Edgar Allan Poe: Swinging Like A Pendulum Do

October 28, 2016 at 3:58 pm (Film, Horror, Literature, Movies, Mystery/horror, Short stories, Short Story, Television, The Supernatural) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Edgar Allan Poe: Swinging Like A Pendulum Do

It was an old movie from the 1930s on television. Johnson had heard of the film The Pit and The Pendulum based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.

But he wasn’t familiar with the 1930s version. He had only heard of a movie version from the 1960s with Vincent Price.

But this 1930s version was totally new to him and here he was a big classic horror movies fan. The Pit and The Pendulum from 1936 with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff.

Try as he might, he could not recall Karloff and Lugosi ever making such a film. Lugosi had made The Black Cat with Karloff. He had made The Raven. He had made Murders In The Rue Morgue. All based on works by Poe.

But Johnson had never heard of Lugosi doing a movie version of Poe’s The Pit and The Pendulum. Much less one made with Boris Karloff.

But when he flipped through the channels on his new High Definition Home Theatre sized TV, there it was listed on TCM – The Pit and The Pendulum (1936) with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

Five minutes ahead of the program starting, Johnson had googled the film The Pit and The Pendulum (1936) with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

But he found no information about it which was strange.

He put on the TV tuned to TCM. TCM host Robert Osborne began the introduction to the film with his trademark classic line, “Hi, I’m Robert Osborne.”

“Yeah? Tell me something I don’t know, Robert,” Johnson remarked sarcastically.

“All right,” Osborne answered him from the screen, “You’re an obnoxious self-centered arrogant egotistical prick.”

“What?” Johnson was astounded.

“Tonight’s film is a relatively unknown one. In fact, most people don’t even know it was made,” Osborne explained.

“You can say that again,” Johnson scratched his stomach and belched.

“I’d rather not, you uncouth slob,” Osborne smiled at the camera.

“What?” Johnson was again astounded.

“That’s because this film was made privately for a San Francisco based Chinese millionaire called Sun Wong,” Osborne elaborated, “who wanted his own private film with Lugosi and Karloff that the rest of the world wouldn’t be able to see.”

“Wong huh?” Johnson scratched his head.

“That’s right, Wong,” Osborne chuckled, “please excuse the pun.”

“Pun?” Johnson scratched his head again.

“Try not to think about it too hard, you pea-brained bozo,” Osborne again smiled at the camera, “We don’t want you putting too much strain on your little head now, will we?”.

“What the fuck?” Johnson gazed at the screen.

“No more for you,” Osborne saluted the camera, “from 1936, The Pit and The Pendulum with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.”

The movie was extremely scary, Johnson found. Usually most horror films from the 1930s he laughed at finding them somewhat corny by today’s standards.

But this one had Johnson gripping the edge of his chair.

When Lugosi had Karloff chained to the flat rock in the pit of his dungeon and the pendulum started swinging down on the latter, Lugosi laughed an evil sinister laugh.

“Wow, this is great,” Johnson thought as he reached for some more popcorn.

“May I call you Johnson?” Lugosi asked Karloff.

“Johnson?” Johnson stopped eating his popcorn.

“You are a dirty filthy little rat who cheated on me with my best friend,” Lugosi continued.

“Is this a gay Lugosi/Karloff film?” Johnson wondered to himself.

“No,” Bela Lugosi metamorphosed into the noted 1930s Asian-American actress Anna May Wong.

As the film changed from black and white into colour, Miss Wong wore a golden dragon emblazoned Asiatic style red dress slit up the sides showing lovely and shapely pantyhose clad legs that were accentuated by red super spiked stiletto high-heeled shoes.

“My God,” Johnson suddenly noted the resemblance, “she looks like…”

“That’s right, you cheating bastard,” Miss Wong exclaimed.

Suddenly Johnson found his hands handcuffed to the chair, ropes came out of the back of the chair and tied him up. The chair went backwards and Johnson found himself looking up at the ceiling where a rather large pendulum started swinging down towards him.

Miss Wong stepped out from the TV screen.

Johnson had indeed noted for the very first time the resemblance between the 1930s actress Anna May Wong and his ex-girlfriend Charlotte April Wong.

“Don’t piss off a Dragon Sister,” Miss Wong screamed as a dragon breathed fire from the top of the ceiling above the pendulum.

As the pendulum came down within a quarter inch of his throat and neck, Johnson thought this probably answered his buddy Tom’s question, “Why would your ex buy you a 72 inch screen high definition TV when you cheated on her in such a cruel fashion?”.

Johnson would never get the chance to answer Tom’s question as the pendulum cut off his head.

