'District 9,' a biography of Lugosi and Karloff, and Rue Morgue take top Rondo honors
An American Werewolf in London is Best Classic DVD;
Greg Mank voted Best Writer; Gary Pullin takes Best Artist
Count Gore de Vol is voted favorite horror host;
Convention organizer Eliot Brodsky named Monster Kid of Year
April 4, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By David Colton
ARLINGTON, VA. -- District 9, the gritty Oscar-nominated science fiction film, Rue Morgue magazine, a bloody yet reverent compendium of horrors old and new, and Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, a revised history of the rivalry between two of Hollywood's greatest hissables, all shared top honors in the 8th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards announced Monday night.
The fan-based Rondo awards, named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, celebrate the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation. This year's e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, a 15-year old online community, drew a record 2,973 votes, the biggest in genre history.
Among other winners for work in 2009:
A deluxe version of An American Werewolf in London won as Best Classic DVD; the BBC import Doctor Who took Best TV Preseentation, and an eight-film set by cult director William Castle, including 'The Tingler and 13 Ghosts, was voted the Best Classic Collection. The fourth season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents grabbed the prize for Best TV Collection.
The futuristic allegory, District 9, was the favorite for Best Film honors, beating out Zombieland and greatly outpacing Avatar, which surprised some observers by coming in fifth among Rondo voters.
The classic-oriented electorate honored the 84-year old silent German film, Faust, by director F. W. Murnau, in the Best Restoration category. The 1926 film was extensively restored by the Murnau Foundation and released by Kino Films.
The year's best documentary award went to American Scary, a loving tribute to horror hosts past and present in a very tight contest with very strong independent films and documentaries.
And Rondo voters for the fifth year urged that Island of Lost Souls, the 1932 thriller starring Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi, be released on DVD, hopefully in a restored version.
Longtime horror researcher Gregory William Mank was voted Best Writer of 2009. Mank's book, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, was voted Best Book in a tough field that also included works by fan favorites Bill Warren, Michael Mallory and David Skal.
Many of the awards signaled a turn to more modern horrors.
Rue Morgue, a Canada-based magazine that often features grue and terror along with looks at horrors past, continued to take home Rondos: It was again named Best Magazine and Best Audio Horror Site. And its former editor, Jovanka Vuckovic, and Jason Lapeyre won Best Article for her piece on John Landis' An American Werewolf in London. In addition, Rue Morgue Art Director Gary Pullin was voted Artist of the Year.
The combination of Rue Morgue and HorrorHound, another more modern-based magazine, increasingly dominated the voting, although a very classic portrait of Karloff from his 1936 The Walking Dead garnered the Best Cover prize (and second Rondo), for artist Daniel Horne and Monsters from the Vault magazine.
An additional fan artist award was added this year, and has been named in honor of Linda Miller, a painter of classic horror icons who died suddenly last year. The first Linda Miller Award for Best Fan Artist went to Robert Scott, whose black and white portraits of fiends new and old capture menace and whimsy in stark presentations.
Among other winners:
-- -- Beware the Moon, a documentary about the Landis Werewolf film, took Best DVD Extra.
"To win is beyond amazing,'' said Paul Davis, director of the documentary. "Not only did it take us nearly three-years to make, but my father also, very unexpectedly, passed away in February and he was my biggest supporter. So the win is for him.''
-- Director Fred Dekker was cited for his Commentary on the newly restored Night of the Creeps.
-- Dread Central, a daily roundup of horror news, was named Best Website, and the absurdist yet earnest Drunken Severed Head was voted Best Blog.
-- Pittsburgh's Monster Bash was named Best Convention for the sixth time in eight Rondo votes, and an all-star tribute to the late Forrest J Ackerman, organized by his friend and caregiver Joe Moe in March 2009 at Grauman's Egyptian Theater, was voted Best Fan Event.
In a statement, Joe Moe said the tribute marked "the fulfillment of my final promise to Forry, to hold a tribute so we could all come together to laugh, cry, celebrate and say goodbye. Forrest J Ackerman shall never die!''.
-- Longtime horror host Count Gore De Vol was voted Favorite Horror Host, the third winner in a new category that has in the past honored Penny Dreadful and Svengoolie.
-- Two well-known comic book creators, Steve Niles and Kelley Jones, won Best Horror Comic for DC's Batman: Gotham After Midnight. And Talking Tina, a replica of the sinister doll in a Twilight Zone episode, won Best Toy, Model or Action Figure. James Horner's score for Star Trek II won the Best CD category.
