Archive for William Witney

The Sunday Intertitles: The Power of Positive Thinking

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on September 8, 2019 by dcairns

Yes, but they seem curiously OK about it. Blasé, almost.

And they do it with their usual good spirits.

But they don’t let that spoil their sunny mood.

Ambushed, schmambushed, so long as you’ve got your health.

And they maintain a positive attitude, that’s the main thing.

These things happen. What are you gonna do?

But she’s delighted to finally be shot of that idiot Larry.

All images from William Witney’s THE PERILS OF NYOKA. You can hear Brad and Leo affectionately discussing an “underrated guy” in ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD, which, given Tarantino’s oft-stated enthusiasm for WW’s work, seems to me a subtle hommage. But not as subtle as mine.

Satan’s Little Helper

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , on July 24, 2012 by dcairns

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.