pool--you might slip!

Alice Moore (Jane Randolph) seeks refuge in the pool in Cat People (Jacques Tourneur; 1942). Title by watery-eyed Donald Benson.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Cat People on Sunday

Do these people who mew often stray
Beneath steeple to pew where they pray
To old Gods and their laws?
Or just nod, clean their paws?
Do they weep when we neuter and spay?

Simone Simon, the star of Cat People, returns as Irena in The Curse of the Cat People (Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise; 1944), haunting Ann Carter.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Carry On Curse

Is she Amy's imagined new friend?
Did this dame meet a tragical end?
Enigmatic? The most!
Once a cat, now a ghost
It's misnamed but quite magic, well-penned.

David Cairns

The mysterious Irena (Simone Simon) appears to young Amy Reed (Ann Carter) in The Curse of the Cat People (Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise; 1944), a most wonderful sequel-in-name-only.

Monday, December 25, 2017

All She Haunts for Christmas...

It's Christmas, the advent of life
Not listlessness, madness, and strife 
As snow gently falls
A ghostly dame calls                                 
Insisting she's Daddy's first wife.               

In The Curse of the Cat People (Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise; 1944), young Amy Reed (Ann Carter) befriends Irena (Simone Simon), her father's deceased first wife. Title by our not-so-secret Santa, Donald Benson. Merry Christmas from the elves at LimerWrecks!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Curse of Christmas Past

You're adrift in an X-mas perverse 
Shape-shifter? Still sexy, post-hearse!
Not cats in your stocking
Or splatter most shocking
Your gift is this excellent Curse.

Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, and Ann Carter celebrate Christmas in The Curse of the Cat People (Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise; 1944), produced by Val Lewton.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Fritz Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Like the biblical saviour, but stranger
Robbed from gibbets by knaves at great danger
'Twas a nightmare nativity
Into Dwight Frye's captivity
My crib was the grave, not a manger.

David Cairns

The Monster (Boris Karloff) narrates his birth, with Dwight Frye as Fritz, and Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931).

Friday, December 22, 2017

Scary Rotter and the Deathly Gallows

It swings like a leaf from a tree
A thing--just some beef I'll cut free
It hangs there, suspended
It's strangled, life ended
What stings is that thief could be me.

Does Fritz (Dwight Frye) identify with the hanged criminal in Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931)? Does he see his own future at the hands of the Monster? With Colin Clive. Nothing like a hanging to put one in a festive holiday mood. Title by merry Christmas fairy Donald Benson.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Rad Skelton

Like an acne-scarred skull, his fizzog
Graces hackneyed and dull films, a slog
But Knaggs kills it when shootin'
Them thrillers by Lewton
He attacks without lull, we're agog.

David Cairns

Skelton Knaggs as Finn, the mute sailor in The Ghost Ship (Mark Robson; 1943), produced by Val Lewton, master of mood and menace.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Handle With Character

Called "ugly" by wretched film wags
His mug's a collection of crags
But fans of great faces
Think his pan is just aces
A hug for this deck hand, Skel Knaggs!

Skelton Knaggs is "Finn the Mute" in The Ghost Ship (Mark Robson; 1943).

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Chain of Ghouls


The anchor-chain's stowed in a cell
There's a Clank! you let go a great yell
But with hatch tightly battened
You're dispatched, slightly flattened
Either prank or pre-Code level Hell.

David Cairns

The Ghost Ship (Mark Robson; 1943) Is this why Lawrence Tierney is so angry in his later roles?

Monday, December 18, 2017

Ghost in the Marine

This ship tells the tale of a "ghost"
Iron grip of a male that's the most
The ill Captain Stone
To killing is prone
One slip up, and sailor, you're toast.

Richard Dix stars as Captain Stone in The Ghost Ship (Mark Robson; 1943). Skelton Knaggs fondles the knife.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Can and Superman

No bantam-weight, Bluto's quite large
Gigantic, the brute's like a barge
Poor Popeye is stomped
'Til supper he's chomped:
One can down the chute gives a charge. 

Bluto abuses Popeye the Sailor (1933).

