FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOSFERATU, BAVA AND HALLOWEEN TAKE TOP HONORS
IN RONDO AWARDS
Penny Dreadful is voted favorite horror host; Tim Lucas, Frank Dietz repeat as Best Writer, Best Artist; Sony's Michael Schlesinger is Monster Kid of Year
MARCH 12, 2008
ARLINGTON, VA -- The worlds of vintage horror and modern shock found common ground this week as winners were announced in the Sixth Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, an online survey of the horror community that drew a record 2,912 votes.
Winners ranged from a high-definition restoration of the silent vampire film, Nosferatu to a mammoth biography of stylized Italian director Mario Bava and a grisly updating of Halloween by director Rob Zombie.
A documentary on the first TV horror host, Vampira also came away a winner. That was fitting in that this year's Rondos were dedicated to the late Maila Nurmi, who played the ghostly siren in the 1950s.
The Rondos, named after 1940s character actor Rondo Hatton, are a fan-based survey of the classic horror community sponsored by the Classic Horror Film Board website. The email-only vote was the biggest classic horror fan survey in online history.
Underscoring the awards' emphasis on vintage horror, the five-film Universal Horror Classic Movie Archive, obscurities starring Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi and other horror veterans from the 1940s, was voted Best DVD Collection of 2007. The Kino Collection's stunning restoration of the 1922 silent classic, Nosferatu, was a clear choice for Best DVD and Best Restoration.
At the same time, more modern horrors prevailed.
-- Rob Zombie's blood-filled remake of the Halloween franchise took Best Film in an unprecedented landslide, overwhelming films such as Grindhouse, Sweeney Todd, 300, The Host and I Am Legend. The remake, propelled by Zombie's rabid fan base, drew more than 550 votes, the most ever in the six-year history of the Rondos.
-- A five-year winning streak for Best Magazine by Video Watchdog, a sophisticated journal of horror and cult film studies, was snapped with a win by the often gore-soaked Rue Morgue, a Canada-based magazine that combines the latest in shock films with savvy looks back at the classic origins of the genre.
-- And in vigorous voting for the nation's favorite active horror host, Penny Dreadful, the New England-based witch behind the cable-access show, Shilling Shockers, drew the most votes, topping popular personalities such as Chicago's Svengoolie, the Washington-Baltimore area's Count Gore DeVol and Nashville's Dr. Gangrene.
The horror host category -- 13 hosts were listed and numerous others drew write-in votes -- was highly competitive, another factor in this
year's vote total, which was double any previous year. Fans of all the hosts turned out in big numbers, underscoring the comeback of the horror host
Penny Dreadful's win had a special poignancy coming just a month after the death of Maila Nurmi at the age of 86. Dreadful, aka Danielle Gelehrter, says her character "is definitely in the tradition of the dark mysterious lady you don't want to mess with - Vampira."
Vampira's passing also touched Kevin Sean Michaels, producer and director of Vampira the Movie,
a 70-minute documentary that won the Rondo for Best Independent Production.
"It's great that the Rondo awards were dedicated to Maila Nurmi this year, and it's on her behalf I accept this
award,'' said Michaels. "It's an amazing honor. There would be no Vampira: The Movie without
Maila's collaboration and insight. ... After Maila's passing, we feel at VAMP Productions that it's our responsibility to keep Vampira's flame
alive. The Rondo Award stands as tribute to the fact that Vampira will never die."
The Rondo vote was especially satisfying for Video Watchdog editor Tim Lucas, who did not come away empty-handed. Lucas was named Best Writer for a second straight year.
In addition, his years of of research and interviews for Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark, a
1,130-page biography of the creative force behind Black Sabbath, Black Sunday and Planet of the Vampires, was rewarded by being named Best Book of 2007. The Bava book, designed by his wife Donna Lucas, narrowly
topped Bela Lugosi: Dreams and Nightmares, a new biography by scholar Gary Don Rhodes and Lugosi friend Richard
"Donna and I couldn't be happier to learn that Rondo and his voters have smiled on the Bava book,'' Lucas said. "When we look at the finished work, our pleasure cannot help but mingle with the memory of a very long and arduous process. Our other Rondos all represent the accomplishments of past years; this one will always represent for us the year we worked toward for so much of our lives.''
