Wednesday, June 30, 2021

LIGHTS FANTASTIC - "The Night Lights Of New York City" (1942)

Tonight's Wacky Wednesday feature is a Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon titled "Lights Fantastic." I like this style of cartoon that is nothing but a series of one liners, sight gags, and plays on words about one particular subject all thrown together with music!
In this case, the signs reflecting the night life in New York City circa 1942 are the subject!

Some things haven't changed in 79 years, Yahoo is still a 'No Nothing' place!

Most of the gags are very dated, and some of the jokes are more obvious than others.

A popular song of the day titled "My Wild Irish Rose," that was written by Irish American Chauncey Olcott, is lampooned by The Four Noses, and their version called "My High Polished Nose." Chauncey Olcott also wrote "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." The actual singers were a group who went on to be known as The Mellomen (Sometimes known at The Mellowmen), who sang some famous Disney songs. They also sang backup for Elvis for a while. They are also the voices of the graveyard busts at Disney's 'Haunted Mansion', and are the ones singing "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life For Me)" on the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride.

Then this guy sings one verse of "My High Polished Nose" to advertise Dinkleheimer's Nose Drops.
Remember good ole "Clown Cookies & Cakes?" Yeah, me neither!

This Clown sings the song "Laugh, Clown, Laugh," and is credited as The Clown.

The coffee brand 'Chase & Sanborn' is lampooned as 'Face & Sunburn."

And of course the coffee cans perform the 'Can-Can.'

They do this very elaborate animation just to highlight a very simple sales pitch!

I'm not sure about the connection, or what the joke behind 'Stucco House' coffee vs. 
'Maxwell House' coffee is, but I'm sure there is one. There's music throughout the whole cartoon, and this segment features a snappy number called "Anabella" penned by Mexican composer Eduardo Durant. The dripping coffee cup gets it started.

"Anabella" continues and the Mr. Peanut guys are the shakers!
I guess 'Planters' didn't mind, they got free advertising!

The 'Darnation' instead of 'Carnation' cow adds the cowbell.

And The Cod and his friend do 'The Conga.'
Cod, Conga, I guess that's close!

The 'Dutch Girl' cleanser gals join in on the Conga Line.

The characters on the "Egyptian Cigarettes" package also join the Conga Line, and add even further levity with the old hotfoot trick!

Oops! Among all the images, there's one of a pinup girl that gets slipped in, and then.......
It's the end, and Light's Out!

Monday, June 28, 2021

THE RAVEN / "The Edgar Allan Poe Mystery Show!" - 1935

Wow, what a wild movie, unbelievable what you can do with 61 minutes! It stars our favorite guys, Boris as Edmond Bateman and Bela as Dr. Richard Vollin, along with a great supporting cast including Lester Matthews as Dr. Jerry Halden, Irene Ware as Jean Thatcher and Samuel S. Hinds as Judge Thatcher.

In this story, Dr. Vollin is a brilliant but unstable surgeon that is obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe and instruments of torture. He saves the life of dancer and socialite Jean Thatcher after her car accident. Vollin becomes obsessed with her and what happens next is as shocking as it gets, a true tale of terror!

Vollin is called to perform the surgery on Jean, but he's retired and has no interest in the offer. But after Judge Thatcher, father of Jean, goes to Vollin's home and begs him, the surgeon finally agrees to perform the surgery...

Jean has fully recovered and visits Vollin, he plays the organ and after he finishes she tells him what a gifted man he is, almost like a god, he takes it wrong and get's a little too frisky. She's late for a dinner date with her fiancee and leaves.

She invites him to her dance program where she dances while "The Raven" is read to the audience by another cast member. A surprise for Vollin since he loves Poe.

After the show, Vollin is totally gushy with Jean, and pops don't likes what he's seeing!

Then, Edmond Bateman shows up and wants the doctor to change his face so that he can't be recognized, you see, he's wanted for murder!

After Vollin figures out that he can use Bateman as his assistant in another murder, he agrees to do the operation. But, he mutilates him and Bateman must obey Vollin's orders if he wants a normal looking face again, in other words, blackmail...

Vollin locks Bateman in the basement and opens all the curtains so that he can see his new face, as he had requested!

Judge Thatcher has told Vollin to leave his daughter alone, but invites her and her beau Jerry to visit for the weekend with other guests. Jean has left a note telling her father to come up too for the weekend. Reluctantly, the judge also drives to Vollin's place.

Vollin has dressed up Bateman as a butler, and he scares the crap out of Jean!

Vollin takes Bateman to his torture room to show him his treasures, and assures him that they are ready for use! Wow, look at the detail in this pic.

When Vollin lays down on a table to show how it works, Bateman pushes a lever that traps the doctor! Bateman starts the 'Pit And The Pendulum' blade, Vollin reminds him about fixing his face and he's released. But Vollin was sweating it there for a moment!