-- Favorite DVD Reviewer went to Kim Newman, a frequent contributor to Video Watchdog.
Finally, the honorary categories, based on suggestions from Rondo voters, included:
-- Eliot Brodsky, a California fan and convention organizer, was named Monster Kid of the Year for his creation of the Monsterpalooza convention in Los Angeles.
-- Hall of Fame Inductees were also named. They are the late Bill Lemon, and Ray Meyer, sculptors of the Aurora monster model kits of the 1960s; Dennis Druktenis, editor and publisher of Scary Monsters Magazine (The Only 'Real' Monster Magazine!); longtime scifi fan Bill Warren, author of the definitive 1950s film study, Keep Watching the Skies; Midwest horror hosting legend Sammy Terry; and the late Frederick S. Clarke, whose Cinefantastique revolutionized the magazine world with its in-depth coverage
Further information, including runners-up and all the nominees, can be found at rondoaward.com
A total of 2,973 voters made these choices in the 8th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards:
BEST FILM OF 2009
Runners-up: ZOMBIELAND; STAR TREK
Honorable mentions: TRICK 'R TREAT; AVATAR
BEST TV PRESENTATION
DOCTOR WHO: 'End of Time'
Runner-up: TRUE BLOOD
Honorable mentions: LOST; BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
BEST CLASSIC DVD OF 2009
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON: FULL MOON EDITION
Runner-up: NIGHT OF THE CREEPS: DIRECTOR'S CUT
Honorable mentions: MAD MONSTER PARTY: SPECIAL EDITION; FAUST (1926)
BEST CLASSIC DVD COLLECTION
WILLIAM CASTLE COLLECTION
Runner-up: KARLOFF/LUGOSI HORROR CLASSICS
Honorable mention: HELLRAISER BOX SET
BEST TV COLLECTION
ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (SEASON FOUR)
Runner-up: TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE (Seasons 1 and 2)
Honorable mention: BBC SHERLOCK HOLMES
FAUST (1926) Restoration by Murnau Foundation)
Runners-up: BUCK ROGERS; REPULSION
Honorable mention: NIGHTMARE CASTLE
BEST DVD EXTRA
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON: 'Beware the Moon' documentary
Runner-up: WILLIAM CASTLE COLLECTION: 'Spine Tingler' documentary
Honorable mention: MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000 VOL. XVI: 'Santa Claus Conquers the Devil: A 50 Year Retrospective'
BEST DVD COMMENTARY
Fred Dekker: NIGHT OF THE CREEPS
Honorable mentions: Barbara Steele, Ian Ogilvy: THE SHE BEAST; Steve Ryfle, Ed Godziszewski: MOTHRA
Runner-up: Charlotte Austin, Bob Burns, Tom Weaver: FRANKENSTEIN 1970
BEST INDEPENDENT FILM OR DOCUMENTARY
AMERICAN SCARY (John Hudgens, Sandy Clark)
Runner-up: LOVECRAFT: FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
Honorable mentions: EVERY OTHER DAY IS HALLOWEEN; FAMOUS MONSTER; BOB BURNS' HALLOWEEN
BEST BOOK OF 2009
BELA LUGOSI AND BORIS KARLOFF: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, by Gregory William Mank
Runners-up: KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES, The 21st Century Edition, by Bill Warren
Runner-up: HORROR HOUND
Honorable mentions: VIDEO WATCHDOG;
SCARY MONSTERS; MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT; FILMFAX
'Bad Moon Rising,' by Jovanka Vuckovic and Jason Lapeyre (with Bruce McVicar), RUE MORGUE #93
Runners-up: 'The Most Famous Monster of Them All: A Personal Remembrance of Forrest J Ackerman,' by Steve Vertlieb, THUNDER CHILD Website; 'Boris Karloff at Warner Brothers, 1935-1939,' by Gregory Mank, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #26; 'Video Invasion: 'Remembering the VHS Boom,' Parts 4-9, by Matt Moore, HORRORHOUND #15-20;
Honorable mentions: 'Lost Nightmare: The Mystery of the Missing Spider Pit Sequence, Part 3' by Gary Vehar, FILMFAX#120; 'Tales from the Crypt: A Horrorhound Retrospective,' by Nathan Hanneman, HORRORHOUND #18.
