Sunday, October 31, 2021

Rainbow Blite

There's yellows, magentas, and blues
Like Jell-O, they've plenty of hues
They're a fright, post-demise
Just the sight hurts the eyes
And, hello! Their scent is bad news!

One of the creepiest covers in the history of comics. Art by "Ghastly" Graham Ingels, with what I presume is color by Marie Severin.

This concludes our annual Countdown to Halloween, but we'll be back in November after a short break to recuperate. Thanks to David Cairns and Donald Benson for their limericks and editing help. Happy Halloween!

Surly Hack

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Let He Who Is Without Skin…

They're jammin' the blues on dem bones
That tambre, those musical tones!
But no vertebrae's fused
Neither hurt nor abused
To damage them, use sticks and stones.

A spinal column becomes a xylophone in The Skeleton Dance (Ub Iwerks; 1929). Title by Donald Benson, who has the skinny.

Friday, October 29, 2021

THIS is Spinal Tap

This xylophone's slickly erected
Restyling bones quickly selected
This chuckle-head dreamer
Gets struck with a femur
A smiling, prone, stickman dissected.

David Cairns

The Skeleton Dance (Ub Iwerks; 1929) was the first Silly Symphony animated short subject produced by Walt Disney. Title by boney Donald Benson.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Morgue, Then Merrier

Most, gladly, will giggle and snort
Quite madly, some prigs won't cavort
Why fight it, we're mortal
We might as well chortle
And sadly, the gig is too short.  

In the Betty Boop cartoon Ha! Ha! Ha! (Dave Fleischer;1934), laughing gas causes various inanimate objects to laugh hysterically, including a mailbox, a parking meter, a bridge, cars, and gravestones. Title by drop dead funny Donald Benson.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Athletic Cup and Saucer

Take care horny teenaged connivers
Beware of these green back-seat drivers
The things like to grab
Their fingernails jab
When bared this will mean few survivors.

Gloria Castillo and Steven Terrell take a wild ride on lover's lane in Invasion of the Saucer Men (Edward L. Cahn; 1957).

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Schwing from Another World

From Venus? No telling...perchance
It's genus? Intelligent plants
Deny it a sex?
Or pry 'below decks'... 
No penis? Why else wear those pants?

James Arness is an asexual alien, The Thing from Another World (Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks; 1951).Title by schwinger Donald B. Benson.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Thing Ain't What It Used to Be

This 'kumquat' has smashed through the door
It's come for a ration of gore
No peace-loving buddy
For research and study
Play dumb it'll bash's WAR! 

Scientist Robert Cornthwaite attempts to reason with James Arness, aka The Thing from Another World (Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks; 1951).

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Thing Is...

...a strange intellectual carrot
A change from the text where like parrot
It mimics each crewman
A gimmick inhuman
Here it drains blood from necks like it's claret.

David Cairns

A young James Arness plays The Thing from Another World (Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks; 1951). The film's plot deviates from the source material, the 1938 novella "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Quite-a-Mess at the Pics

In the subway the murky thing's lurking
In the rubble where workmen are shirking
From the soil they have dug
Comes a gargoyle-like bug
Which troubles the Circle Line, smirking.

David Cairns

James Donald and Andrew Keir star in Quatermass and the Pit, aka Five Million Years to Earth (Roy Ward Baker; 1967).

Friday, October 22, 2021

Quite-a-Mess Too

Invade? They have already struck!
They persuade--they don't brawl, run amok.
Thus by slow infiltration
They take over the nation
Marinading this fall guy in muck.

David Cairns

A Member of Parliament (Tom Chatto) is covered in poisonous black slime in Quatermass 2, a.k.a. Enemy From Space (Val Guest; 1957).

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Quite-a-Mess Xperiment

Its flesh is defective and scabby
(The special effects are quite shabby)
That damn splurge that attacked us
Was man merged with cactus
Indiscretion in Westminster Abbey.

David Cairns

An astronaut (Victor Wordsworth) 
infected by an alien organism returns to Earth, and his body begins to mutate by absorbing other lifeforms: The Quatermass Xperiment a.k.a. The Creeping Unknown (Val Guest; 1955).

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Please, Sir, I Want Some Moreau

When he's up to his elbows in leopard
This wild pup sure as hell won't play shepherd
But this dog's had his day
Demagogue won't hold sway
They all sup on the fellow, unpeppered.

David Cairns

The beast-men take their revenge Dr. Moreau (Charles Laughton) in Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton; 1932).

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Are We Not Menacing?

Who cuts up the lowly, untamed?
Who guts the poor souls, unashamed?
Who alters a screech
To halting, beast-speech?
This nut named Moreau's to be blamed.

Charles Laughton as Doctor Moreau in Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton; 1932).

Monday, October 18, 2021

Sonnuva Frankenstein

He's a cranky big guy, but no baddie
No thanks to his highly-strung "daddy"
His mug isn't pretty
But the lug has our pity
He's Frankenstein's science-born laddie.