On the fan front, the Monster Bash, a family-friendly and classic horror convention held outside Pittsburgh, was voted Best Convention for the fifth time in six years.
Zombie-power proved an irresistible force. 'Zombiewalks' -- a modern form of meet-up except in ripped clothes and hollowed cheeks
-- are becoming increasingly popular. At the Monroeville Mall Zombiewalk (held where Dawn of the Dead was filmed), a
record 1,028 zombies gathered in October, and were voted Best Fan Event.
Other winners included Cult Radio a Go-Go, first winner of the Best Audio horror category; the soundtrack for Mysterious Island took Best CD honors; a bonus disc for Halloween: The Happy Haunting of
America, was voted Best DVD Extra.
A portrait of the Mummy by Terry Beatty for Scary Monsters Magazine was voted Best Cover; and a career retrospective of Hammer's Terence Fisher by Neal Barrow for Little Shoppe of Horrors won Best Article.
A new website, Trailers from Hell, which features Joe Dante and various Hollywood professionals commenting on vintage movie coming attractions, took honors as Best Website or Blog.Fan favorite Frank Dietz, whose devastatingly accurate caricatures of classic horror icons remain hot items at conventions and online, was voted Best Artist for a second straight year.
In the honorary categories, Michael Schlesinger, a Sony Pictures executive who has worked behind the scenes to bring modern Godzilla films to American audience, and who most recently helped push Sony to release The Sam Katzman Collection last year, including such films as The Giant Claw and Creature with the Atom Brain, was named Monster Kid of the Year.Finally, there were six more inductees into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame. They are:
-- Cortlandt Hull and Dennis Vincent of the Witch's Dungeon Classic Movie Museum in Bristol, Ct., who for years have recreated the classic monsters in loving and often chilling detail.
-- Artist Bernie Wrightson, the master of line and shadow who brought Swamp Thing to life, restitched the Frankenstein monster and helped create the modern mystery book.
-- The late Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, whose ghoulish dragsters and Rat Fink imagery helped bring eternal fun to the world of monsters.
-- The late Archie Goodwin, whose wise editing pencil got the best out of every artist and writer, and helped make Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella more than just magazines.
-- The late Ghoulardi, who from the airwaves of Cleveland brought a zany wink to the world of horror hosts and late night TV.
-- And finally, the late Ben Chapman, who graced fans with his charm and wisdom. He was far bigger than the Creature he portrayed.
Many of the Rondo winners will receive the coveted Rondo bust at an awards ceremony at the Wonderfest convention in Louisville on July 19.
Here, at a glance, are all the winners:
-- Best Movie of 2007: Rob Zombie's Halloween.
-- Best TV Presentation: The BBC's Doctor Who episode, 'Blink.'
-- Best Classic DVD: Nosferatu: The Ultimate Edition
-- Best Classic DVD Collection: Universal Horror Classic Movie Archive.
-- Best Restoration: Nosferatu: The Ultimate Edition
-- Best DVD Extra: Bonus disc on Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America
-- Best DVD Commentary: Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange.
-- Best Independent Production: Vampira the Movie
-- Best Book: Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark, by Tim Lucas.
-- Best Magazine: Rue Morgue.
-- Best Article: 'Adult Fairy Tales & Frustrated Love Stories: The Cinematic Legacy of Terence Fisher,' by Neal Barrow, Little Shoppe of Horrors #19.
-- Best Cover: Scary Monsters Magazine #64 by Terry Beatty.
-- Best Website or Blog: Trailersfromhell.com
-- Best Convention: Monster Bash
-- Best Fan Event: Monroeville Mall Zombie Walk
-- Best Horror Host (active): Penny Dreadful
-- Best Horror Audio Site or Podcast: Cult Radio a Go-Go
-- Best CD: Mysterious Island soundtrack
-- Best Horror Comic Book: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, by Joss Whedon.
-- Best Toy, Model or Collectible: Universal Monster action figures by Toy Island.
-- Count Alucard's Controversy of the Year: Box sets including
-- DVD Company of the Year: Anchor Bay
-- Monster Kid of the Year: Michael Schlesinger of Sony.
