Anthony Balducci, 52, studied journalism at Baruch College in Manhattan and earned a criminology degree at the University of Florida. His first book, a biography of film comedian Lloyd Hamilton, was published by McFarland in 2009. The Funny Parts, a book detailing the history of gags and routines, was published by McFarland in 2012.
A thin line separates comedy and horror, both of which provide events that are surprising, audacious and surreal. In silent films, comedians often managed in their violent abuse of mannequins to dislocate mannequin parts. They might yank off an arm, tear loose a leg, or pop off a head. Their abuse knew no bounds. They might toss a mannequin out of a window, run it over with a car, or throttle it with all their might. A mannequin is treated no differently in this creepy scene from Luis Buñuel's The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955), a psychological study of a would-be serial killer.