Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Satanic Copyrights of Dracula


They shot without clearing the rights
Took the plot, creepy peer, and his bites
Film consigned to the fire
Of a shining vamp pyre
But has not disappeared from our sights.

David Cairns

Max Schreck stars in Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau; 1922), an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Monday, February 8, 2016



Your shadow alights like a shroud
Too bad with all rights they're endowed   
You dared to play poker     
With heirs of Bram Stoker
Too Vlad-like, your bite's not allowed.

Max Schreck is Count Orlok in Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (F. W. Murnau; 1922), a movie which casts a long shadow in film history. But it almost went up in smoke. From Wikipedia: "...an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel (for instance, "vampire" became "Nosferatu" "Count Dracula" became "Count Orlok"). Stoker's heirs sued over the adaptation, and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed. However, a few prints of Nosferatu survived..."

Friday, February 5, 2016

No, No, Nosferatu

A specter, a shadow, a shade
Max Shreck knew how Vlad should be played
Amok and unsightly
And sucking blood nightly
From necks, 'til his sad, sudden fade.

Actor Max Schreck, unforgettable as Count Orlok in Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (F. W. Murnau; 1922).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dawn's Early Blight

You're a guy with the funniest ways
You just lie there, you shun working days
You look awful, feel sickly
To your coffin, and quickly!
Or else die by sun's fatal rays.

Count Orlok (Max Schreck) meets the dawn in Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (F. W. Murnau; 1922).

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Nocturne Pale

Not sleepy, at night he will walk
And people will rightfully gawk
He's hook-nosed and thin,  
And look at his skin!
Grim reaper-like, whiter than chalk!

Count Orlok (Max Schreck) makes an entrance in Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (F. W. Murnau; 1922). Title by David "Pale Ale" Cairns.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Nervous Schreck

How pleasant to know Herr Max Schreck!
Our resident old German wreck
He will greet you, quite formal
His features abnormal
Then, mesmeric, go fer yer neck.

David Cairns

Max Schreck is memorably creepy as Count Orlok in Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (F. W. Murnau; 1922).

Monday, February 1, 2016

Vex and Silence

This fiend was interred six feet deep
But we've seen him disturbed in his sleep
His intentions are vague
Sow dissension, spread plague
An obscene but not heard silent creep.

David Cairns

Count Orlok (Max Schreck) rises from slumber in Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (F. W. Murnau; 1922), an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Vampire Batty

Seems there's someone behaving quite badly
Then this dummy starts raving, and madly
Does the guy like to bite?
He's Dwight Frye, so he might...
The poor bum in a cave will end sadly.

Dwight Frye plays the mentally challenged Herman Glieb in The Vampire Bat (Frank R. Strayer; 1933). Yes, it's another Dwight Frye-day.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Made to Odor

This doc, off-the-beam, lab well-stocked,
A toxic bat-cream will concoct
And its smell will incite
Flapping hell in the night
But his schlock movie scheme is half-cocked.

Surly Hack and David Cairns

Béla Lugosi plots low-budget retribution in The Devil Bat (Jean Yarbrough; 1940).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Scent to Kill

Try Lugosi's new aftershave lotion!
Tiny doses he'll craft with devotion
But the perfume's sillage
Leads to doom - quelle dommage!
Up bats' noses one draught spells commotion.

David Cairns

Béla Lugosi in The Devil Bat (Jean Yarbrough; 1940). Cosmetic company chemist Carruthers (Lugosi) is angry at his employers, feeling they have denied him his due share of company success. To get revenge, he breeds giant bats, conditioning them to kill those wearing a special after-shave lotion he has concocted, distributing samples to his enemies as a "test" product.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Yes Sir, Bat's My Baby

His sanity dimly receding,
This man on a whim has been breeding
Winged beasts, oversized
But, released, who's surprised
That, satanic, on him they start feeding.

Disgruntled chemist Dr. Paul Carruthers (Béla Lugosi) creates The Devil Bat (Jean Yarbrough; 1940).

Monday, January 25, 2016

Royal Flushed

Alive? This Count's sickly, undead
Surviving on victims he's bled
When absent fresh blood
He looks drab, feels like crud
But revived by one lick, he sees red.

Christopher Lee is in the pink in Dracula, Prince of Darkness (Terence Fisher; 1966).

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Biting Criticism

She said, "It was boring and flat,
And quite disappointing at that.
Because I'd been told
Though terribly old
The count was as big as a bat."

Donald B. Benson

Stephanie Beacham and Christopher Lee in Dracula A.D. 1972 (Alan Gibson; 1972).