-A short story
written by Christopher
Saturday October 1st
2016.

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Haiku About Bela Lugosi As Count Dracula

October 3, 2016 at 3:35 pm (Celebrities, Culture, Entertainment, Film, Horror, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

Haiku About Bela Lugosi As Count Dracula

He bids you velcome
And look he doesn’t drink wine
he prefers your blood

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Haiku About John Wayne

September 26, 2016 at 4:08 pm (Culture, Entertainment, Film, Movies, Poetry, western) (, , , , , )

Haiku About John Wayne

Happy trails lie west
This Duke king of the cowboys
rides tall in saddle

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Haiku About Philip Marlowe Private Eye On The Case

February 25, 2016 at 8:38 pm (Arts, Culture, Detective story, Entertainment, Film, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

Haiku About Philip Marlowe Private Eye On The Case

Street lights and shadows
click of femme fatale’s high heels
sidewalk of dark noir

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Rita: A Poem

December 25, 2015 at 7:48 pm (Film, Movies, Poetry) (, , )

Rita: A Poem

Images in black and white
filmed more than a lifetime ago
A life no longer present in the world
Yet what is now seen on that screen is not a ghost
but a life and personality captured at a moment in time
A smile of smiles that speaks and warms across the ages
Sent from her lifetime
to mine
Eyes whose soul reflects in them
And touches a heart in the future.

-A poem written by Christopher
Friday December 25th 2015
inspired by watching movies
with Rita Hayworth
my favourite actress.

-Interesting how my film making idol Orson Welles and I not only shared a love for Shakespeare, The King James Bible and the classics but also appeared to have similar taste in women.

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Casablanca: A Poem As Film Review

November 18, 2015 at 8:08 pm (Film, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

Casablanca: A Poem As Film Review

Casablanca the film
set in early 1940s Casablanca the place
A microcosm of the world
when evil reigns
The characters in this film and place
reflect those varying examples of humanity
that populate the world in such perilous times
Ugarte (Peter Lorre) the scoundrel who trades and makes his money off people’s misery
who’s willing to sell people hope… for a huge price.
Signor Ferrari (Sydney Greenstreet) a crook but one not totally devoid of humanity
He makes his living off catering to people’s vices
but somehow is willing to let people’s souls remain their own
Major Strasser (Conrad Veight) the Nazi and representative of all who are evil for evil’s sake
who wish to control human souls and human minds and break human wills and crush human hearts so that all will succumb and bend to their own Evil Heartless Will To Power.
Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) a man not really good but then again not really evil
a man who’s willing to straddle the fence and see which way the wind is blowing
a man who’s quite simply willing to just go along
(when confronted with such a man, I can imagine in my mind, an old Southern Gospel choir singing, “Isn’t he a lot like you and me?”).
Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) a true hero… a noble soul… an extremely rare individual in today’s world
And like most noble and heroic souls is inspired by Truth and Love (in Laszlo’s case, the love and support of a beautiful and truly good woman Ilsa)
Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) a noble and heroic soul but like many noble and heroic souls who have hit their head too many times against a brick wall (either of human evil or far more prevalent human indifference)
have retreated into a seemingly impenetrable hard shell of cynicism
For most souls like Rick’s the breaking point was a rejected love… a time of happiness and then inexplicably their love just simply vanished from their lives
Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) a good and beautiful woman… a gentle soul… a woman without malice… a woman who truly and absolutely through no fault of her own… finds herself in love with two men
Other people populate this microcosm of Casablanca that reflects our larger world…
Sam (Dooley Wilson) the entertainer whose mission in life is to bring laughter and song and music and above all hope into people’s lives, to, in various forms, tell “the same old story A fight for love and glory”
Yvonne (Madeleine LeBeau) a fallen woman who, one would think had forever turned her back on the nobler things in life, but when in an act of heroism, Victor Laszlo leads the band in singing La Marseillaise in the cafe to drown out Major Strasser and his Nazis singing a German militaristic song, Yvonne joins in singing La Marseillaise inspired by Laszlo’s example of true heroic courage
Annina (Joy Page) the young refugee woman who finds herself in evil times and an impossible place who must be willing to make compromises and sacrifices in order to save herself and the one she loves… even if that sacrifice means sacrificing her virtue
Jan (Helmut Dantine) who is Anna’s husband – a naive idealist who thinks somehow that luck on its own will come his way and is blind to the operations of evil and corruption in the society all around him

And so all of them are thrown together into this cocktail of good and evil, love and hate, heroism and indifference, honour and betrayal that is Casablanca
Such was the world in 1942.
And such is our world fast becoming today.
But the sad part for today’s world is that there are too many Major Strassers and too many Ugartes and far far far too many Captain Renaults
and nary a Victor Laszlo, Rick or Ilsa to be found.

