Archive for House of Frankenstein


Posted in FILM with tags , , , on February 14, 2014 by dcairns


Thanks to horror host Hilary Barta for keeping track of my various contributions to LimerWrecks, currently concluding an epic limer-trek through the Universal horror cycle.

Recent rhymes by me ~

Suction Chump

Full House of Dracula (now with added Skelton Knaggs, the Wonder Ingredient!)

Multiple Organisms

Homicidal Roomers

Three Weirdos and a Funeral

This Property is Con-Damned



Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on November 10, 2013 by dcairns


What with one thing and another and yet another, I haven’t kept you posted on my postings at Limerwrecks, home of the noir and horror limerick. So let’s catch up.


CARRY OFF SCREAMING. SWAMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE. Karloff in retreat — the latter is a collaborative piece with Hilary Barta.

WHIP REPLACEMENTTHERE WAS A CROOKED DAN. These are about J. Carroll Naish, who I was sort-of pleased to see getting a shout-out from Orson Welles in My Lunches with Orson. Welles calls Naish a bad actor who was always an absolute delight to see.

THE UNDYING MISTER. This is about Lon Chaney Jnr’s unexplained inability to stay dead. Co-authored with Hilary Barta.

YOU THAW THE HOWL OF THE MOON. Another collab on Lon.


HUMPED DAY. Horrid one about Naish.

PLOTZ STRUCTURE. Examining the weird shape of HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN.

WINED AND CARRADINED. Mocking John Carradine’s drink problem. But it comes from a warm place. THIN WHITE SPOOK. Also pointing out that Carradine is very thin. This may be envy.

KISMET OF DEATH. Karloff never gets scorn or snark.

THE CREATURE WALKS A MONGREL. Karloff’s man-dog transplants sparked a great many rhymes…

But rather than just reading my limericks, go to the site and read everything! Maybe not all in one sitting though. (A better policy is to drop by on a daily basis.)

Better Wed Than Dead

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2013 by dcairns


Norman Lloyd, 98, enjoyed perhaps the most successful and certainly the longest Hollywood marriage — 75 years. So when he mentioned at the pre-Telluride Film Festival dinner that he could marry people, we jumped at the chance. We’d been thinking of it anyway, and doing it while in Hollywood seemed a way to keep it simple, oddly enough, purely because very few people we knew would be around. As it turned out, most of the half-dozen people we knew in LA couldn’t make it, so it was just me, Fiona, Norman, and Randall William Cook as combined photographer/witness.

What started as a rather unromantic idea, to sort out our legal status and provide security in encroaching old age, became extremely romantic as one half of a genuine great love story gave us his blessing, after a wondrous tour through his gallery of memorabilia, which took in collaborations with Welles, Hitchcock, Renoir and Chaplin.


“I knew the Telluride Film Festival could do just about anything, but I never knew they could do this!”

Norman ended the ceremony, which he wrote himself, by saying something along the lines of “I think there’s a bit of mischief in both of you, and I think you’re going to cause a lot of trouble, and I hope you do.”

He also told us a story about his friend John Houseman, which wasn’t part of the actual ceremony but has stuck in my mind.

“He used to visit here and he was a great addict of the morning paper. And he used to sleep in just the top half of a pair of pajamas. When the paper was delivered he would run down the drive to collect it without stopping to dress, and would bend right over to pick it up. Drivers in the street would get a distracting sight. Finally I said, John, if you keep doing this, somebody’s going to mistake you for a tunnel. And you’ll get a Ford up your ass. But nothing could stop him.”


Norman in Hitchcock’s SABOTEUR.

Other business:

The ’68 Comeback Special continues at Apocalypse Now with THE CASTLE, a Kafka adaptation staring Maximilian Schell.

New limericks on HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN: One, Two, Three, Karloff’s beautiful dream of human-canine brain transplantation may be the best limerick subject ever conceive, but I take leave to doubt whether Charles Wagenheim’s strangulation has ever been celebrated in verse before. All the lims have editorial enhancements by Hilary Barta: this one is pure collaboration.