-- Monster Kid Hall of Fmae: Cortlandt Hull and Dennis Vincent; Bernie Wrightson; Archie Goodwin; Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth; Ghoulardi; and Ben Chapman.For more information about the Rondo award program, please visit rondoaward.com
--- BREAKDOWN OF THE TOP VOTES IN EACH CATEGORY ---
(First and second place vote totals are in parentheses; also listed are top honorable mentions in each category)
ROB ZOMBIE'S HALLOWEEN (553 votes)
Runner-up: GRINDHOUSE (293 votes)
Honorable mentions: SWEENEY TODD, 300
BEST TV PRESENTATION
DOCTOR WHO: 'Blink' (293 votes)
Runner-up: LOST: 'Through the Looking Glass' (275)
Honorable mention: HEROES: 'Five Years Gone';
TIN MAN (Sci Fi Channel)
BEST CLASSIC DVD
NOSFERATU: THE ULTIMATE EDITION (340 votes)
Runners-up: THE MONSTER SQUAD (327)
Honorable mention: BBC's COUNT DRACULA
BEST CLASSIC HORROR COLLECTION
UNIVERSAL HORROR CLASSIC MOVIE ARCHIVE (285 votes)
Runner-up: GODZILLA COLLECTION (280)
Honorable mention: MARIO BAVA COLLECTION (Vol. 1 and 2);
THE FLY COLLECTION;
ICONS OF HORROR: THE SAM KATZMAN COLLECTION
NOSFERATU: THE ULTIMATE EDITION (413 votes)
Runner-up: WITCHFINDER GENERAL
Honorable mention: POPEYE THE SAILOR (1933-1938);
HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME;
BBC's COUNT DRACULA; SPIDER BABY
BEST DVD EXTRA
HALLOWEEN: THE HAPPY HAUNTING OF AMERICA bonus disc (424 votes)
Runner-up: BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA deleted scenes (271)
Honorable mention: VINCENT PRICE SCREEN LEGENDS, Art of Fear
BEST DVD COMMENTARY
Malcolm McDowell, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (525 votes)
Runner-up: Jack Hill, Sid Haig, SPIDER BABY (159)
Honorable mention: Tim Lucas, MARIO BAVA COLLECTION;
Tom Weaver with Richard, Alex Gordon, Yvonne Romain, MONSTERS AND MADMEN
BEST INDEPENDENT FILM
VAMPIRA THE MOVIE (422 votes)
Runner-up: CHAINSAW SALLY (197)
Honorable mention: H.P. LOVECRAFT: PICKMAN'S MODEL;
PENNY DREADFUL'S SHILLING SHOCKERS;
LOST ON ADVENTURE ISLAND
MARIO BAVA: ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK,
by Tim Lucas (255 votes)
Runner-up: BELA LUGOSI: DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES,
by Gary Don Rhodes and Richard Sheffield (226)
Honorable mention: UNIVERSAL HORRORS (revised),
by Tom Weaver, Michael and John Brunas;
AMERICAN GOTHIC, 60 YEARS OF HORROR CINEMA by Jonathan Rigby;
NIGHTMARE USA: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE EXPLOITATION INDEPENDENTS,
by Stephen Thrower
EIJI TSUBURAYA: MASTER OF MONSTERS, by August Ragone
RUE MORGUE (336 votes)
Runner-up: FANGORIA (256)
Honorable mentions: VIDEO WATCHDOG,
MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT,
SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE
'Adult Fairy Tales & Frustrated Love Stories: The Cinematic Legacy
of Terence Fisher,' by Neal Barrow, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #19 (204 votes)
Runner-up: 'Honoring Horror at the Oscars,'
by Tall Paul Davis, HORROR HOUND #6 (182 votes)
Honorable mentions: 'Kids vs. Monsters,' (Monster Squad retrospective),
by Chris Alexander and Jovanka Vuckovic, RUE MORGUE #69;
'Personal Appearances of Karloff and Lugosi,' by Greg Mank,
MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #23;
'I Was a Teenage Werewolf: Still Fab and Furry After All These Years,'
by Don Vaughan, FILMFAX #116;
'The Tingler,' by Christopher Schaefer, MONDO CULT #2
SCARY MONSTERS #64 by Terry Beatty (305 votes)
Runner-up: AMAZING FIGURE MODELER #39 (211)
Honorable mentions: MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #23 by Joe Schovitz;
RUE MORGUE #64 by Gary Pullin; VIDEOSCOPE #64 by Kevin Hein
FILMFAX #116 by Harley Brown; SCREEM #14 by Bill Chancellor
TRAILERS FROM HELL (137 votes)
Runner-up: Video Watchblog (116)
Honorable mentions: Universal Monster Army;
horrorhosts.com; E-Gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts;
Creepyclassics; The Drunken Severed Head
BEST CONVENTION OF 2007
MONSTER BASH (136 votes)
Runner-up: Wonderfest (125)
Honorable mention: Screamfest; Fangoria Weekend of Horrors
BEST FAN EVENT
MONROEVILLE MALL ZOMBIE WALK (345 votes)
Photo by Shawn Wall, shawnwall.com
Runner-up: Dr. Gangrene's Chiller Theatre Live at WonderFest (168)
Honorable mention: Monster Squad reunion (Monster-Mania);
Witches' Dungeon Classic Movie Museum (Bristol, CT.)
