SPOOK LOUDER
18-10-2021 af Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff

D: Clyde Bruckman C: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard

 

In 1916 a movie came out, which attracted a good deal of attention. The reason: Its star was stark naked. It really wasn’t much of a change, since she was by then famous for having modelled the skin-tight one-piece bathing-suit replacing the traditional pantaloons. As a child, she had been forced to wear steel braces. To strengthen her legs, she began to swim, and at the age of fifteen she was an expert swimmer, soon to be a movie star. An aquatic Pearl White, she performed her own stunts diving from a height close to a hundred feet into the sea. In 1913, the Annette Kellerman Diving Girls were formed as a vaudeville act. They had nothing in common with her apart from the name, and no one really expected them to dive, just jump off a twenty-foot high diving board into a water tank. On October 21, 1913 one of them broke her neck. Send in the clowns! In fact, they were already there, swimming buddies Ernest Nash and Moses Horwitz. The show must go on, and so did Ernest under the stage name of Ted Healy. In the 1920’s, he was the highest-paid performer in vaudeville, making 9,000 dollars a week, acrobats having replaced the bathing beauties. When some of them quit the act, he advertised for replacements. It was then that Moses remembered his old friend. Under the name of Moe Howard he became a stooge, the word meaning student or apprentice as a derogatory term. Howard would be planted in the audience and invited to come onstage with disastrous consequences. A year later, Moe’s brother Samuel joined the team as Shemp. Then Louis Feinberg came along as Larry Fine, and the act was now Ted Healy and His Stooges. Healy would try to tell a joke or sing a song, and they would wreck his act. Of course, in actual fact, they were upstaging him with their antics. In 1930 the four made the feature SOUP TO NUTS (or as the Romans would say: ab ovo usque ad mala). The Three Stooges started their career in the same way as they ended it 33 years later in IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD, as ineffectual firemen. Three stars were born, whereas Ted Healy was fated to fade into obscurity. The relationship soon soured, and Shemp left. Luckily, Moe had another brother, who could take his place under the name of Curly, having shaved his head. Other bids on the “third” Stooge would be Joe Besser and Joe DeRita. They made 190 shorts, of which ten may be considered to be horror or science fiction: SPOOK LOUDER (1943) IF A BODY MEETS A BODY (1945) THE GHOST TALKS (1949) DOPEY DICKS (1950) SPOOKS (1953) BEDLAM IN PARADISE (1955) CREEPS (1956) OUTER SPACE JITTERS (1957) SPACE SHIP SAPPY (1957) and FLYING SAUCER DAFFY (1958). SPOOK LOUDER is basically an ”exciting” story that makes no sense, which was often the case with old dark house mysteries “haunted” by masked criminals or spies, trying to scare away trespassers. The Stooges enter as travelling salesmen soon to be hired by a mad scientist to guard the house, while he’s in Washington demonstrating his death ray. The usual manifestations in the vein of LE MANOIR DU DIABLE (1896) and AU SECOURS (1923) follow, with the Stooges screaming and falling over each other. The central mystery is a phantom pie-thrower, being solved in the last frame – or is it? The whole thing comes over as a live-action Looney Tune, the boys looking as bewildered as the audience must feel.

 

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ERWIN NEUTZSKY-WULFF

 

I 2010 gik mit forlag gennem tredive år, Borgen, ned, og det var ikke nogen enkeltstående begivenhed. Det var det sidste træ i skoven, der faldt, som Information dengang skrev.

 

Det betød så, at JACK THE RIPPER udkom på Ole Sohns Forlag, som min skattede redaktør var flyttet til. Den solgte da også i et par oplag.

 

På det tidspunkt havde jeg imidlertid allerede udgivet BIBELEN på eget forlag. Jeg havde ikke engang ventet på de 150.000 fra Kulturministeriet, som ellers har været en fast indkomst.

 

Tiderne har forandret sig. Ud fra en vurdering af den økonomiske situation har man besluttet, at litteraturen er en af de ting, der må falde, hvis den ikke kan stå.

 

Og det har den aldrig kunnet. Den har udelukkende overlevet i kraft af de faste bogprisers beskyttelsestold og ved, at man har holdt forfatterne i live ved arbejdslegaternes kunstige åndedræt.

 

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Der sker det, at de forfattere, der har et publikum, udgiver sig selv. Det er ikke så slemt, som det lyder – BIBELEN indbragte mig en kvart million, nok til, at jeg kunne købe mig ro til at skrive den næste, og så fremdeles.

 

Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff

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⊕ UDGIVELSER

HORROR 2 (2021)

HISTORIER (2021)

Af Christian Birchs efterladte papirer (2020)

ADFÆRD (2019)

LIV (2019)

MØDE (2018)

TEORIEN OM ALTING (2017)

DRØM (2016)

HITLER (2015)

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ROMAN (2014)

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DANMARK (2012)

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9999 (2010)

MENNESKETS AFVIKLING (2009)

HJERNEN (2006)

DET OVERNATURLIGE (2004)

RUM (2001)

 

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