BEST COVER OF 2009
MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #26 by Daniel Horne
Runners-up: RUE MORGUE #90 by Gary Pullin; HORROR HOUND #20 by Nathan, Thomas Milliner #20
Honorable mentions: MAD SCIENTIST #20 by Pete Von Sholley; LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #22 by Mark Maddox
BEST CONVENTION OF 2009
MONSTER BASH (Pittsburgh)
Runners-up: Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear; WonderFest; Horror Hound Weekend
Honorable mentions: Cinema Wasteland; Monsterpalooza; Chiller
BEST FAN EVENT
TRIBUTE TO FORREST J ACKERMAN, Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, organized by Joe Moe
Honorable mentions: Blob panic re-enactment at Blobfest; Ron Chaney as Wolf Man at Monster Bash; Dr. Gangrene's Horror Hootenanny; Boris Karloff Blog-a-thon
Runner-up: World Zombie Day
FAVORITE HORROR HOST (Active)
Count Gore De Vol
Runners-up: Penny Dreadful; Svengoolie
Honorable mentions: Dr. Gangrene; Karlos Borloff; Wolfman Mac
BEST HORROR AUDIO SITE OR PODCAST
RUE MORGUE RADIO
Honorable mentions: Fangoria Radio; Cult Radio A-Go-Go!
STAR TREK II: WRATH OF KHAN (James Horner; Film Score Monthly/Retrograde)
Runners-up: 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (Prometheus); NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (La-La Land)
Honorable mentions: ESCAPE FROM PLANET OF THE APES (Varese); DRACULA A.D. 72 (GDI/BSX)
BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK
BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT, by Steve Niles and Kelley Jones
Runner-up: VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS
Honorable mention: HELLBOY: THE WILD HUNT; CARNIVAL OF SOULS; THE GOON
BEST TOY, MODEL OR COLLECTIBLE
Twlight Zone's 'Talking Tina' (BifBangPow)
Runners-up: Karloff (Executive Replicas); Monster Scenes (Moebius)
Honorable mention: Horror Host trading cards (Horror Host Graveyard); Creature (Ultratumba)
COUNT ALUCARD'S CONTROVERSY OF THE YEAR
'No, but I can burn one for you.'
Studios offer some classics on DVD-Rs only.
Runner-up: Genre magazines struggling
Honorable mention: Universal cracks down on copyright infringements
CLASSIC MOST IN NEED OF DVD RELEASE OR RESTORATION
ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (Come on Universal, it's the fifth time this film has been chosen!)
Runner up: BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Honorable mention: THE UNINVITED
WRITER OF THE YEAR
GREGORY WILLIAM MANK
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Runners-up: Joel Robinson, Jeff Carlson, Kerry Gammill
Honorable mentions: Basil Gogos, Daniel Horne, Frank Dietz
LINDA MILLER AWARD FOR
FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR
(In memory of the late Linda Miller)
DVD REVIEWER OF THE YEAR
Runners-up: Tim Lucas, Glenn Erickson, George Reis
Honorable mention: Mark Walters
MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR
In an industry town where monsters are just part of a day's work, Eliot Brodsky's Monsterpalooza convention in Burbank reminded everyone in the creative arts just how magical, talented and cool it is to be a Monster Kid, especially in Hollywood. Everyone was a fan that weekend, giving the horror genre an infusion of West Coast energy that's still being felt a year later.. And the fact that it was called "Monsterpalooza'' somehow made it all the more special. For capturing the spirit of imagination that brought everyone to Hollywood in the first place, Eliot Brodsky's tireless work on his gathering of gods and monsters earns him the award as Monster Kid of 2009.
THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME
The six latest inductees are:
The late Bill Lemon and Ray Meyers (above with his Godzilla), the sculptors of the original Aurora monster models who made us all, yes, the makers of monsters.
Dennis Druktenis, editor and publisher of Scary Monsters Magazine (The only REAL Monster magazine), who has chronicled, in a very real way, the complete street-level history of the horror craze. Like few others, Dennis gets what the shock is all about.
Robert 'Bob' Carter, better known as Sammy Terry, kept Indianapolis and the Midwest awash in monsters, creeps and nervous laughter. He still prowls today, a true monster original.
The ultimate 1950s science fiction fan, Bill Warren worked with Forrest J Ackerman and produced one of the genre's essential works, the mammoth Keep Watching the Skies, a film by film chronicle of every sci-fi move of the 1950s. An irascible online presence, Warren is one of the original Monster Kids.
His Cinefantastique kicked monster magazines to a new level of sophistication and depth unmatched even today. Along the way he gave a new generation of writers a testing ground. Tortured and dead too young at 51, we remember always Frederick S. Clarke.
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!