Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The X-Philes

No portrait in text can describe 
The horrors Doc X will prescribe
This uncanny, weird thriller
Has a cannibal killer,
And a sordidly sexual vibe.

Doctor X (Michael Curtiz, 1932). Title by cinephile David Cairns.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Doctor Will Seize You Now

There's a pest who likes gore and wrings necks
He's ingesting each corpse he dissects
To the touch he's synthetic
And his clutch is prosthetic
Film in question? The warped Doctor X.

Lionel Atwill and Preston Foster in Doctor X (Michael Curtiz, 1932), a twisted pre-code horror gem, eerily hued in two-strip Technicolor. Title by David Cairns, who laments that his favorite line in the film, "An empty sleeve is abhorrent to most men," doesn't scan as a limerick.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Belly-Flophouse of Wax

His dastardly plans falling flat,
They at last trap the squalid old rat
And resolving the plot,
By revolver he's shot,
And the bastard will scald in a vat. 

Surly Hack and David Cairns

Mad sculptor Ivan Igor (Lionel Atwill) takes a hot wax bath in Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Birthday Suitor

Take a peep at this jewel at rest 
While asleep, by a ghoul she's undressed
She's adorably pink
He's a horrible fink
One more creep who's unduly obsessed.

Lionel Atwill strips Fay Wray for a waxing in the chiller shot in two-strip Technicolor, Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933). Title by David Cairns, well suited to horror.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Some artists mold clay, some play sax
Some carpe the day, some are hacks
This wise guy devises
A guise that surprises
And startles his prey with hot wax.

Two-strip Technicolor Lionel Atwill (as crazed sculptor Ivan Igor), and Fay Wray in Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933). Title and assist by David Cairns, waxing eloquently.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Death and Waxes

He's a horrible blot of a freak
Into morgues he cannot help but sneak
There a body he'll snatch
As a model, to match
When he pours on hot wax technique.

Surly Hack with David Cairns

Lionel Atwill's scarred sculptor stalks Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933). Assist by David Cairns, the man in black at Shadowplay. One more down in the Countdown to Halloween.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wax of Vengeance

Going slack, they look queer as they melt
They're facsimiles, zero is felt
But Fay, who is real
On display, sure will feel
The hot wax on her rear, oh so svelte

Surly Hack and David Cairns

There's nothing quite like a nude and nubile Fay Wray in the pink two-strip Technicolor of Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933). This also started out as a comment on an earlier rhyme. The Countdown to Halloween continues.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Vat's All, Folks!

He was burned, his dreams dashed, turned to rubble
But returned from the ashes for trouble
If your face does resemble
His creation, then tremble:
You've earned a hot splash and a bubble.

Lionel Atwill is that mad sculptor of wax, Ivan Igor, in Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933). Filmed in glorious two-strip Technicolor, Museum features superb art direction by Anton Grot.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Sight at the Museum

With Fay stripped of slacks and apparel,
He's dripping hot wax from a barrel
This fiery plight,
Sees her frying tonight--
Unless gripped by hot hack Glenda Farrell.
David Cairns

Fay Wray, Lionel Atwill (as the alliteratively named "Ivan Igor") and Glenda Farrell, wisecracking reporter in Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933). This limerick was originally a comment on another post, The Wax of Life. Has Farrell (below) ever looked lovelier than in the pinks and greens of two-strip Technicolor?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Wray of All Flesh

Who'd relax at this sinister show?
There's a max of pink skin, all aglow
You can't beat Fay Wray stripping
But with heating and dripping,
Hot wax is beginning to flow.

Actress and 'scream queen' Fay Wray is in the pink in 2-strip Technicolor, in the classic pre-code chiller Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz; 1933).

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Bride and Boom!

His intended is galling -- the pits             
She's no friend, so he's calling it quits
Add patrician Pretorius,
A physician notorious --
In the end they are all blown to bits.

Wave goodbye to Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1935). The Monster (Boris Karloff) pulls the lever, dooming his Bride (Elsa Lanchester) and Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Theisinger). The Monster himself isn't so lucky: he returns for the sequels. Title by David "Boom-Boom" Cairns.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Connubial Holocaust

When he tugs this huge switch they go BLOOEY!
The big lug and his bitch will be gooey
What (grey) matter remains
Is some splattery brains
Plus an ugly neck, stitched-up and screwy.

David Cairns

The Monster (Boris Karloff) blows up the lab --along with himself, his Bride (Elsa Lanchester), and  Dr. Septimus Pretorius (Ernest Theisinger): Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1935).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lever to Heaven

With one yank on this lever we'll blow
When I crank it to heaven we go
Or whatever's the place
Takes our revenant race
Is the Frankenstein level below?

David Cairns

The Monster (Boris Karloff) puts an end to Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale; 1935).