Satan’s Little Helper

Hilary Barta of Limerwrecks, busy converting the whole history of film noir and classic Hollywood horror into five-line doggerel form (safe against the heat death of the universe), remarked that the movie serial MYSTERIOUS DR SATAN has enjoyably lurid title art.

It does! Is that a myriad of desperate arms grasping for a test tube with the face of Homer Simpson? I’d say so.

But I got fascinated by the little bubblegum cards the serial uses as recaps. Rather than a quick “Previously in MYSTERIOUS DR SATAN” montage, or a longwinded scroll, we just get pics of the lead characters and captions stating what they’ve been up to. I thought it’d be fun to throw a bunch of these up in the air and make up our own story. Then I noticed that often, the name of the person rhymes with the statement that follows. Maybe this ought to become a stage musical? That seems to be all the rage these days.

If anybody wants to finance such an enterprise, I volunteer to write lyrics. The robot’s song (an internal combustion monologue) would be a particular pleasure to pen.

This last one doesn’t seem to rhyme that well, until you remember that Eduardo Ciannelli (Dr Satan) has a particularly interesting way of pronouncing “r’bot.”

Director William Witney is apparently a favourite of Quentin Tarantino — but it’s uncertain how seriously we are to take this.

8 Responses to “Satan’s Little Helper”

  1. F Watson Says:

    Do it! Write The Robot Song!

  2. Surprisingly good choice for Dr. Satan. Cianelli’s about as menacing as they come.

  3. Jenny Eardley Says:

    Professor Scott, on the other hand, looks like a lovely. A destroyer? No he’s not, not Prof. Scott.

  4. David, I’ve heard that pronunciation of robot (ROWE-butt,) before, likely in 50s science fiction films. I also second the idea for the musical.

    And yes, I did write a (rather mechanical) limerick about the Dr. Satan serial:

  5. Here’s a Replicant song.

  6. It’s a charmer!

    I was thinking for the robot song, something like –

    I am a ROWE-butt
    I know where to GO but
    My master directs me
    An aerial connects me
    By remote control.
    I am Dr Satan’s ROWE-butt
    Body and soul.

  7. Do the Replicant Dance!

  8. William Witney was a brilliant director of action and directed probably the two greatest serials of all time: Adventures of Captain Marvel and Spy Smasher. The action in Spy Smasher, in particular, is unparalleled. Its influence on Raiders of the Lost Ark(Spy Smasher uses a whip) is especially clear except that the Spy Smasher action sequences are superior. If you have Netflix, watch the feature-length version “Spy Smasher Returns”.

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