Universal Monster Army traveling toy exhibit
FAVORITE HORROR HOST (Active)
Penny Dreadful (309 votes)
Runner-up: Svengoolie (249)
Honorable mention: Count Gore De Vol; Dr. Gangrene
BEST AUDIO SITE OR PODCAST
CULT RADIO A GO-GO (207 votes)
Runner-up: RUE MORGUE RADIO (170)
Honorable mention: VOICES IN THE DARK;
ROTTING FLESH RADIO;
OLD TIME RADIO NETWORK AT PODSHOW
MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (288 votes)
Runnerup: THE GHASTLY ONES
Honorable mention: LURKING CORPSES, Lust for Blood;
BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER Season 8, by Joss Whedon (295 votes)
Runner up: DC ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN (183)
Honorable mention: THE GOON;
THE TRAP-DOOR MAKER;
GRAPHIC CLASSICS: BRAM STOKER
BEST TOY, MODEL OR COLLECTIBLE
UNIVERSAL MONSTERS ACTION FIGURES by Toy Island (297 votes)
Photo by Michael Crawford, Captain Toy
Runners-up (224 votes each): FRANKENSTEIN GIANT PEZ;
KING KONG WORKING ARMATURE (Sideshow)
COUNT ALUCARD'S CONTROVERSY OF THE YEAR
DO I HAVE TO BUY THAT ONE TOO? (440 votes)
Fans object when new releases are packaged with films they already have.
Runner-up: New special effects in old films (285)
Honorable mention: Who owns online art?
BEST DVD COMPANY
ANCHOR BAY (303 votes)
Runner-up: MGM (172)
Honorable mention: Universal
CLASSIC MOST IN NEED OF DVD RELEASE OR RESTORATION
ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (84 votes)
Runner up: DRACULA
Honorable mention: BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Writer of the Year (write-in category)
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
SPECIAL RONDO AWARDS
Monster Kid of the Year
For working behind the scenes at Sony on behalf of monster fans everywhere. He directed
the English dubbing of GODZILLA 2000; helped bring LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA
to theatres; convinced Sony that the Sam Katzman collection, including The Giant Claw and
The Werewolf, was worthy; and remains every monster fan's man on the inside. A true Monster Kid
in every way, he is Rondo's choice for Monster Kid of 2007.
MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME
Six new inductees are:
Cortlandt Hull and Dennis Vincent, the
geniuses behind the Witch's Dungeon movie
Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, who brought dragsters
and fun to the world of monsters.
Bernie Wrightson, who helped invent Swamp Thing,
a patchwork Frankenstein monster and the modern horror comic.
Archie Goodwin, the firm editing pen behind
Warren Publication's creepiest monsters.
Ghoulardi, whose wink and nod made the airwaves of
Cleveland just a little bit spookier.
Ben Chapman, who was gentler than the Creature he
portrayed, and far bigger, too. His warmth, grace and
love of his fans will never be forgotten.
And there you have it! Check out the rondoaward.com website for the latest, and thank you for all the support. All should be aware that virtually all fan and creativity nominees received substantial support, even if not listed above. Thanx for everyone's great work this year. Long live Rondo!