That night, Jean gets a surprise in her room when Bateman tries to enter trough a trap door in the floor! She screams and he leaves the way he came.

Vollin and Bateman grab Judge Thatcher and take him through a metal door to the dungeon. Jerry tries to stop them but Bateman socks him in the mush, knocking him clean out!

Bateman gently places the judge onto the slab and locks him down.

Vollin has a wall panel that has a number of levers to trap and torture his victims. Here, he pushes the 'elevator' lever and Jean's room drops down to the dungeon!

Jean's screaming and Bateman is sent in to make her shut up... Let's get one thing clear, Bateman hates Vollin with a vengeance, and Jean tells him that Vollin will not help him, but she will, making the monster think about it.

Vollin lets Jerry into the room and put him and Jean in one of his special rooms. He tells them that they will be together... FOREVER!!

Vollin is one of the most evil men that ever lived!! Up there with the Ex.

In the meantime, the judge is really starting to panic as the blade closes in!

Vollin has Bateman push the lever that makes the walls start closing in on Jerry and Jean. Newsflash, Vollin is out of his freakin' mind!!

But Bateman pulls the lever back up which stops the walls and opens the door, so, the doctor shoots Bateman. But the brute charges Vollin and knocks his out, then drags him into the room.

Bateman pushes the lever again and the door closes before he then keels over dead.

This is so delicious, the victim of his own making. He'll be insane before he gets crushed, a well deserved death!!

Saturday, June 26, 2021

THEY CAME TO BLOW UP AMERICA - "What Else Do You Need To Know" (1943)

I was crusin' and perusin' the Internet the other night, and I rolled up on this poster that made me feel like what in the Hell is that, so that's why this evening's Saturday Night Special is...
 "They Came To Blow Up America!"

"They Came To Blow Up America" was made in 1943, but WWII didn't end until 1945, so it was still a time of bolstering up the public!

This nasty Nazi named Ernst Reiter has been caught, and is now totally out of the game!

The F.B.I is replacing the real Ernst Reiter with a man named Carl Steelman! Carl is played by George Sanders in what might be one of my favorite roles for him.

Secrecy is SO important, Carl has to even lie to his parents!

George looks pretty freakin' suave as a nazi!

Liesl Handl as Helga Lorenz has already maxed out her ration of stockings, and is in jeopardy of not looking good. She is also of Austrian descent and is totally anti-nazi.

Carl's got some extra credits, so he decides to help the pretty lady out, and purchases them for her!

Scheiss! The authorities have monitored Carl and Helga's every move, and now he has to explain himself, and not blow his cover!

This is my worst nightmare! Terrorists setting fires! Right about the same time, the Japanese were working on their deadly Fu-Go balloon bomb campaign. Luckily, it was mostly a failure, but what a mean spirited concept!

The Winston Churchill dart board at the Nazi headquarters is quite novel!

So Carl has got himself quite a problem. He's had to convince his own parent's that he's a Nazi, then he's had to convince Helga that he's not, only to pretend that he is again when they take her away, and then rescue her, and scurry her off to safety!

This newly developed mini-bomb is going to be very helpful!

The bomb is set to go off in many different ways. This time it's based on speed!

Carl puts the bomb in the car of the Nazis chasing him and Helga, sets the bomb to go off at 75 MPH, and then leads the guys on a high speed chase. When they hit 75, the car explodes and the chase is over.

A really sick, but pretty funny scene happens when the wife of the real Ernst Reiter shows up at Carl's hotel room, and discovers her husband is not who he is supposed to be. Carl then has to scramble, and go tells his Nazi boss that his wife is insane, and she doesn't recognize him any more, and is a danger.

So, when she goes to blow the whistle on Carl, they totally don't believe her, and immediately put her in an institution! Dennis (Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, She-Wolf Of London) Hoey is tremendous as the vile Colonel Taeger.

Big Ward Bond as the head of the F.B.I. finds out that Carl's Father has made himself physically ill by worrying about his son being a Nazi, so he lets him know the truth, but he's not supposed to tell anybody else, not even his wife or it might put Carl's life in jeopardy!

Carl's Dad feels better immediately after getting the news that his son is a hero, not a zero, and gets up out of bed and decides to smoke a cigar, when his Doctor shows up. He's so excited, and feels like he has to tell somebody, so he tells his trusted Doctor, who just happens to be a Nazi sympathizer, and now Carl's life is really on the line. What a dumbass!

When they find out the Frau Reiter wasn't crazy, but was telling the truth, the Colonel goes to talk to her. She gets so mad and reads him the riot act, which only gets her the ultimate reward for being true to the party, he has her shot! Frau Reiter was played by the stunning Russian actress Anna Sten, who Samuel Goldwyn had poised to be the next Marlene Dietrich, but it never panned out!

Yeah, that's great Doc, thanks for all your help.... you're under arrest you rat bastard!

A pretty decent copy streams on YouTube for free, and it's only an hour and thirteen minutes long, so what are you waiting for?

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??