Thursday, February 28, 2019

Them! Might Be Giants

These giant-sized pests are mutations!
Not shy, they digest human rations!
They're massive, evolving
Their acid dissolving...
Sci-fi has the best exclamations!

THEM! (Gordon Douglas; 1954) was originally conceived as a color and 3D film. Those plans were scrapped, though many of the camera set-ups for 3D still remain, like the opening titles and shots of flamethrowers aimed directly at the camera. And the film's titles were printed in a vivid red-and-blue against a black-and-white background in order to give the film's opening a dramatic "punch". This effect was achieved by an Eastman Color section being spliced into each release print. (Source: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Them! Were Expendable

With mandibles snapping, advance!
We can't give these chaps half a chance!
We can eat them alive
On their meat we will thrive
We're a grand bunch of scrappers! Go ants!

David Cairns

The insects write the limericks in Them! (Gordon Douglas; 1954).

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Them There Size!

Eat lead! Here's a score of hot slugs!
Your heads will need gore-stopping plugs!
Dear Jeezus, you're giant --
But please be compliant --
Drop dead, you big horrible bugs!

James Whitmore and Edmund Gwenn battle the giant, irradiated ants of THEM! (Gordon Douglas, 1954).

Monday, February 25, 2019


The nuclear testing at Trinity
Blew nearly all pests to infinity
But the few that still breed
Weirdly grew, and now feed
And for grue have expressed an affinity.

David Cairns

Giant ants attack in Them! (Gordon Douglas; 1954).

Friday, February 22, 2019

Frye Comedy


Absurd body snatcher, unshaven
He's nerdy and wretched and craven
As dupe or assistant
Frye's scruples-resistant 
At murder and fetching, a maven!

Remembering the great Dwight Frye on his birthday. Dwight Iliff Frye (February 22, 1899 – November 7, 1943), shown here as Karl In Bride of Frankenstein.

Stair and Stair Alike

The stair where mad doctors once trod
The lair of a shocking big clod
Could hateful old Ming
Create such a thing?
Who'd dare don a smock and play God?

In this still from Flash Gordon (Frederick Stephani; 1936), Buster Crabbe and Jean Rogers pose on the watchtower steps from Bride of Frankenstein (1935). The set was used for interiors of Ming's palace.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Hirsute Case

Professors apply only fact
But guesses make scientists act
Injecting a serum
He's wrecked by his theorem:
Regressing, he dies hairy-backed.

Doris Merrick and Robert Shayne (Prof. Clifford Groves) in The Neanderthal Man (Ewald André Dupont; 1953. Title by David Cairns, headcase.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Can and Superman

In those difficult moments, when ailing,
Or at fisticuffs woefully failing...
When he struggles to stand
Popeye chugs spinach canned
In a jiff, against foes he's prevailing. 

Popeye plants one on Bluto in Blow Me Down (1933).

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Clue Goes There?


Who dispatched the poor corpus delicti?
Who attached a tight cord as a necktie?
In whodunnits by rote
Murder's fun, but take note:
Who they'll catch is the you-won't-suspect guy.

Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) gathers the suspects in The Jade Mask (1944).

Monday, February 18, 2019

Peer Pressure

This reeking old geezer's a creep
He'll sneak as, uneasy, you sleep
For lost love he's yearning
You've tossed, now you're turning
You shriek when you see the guy peep!

Kharis (Lon Chaney Jr.) hunts for his long lost love, Ananka, the reincarnated princess in The Mummy's Curse (Leslie Goodwins; 1944). Mummy Monday is looking at you.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Kids Play With the Darndest Things

What to think of this hunger to bond?
Ask his shrink why, of youngsters, he's fond
What his fans want to know
Has he plans to heave ho?
Will she sink if she's flung in a pond?

Boris Karloff and Marilyn Harris in Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931).

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Amazons Primed

Jungle glam, exposed steamy hot thighs 
On some amorous females--surprise!
Though these chicks aren't frail,
And quite sick of the male,
Even amazons seem to need guys.

Laurette Luez leads the Prehistoric Women (Gregg G. Tallas; 1950). Title by "Prime Time" Donald Benson. Throwback Thursday wishes you a happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Global Warning

Gear for war--or a future elysian
Either or, Earth must make a decision 
"For the danger must cease."
Says this stranger, "Choose peace.
Or by Gort you'll be baked with heat-vision."

Dr. Barnhardt (Sam Jaffe) reacts to the ultimatum from Klaatu (Michael Rennie) in The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise; 1951.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Surprise Guilty Party

Someone clever has done it--but whom?
Gather everyone, all in a room
Who committed the crime
Will admit it in time
Though it's never the one you assume.

Whodunnits and mysteries often employ a penultimate scene where the detective gathers all the suspects together. Here Nick and Nora Charles hold a dinner party in The Thin Man (W. S. Van Dyke; 1934). David Cairns came up with the title, and he's also guilty of suggesting the scene.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Schlep by Schlep

Just heat him some tana leaf potion
He's beat, but will manage slow motion
Teeth clenched, he's not talking
For centuries, walking
His feet sure could stand a good lotion.

Lon Chaney Jr. is the Mummy in The Mummy's Ghost ( Reginald Le Borg; 1943). Title by hep Donald Benson. Mummy Mondays is on the march.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Doom With a View

He's hoisted on high and then thrown
Giving voice to a cry, and a groan
A career of grave-robbery
Ends all smeared like a strawberry
And now moistly Dwight lies, still and prone.

David Cairns

Karl (Dwight Frye) is tossed from the castle's parapet by the Monster (Boris Karloff) in Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1935). Title by doom laden Donald Benson.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Reptile Dysfunction

He could chomp you to pieces then belch
Or else stomp you deceased with one squelch
But this flinty T-Rex
Has no interest in sex
So no romping cross-species with Welch.

David Cairns

One Million Years B.C. (Don Chaffey; 1966). It's sexy Throwback Thursday. The poster illustration is by Jack Thurston.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Some Like it Klaat

This caller will sizzle, beguile 
He's tall, lean and chiseled, has style
Any June, Jane or Janet
Would commune on his planet
In thrall to this visitor's smile.  

Michael Rennie is the alien emissary Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise; 1951).

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Throw the Books at Them

Some carp about viewers who choose
Those Marples and old Nancy Drews
Which tick off the purists
But tickle the tourists
With sharp comic turns between clues.

Donald B. Benson

Bonita Granville (center) stars as Nancy Drew...Detective (William Clemens; 1938); also pictured are Frankie Thomas and John Litel.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Fails From the Script

The Karloff is notably eerie
But Kharis looks totally weary
Through sequels he rots
With creaking, old plots
Sub-par, writ by rote, oh so dreary.

Lon Chaney Jr creaks in The Mummy's Tomb (Harold Young; 1942). Title by fail-safe David Cairns.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Cut and Bride

For a partner he aches, poor galoot
But the tart doesn't make with the cute
He's the sum of his parts
And, though dumb, it still smarts
When his heart starts to break, he turns brute.

Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff in Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1935). Title by David Cairns, quite the cut-up.