Friday, December 15, 2017

Flat Mates


Oh, the wonderful terror you've sown!
All the fun, all the scares you have known!
But the good times must end
You and Ludwig, your friend
Are both done, and from parapet thrown.

The Monster (Boris Karloff)  attacks henchmen Karl (Dwight Frye) and Ludwig (Ted Billings) in Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1935). Credit for the title to Donald Benson, sans flattery.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Captain Rehab

Has the captain gone nuts in his craft?
Has he snapped, started cuttin', gone daft?
Does he test his crew's limits
Like that pest Chester Nimitz?
Holy crap! Blood and guts flow abaft!

David Cairns

Richard Dix captains The Ghost Ship (Mark Robson; 1943). Limerick Lexicon: Abaft--at or near or toward the stern of a ship or tail of an airplane. You can look up Nimitz on your own.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Queeg of Their Own

What happens to crews when they find
Themselves trapped in this bruising sea-bind:
As dark shadows loom large
There's a madman in charge
When their Captain starts losing his mind.

Richard Dix captains The Ghost Ship (Mark Robson; 1943). Donald Benson owns the title.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Done, With Mirrors

In a heap in your bed, at death's door
Seems the Reaper has readied one more
In repose, with no breath
They suppose it's your death
If you "sleep like the dead," try to snore!

Cataleptic Katherine Emery takes a potentially fatal nap in Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson; 1945). Title done right by Donald Benson.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ode to a Gruesome Turn

Great buckets of gore have been shed
Lives struck down in war, running red
An island of death
Of final, last breath
Souls plucked by the score join the dead.

Marc Cramer and Boris Karloff walk through a corpse-strewn battlefield at the start of Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson; 1945). Title by well turned Donald Benson.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Veg of Glory

Despite thews, guts and brawn he's a loser
When abused by this monstrous big bruiser
Popeye's beaten by cretin
Till a neat tin is eaten
To the music of John Philip Sooser.

David Cairns and Donald B. Benson

Popeye seeks a spinach boost in Blow Me Down (1933).

Friday, December 8, 2017

Happiness is a Warm Goon

Karl feeds on his villainous spree
Bad deeds always fill him with glee
He's more than fulfilled
By horror he's thrilled!
He needs it to kill his ennui.

Dwight Frye as Karl, murderous henchman to Doctor Pretorius, enjoying his work in Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale;1935).

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dirge Overkill

Lewton brings out the poet in me
And I sing as I go, do re mi
On the Isle of the Dead
I fall silent with dread
In a kingdom, like Poe's by the sea.

David Cairns

Boris Karloff and Marc Cramer draw near the Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson; 1945).

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dead Skelton

They thought Knaggs was tipsy at dinner
Quite blotto! A dipso! The sinner!
They were vaguely misled
He had plague; now he's dead
Have they caught it? Their script's getting thinner...

David Cairns

Skelton Knaggs, Jason Robards Sr., Boris Karloff, and Helen Thimig (seated) in in Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson; 1945).

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Packaged Holiday

An unfeeling, and deeply wrong fate
Will steal up as she's sleeping quite late
Cataleptic in bed
With no pep, looking dead
She'll get sealed up for good in a crate.

David Cairns

Marc Cramer, Jason Robards Sr,, and Boris Karloff  in Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson; 1945). "This one really upset me as a kid," says David Cairns.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Early to Bed, Early Demise


On the Isle of the Dead you'll feel fine
And so smiling in bed you'll recline
But this nap spells your doom
As you're trapped in a tomb
Quickly filed under "zed," cased in pine.

David Cairns

Katherine Emery looks dead to the world in Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson; 1945). "This one really upset me as a kid," says David Cairns.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Popeye the Assailer Man

Just one can has me twisting and flailing
And with anvil-like fists I'm assailing
One big blow to the features
Knocks him over the bleachers
When he lands he'll be blistered and wailing!

David Cairns

Popeye's spinach-fueled punch destroys both Bluto and the diner in We Aim To Please (1934).

Friday, December 1, 2017

Imployee of the Month

Grave-robbing? Don't hire Burke and Hare
It's a job for a firebrand who'll care
For with luck, who gets paid
Ain't some schmuck with a spade
For two bob young Dwight Frye will be there.

David Cairns

Dwight Frye as Fritz, and Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931).