Boris Karloff, memorable as the Monster in Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931). Thanks to David Cairns and Donald Benson for the assist.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Doctor Deranged

What kink made the doctor create her
And think some poor blockhead should date her?
Will this feline, all girl
Give a heman a whirl?
The stinky old crock should just crate her!

Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton; 1932) stars Charles Laughton as Dr. Moreau, and
Kathleen Burke as Lota, the Panther Woman.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Keep Our City Clean

Perhaps, deep inside, Kong was good. 
But that doesn't mean that he could
Have made a nice pet.
You mustn't forget
What bears always do in the wood.

Donald B. Benson

Bruce Cabot, Fay Wray, and Robert Armstrong react to King Kong (Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack; 1933).

Friday, October 15, 2021

Frankenstein Meets the Sandman

When asked what he thought of a waterbed,
The Monster growled, "Give me a hotterbed.
I've slept within ice
And it wasn't too nice.
So dry is the bunk where I oughterbed."

Donald B. Benson

Bela Lugosi is the Monster in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (Roy William Neill; 1943).

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Shadowy Cabinet

See Doc Caligari's old cabinet?
If I spot it on eBay, I'm grabinet
To place in my room
Of expressionist gloom --
In jammies of black I'll look fabinet.

Donald B. Benson

Werner Krauss is the title doctor in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene; 1920).

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Natty Dead

Bela ended his days stony broke
Told his friends, "So, OK, when I croak,
And I'm pressed in my coffin
My rest it will soften
To spend it arrayed in my cloak."

David Cairns

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

On the Growl

Chaney Jr. excelled wearing fur
As a moon-chasing hellhound or cur
But by day he had charm
Wouldn't scare, scar or harm
Till his lunatic spell made him grrrr

David Cairns

Lon Chaney Jr. in The Wolf Man (George Waggner; 1941).

Monday, October 11, 2021

Bit or Miss

Miss Dracula leans to the sapphic
Though her scenes aren't obscene or too graphic
She adores blood donation
With an oral fixation
So she snacks on the teen demographic.

David Cairns

Nan Grey falls prey to Gloria Holden in Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer; 1936).

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Pounding Sandor

I'm a dud, a cold fish, I'm a swine!
But this cuddly dish is divine!
Like a moth to a flame
I dig goth on a dame--
Oh buddy, I wish she were mine!

Countess Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden) is worshipped by her manservant Sandor (future director Irving Pichel) in Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer; 1936).

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Like a Goth to a Flame

How her kinship to Dracula's wrought her!
She's his sinister, black-shrouded daughter!
Can her fortunes be turned
When, by torch daddy's burned?
See her lineage crackle! Get water!

Gloria Holden is Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer; 1936).

Friday, October 8, 2021

Daddy's Little Churl

A sinister, doom-laden dame
To begin life as human, her aim 
Trading shadows for joys
Her dad she destroys
As kindling consumed by a flame.

Black-clad Gloria Holden cuts a striking figure as Countess Zaleska, Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer; 1936).

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Pyre This Time

As an awful, neck-snacking King Lear,
To his offspring old Drac wasn't dear
When his smart-dressing daughter
Wants no part of such slaughter
From his coffin he's stacked on a bier.

Gloria Holden stars as Countess Marya Zaleska, aka Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer; 1936).

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

There Will be Suds

The scene's an explosion of shirt!
Machines overflow, soap suds spurt!
That eerie apparel
So queer and so feral!
Try cleaning off ghost-ground-in dirt!

Surly Hack with David Cairns

Cover art by Bill Everett, 1958.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Unkindest Cut

For Sondheim, a hit operatic.
For Burton, success cinematic.
For artist whose wage
Was dollars per page,
A trash bin, or maybe the attic.

Donald B. Benson

A printers proof for The Unseen #15 (1954). Art by Mort Meskin and George Roussos.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Final Cut

Your barber is giving you fits!
You're thinking of calling it quits!
The swift, slashing motion...
Then aftershave lotion--
A shave and a throat cut...two bits!

Another great cover by Lee Elias (1953).

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Bone Meals

These "silicates" - crawling unknowns
In a chiller that draws mostly groans
Defiling and smushing
On an island with Cushing
These killers will jaw on your bones.

David Cairns

Peter Cushing stars in Island of Terror (Terence Fisher; 1967).

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Belle Ringer

Of her blood some transfuser did sap her
It was ruddy amusement to tap her
The clamor resulting
Has Hammer exulting
As THUD! she gets used as a clapper.

David Cairns

Carrie Baker swings in Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (Freddie Francis; 1968).

Friday, October 1, 2021

Scene of the Chime

You're dead and beginning to smell,
Your head hung within a big bell
By a hank of hair swinging
One yank! and you're ringing
A dreadful, dire, din: your death knell.

Cover art by Lee Elias, 1954. Welcome to the month long Countdown to Halloween! Each day in October we'll be bringing you limericks on horror films and comics and...all things creepy and scary. You can find out who else is participating over at Countdown Headquarters, here.