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).

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tales From the Script

You're frightened you'll rot and draw flies?
Don't fight it, Death's not a surprise
If you stop on this isle
You'll drop dead in style
Our writers will plot your demise.

Jason Robards Sr,, Marc Cramer, and Boris Karloff in Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson; 1945). Title by David Cairns, who has script approval.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Isle "M" For Morbid

A quarantine keeps them ashore
In a horror that's creepy sans gore
No slasher or beast
Will gnash them deceased
But old Boris has Reaper rapport.

David Cairns

Boris Karloff stars in producer Val Lewton's morbid Isle of the Dead (Mark Robson; 1945).

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dearth of the Cat People

It's a sequel in nothing but name
Lisping geeks cry "Fruthtrating! It'th lame!"
But this "Curse" is no cheat
It's a nursery treat
Quite unique with this otherworld dame.

David Cairns

Irena (Simone Simon) haunts Curse of the Cat People (Robert Wise and Gunther von Fritsch; 1944) and young Amy Reed (Ann Carter). Title by Donald B. Benson, a cat people person.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hairball of Fire

"Will she cuddle up close in the sack?"
Wonders Judd, an hypnosis-crazed quack
Yes, this Mrs. is pretty
But one kiss she turns kitty
Sorry bud, adios! You're a snack!

Dr. Judd (Tom Conway) puts Irena Reed (Simon Simon) under hypnosis in Cat People (Jacques Tourneur; 1942).