-A poem written by Christopher
Monday November 9th 2015.

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Haiku About Casablanca The Film

November 8, 2015 at 8:45 pm (Art, Entertainment, Film, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

Haiku About Casablanca The Film

Down at Rick’s Cafe
Rick weeps Ilsa leaves and Sam…
plays… As Time Goes By

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Swimming Pool In The Rain: A Poem

February 10, 2015 at 8:15 pm (Detective story, Humour, Mystery, Poetry) (, , , , , , , , )

Swimming Pool In The Rain: A Poem

Rainy night
neon lights reflect in puddles on the street
Sound of footsteps striking pavement
and drops of water fly up as shoes hit concrete
The private eye dashed along the street
headed for a mansion on Sunset Boulevard
a body was found in a swimming pool
and he had been called by the victim’s bartender to investigate
fearing the police might prove incompetent in investigating.
A body in a swimming pool at a Sunset Boulevard mansion-
might make for a nifty plot for a movie
the private eye thought as he lit a cigarette
Damn- he shouldn’t try smoking in the pouring rain
both match and cigarette were extinguished by the downpour
Nothing like having a wet cigarette in your mouth-
he coughed to the nearby street lamps who didn’t answer him.
He arrived at the mansion-
the press were there taking pictures of the body in the pool.
“Say cheese,” one photog wag quipped as he snapped a picture.
“Albion, what are you doing here?” A police captain asked the private eye as he downed 10 different pills of heart medication in a large glass in the pouring rain.
“The victim’s bartender Roncalli heard on the radio that the guy’s body had been found in the pool,” Albion answered, “and wanted to know how he died.”
“Why?” The police captain then started taking 10 different medication pills for his liver, “is he feeling guilty about not cutting him off? Figured that all those extra shots of bourbon was a case of drinking and swimming don’t mix?”
“Depends,” Albion answered, “did this guy usually swim fully dressed?”
“Well according to the staff,” the police captain took another large glass of water handed to him by his sargeant so he could down 10 different medication pills for his kidneys, “he usually swam in the nude.”
“I see,” Private Eye Albion lit another cigarette that was likewise extinguished by the pouring rain.
“He was apparently shot in the back according to eyewitnesses,” the police captain searched through his pockets for his multiple-layered bifocals, “and then fell into the pool after he was shot.”
“That would explain the red colour in the pool,” Albion looked down at the pool, “anyone see who fired the shot?”.
“No,” the police captain then took another large glass of water so he could down 10 different laxative pills for his bowels, “the shot was apparently fired from that open window there. No one saw who fired that shot.”
“The mystery deepens,” Albion looked towards the deep end of the pool.
“Mind if I use your bathroom?” The police captain asked the Estate’s butler as he ran towards the house.
“Not at all, sir,” the butler answered, “it’s on the fourth floor of the mansion.”
“Oh shit,” said the police captain who proceeded to do just that.

“So, he usually swam in the nude, then?” Albion asked the French maid.

“Yes, Monsieur,” the French maid smoothed her skirt and adjusted her black silk fishnet nylons, “he didn’t usually wear his clothes.”

“Or Madame’s clothes either,” the Mexican gardener added.

“What did you mean by that?” Albion asked.

It turned out to be an open and shut case, Albion thought as he put the violin back in the case when he had finished serenading the Estate staff with his interpretation of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 after solving the mystery.

Mr. Wayne it turned out was a cross-dresser and had borrowed Mrs. Wayne’s favourite dress the night before without asking or even telling her.

When Mrs. Wayne found the French mustard and hot chocolate stains on her dress this morning, she had shot her husband in the back as he was walking pool side.

And so Albion walked back to his office in the pouring rain.
What an awful fate for a male cross-dresser, Albion thought, to be found floating face down in men’s clothes in a swimming pool.
And the moral of the story was, Don’t take your wife’s clothes without asking.

-A private eye film noir poem
written by Christopher
Monday February 9th
2014.

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Haiku About Orson Welles’ Tragic Figure of Citizen Kane

August 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm (Entertainment, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

Haiku About Orson Welles’ Tragic Figure of Citizen Kane

World was his oyster
but he lost pearl of great price
his priceless Rosebud

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Haiku About Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

March 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm (Entertainment, History, Movies, Musicals, Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Haiku About Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Astaire and Rogers
dance night away as top hat
tails meet dress and heels

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