I received this year’s ballot for the annual Rondo Hatton awards (If you don’t know who Rondo was, google him but don’t tell anybody, lest you want to look like a stoopie.) and I figured, as it is an open forum, I’d help ‘em out by publicizing it for ‘em, also figuring they wouldn’t mind the extra help and figuring it’d make for good article fodder for myself. Quid pro quo to the max. Rather than just reprint their (abridged) ballot, though, I will, for your entertainment, include my personal choices (where applicable) and commentary. I will designate where my editorializing begins and ends (look for the asterisks) so as to avoid confusion.
Their rules: “You can mark your picks with an X, or highlight with a color or however you want to designate your picks. You do NOT have to vote in every category. Vote for one, several or all. The deadline is Sunday night at midnight, April 16, 2017. One vote per person, please. Every e-mail must include your name to be counted. All votes and emails are kept strictly confidential. TO VOTE e-mail your picks to email@example.com”
THE OFFICIAL BALLOT FOR THE 15TH ANNUAL RONDO HATTON
CLASSIC HORROR AWARDS
This year’s awards are dedicated to the Coolest Ghoul of all, John Zacherle (1918-2016)
BEST MOVIE OF 2016
— AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE
— CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
— THE CONJURING 2
— DOCTOR STRANGE
— DON’T BREATHE
— FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
— LEGEND OF TARZAN
— THE NEON DEMON
— OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL
— PHANTASM: RAVAGER
— THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR
— ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
— THE SHALLOWS
— SHIN GODZILLA
— STAR TREK BEYOND
— SUICIDE SQUAD
— 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
— TRAIN TO BUSAN
— THE VVITCH
— Or write in another choice:
***ME: Lots of these aren’t Horror movies, I notice. That being the case, I must vote for THE LEGEND OF TARZAN. Yes, even over ROGUE ONE. Second would be—and this one does qualify as a Horror flick—SHIN GODZILLA.***
BEST TELEVISION PRESENTATION
— ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, ‘The Morgue,’ 10.9.16, STARZ. Ash goes where no VFX have gone before. ‘That is horrible. And also awesome.’
— BATES MOTEL, ‘Norman,’ 5.16.16, A/E. In season finale, Norman digs up the body of Norma. ‘Mother we’re home. We’re finally together.’
— BLACK MIRROR, ‘San Junipero,’ 10.21.16, NETFLIX. Time and memory have little meaning at the Quagmire. ‘I was like a frightened horse on a frozen lake back there.’
— CHANNEL ZERO, ‘A Strange Vessel,’ 11.1.16, SYFY. Clues to murders on children’s show Candle Cove lead to Paris. ‘When you think about this, it’ll just seem like some nightmare you had.’
— DOCTOR WHO, ‘The Return of Dr. Mysterio,’ 12.25.15, BBC America. Super hero Easter Eggs abound in this Christmas special. ‘I started it. They’re all based on me. Now everyone who wants to sound clever calls themselves Doctor.’
— PENNY DREADFUL, ‘A Blade of Grass,’ 5.22.16, SHOWTIME. Vanessa, in a padded cell, encounters Lucifer and demons. ‘I should have died a virgin like Joan of Arc. Did you know she sang as she burned?’
— STAN AGAINST EVIL, ‘Dig Me Up, Dig Me Down,’ 10.31.16, IFC. Can disgraced former sheriff survive a town crawling with demons? ‘Anniversary of witch trials brings mysterious screams, pie contest.’
— STRANGER THINGS, ‘The Bathtub,’ 7.15.16, NETFLIX. El uses her powers to save her friends. ‘Did you see what she did to that van?’
— THE WALKING DEAD, ‘The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” 10.23.16 AMC. Nagen’s brutality shakes up survivors and viewers. ‘Not today. Not tomorrow. But I am gonna kill you.’
— WESTWORLD, ‘The Bicameral Mind,’ 12.4.16, HBO. Robert the park designer reveals his secret as one Host tries to leave. ‘How can you learn from your mistakes if you can’t remember them?
***ME: Is it even necessary to ask? PENNY DREADFUL.***
BEST CLASSIC DVD/BLU-RAY
— BLACK SLEEP (1956; Kino)
— CAT PEOPLE (1942; Criterion)
— CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962; Criterion)
— CARRIE (1976; Shout Factory)
— CHANDU THE MAGICIAN (1932; Kino)
— CIRCUS OF FEAR/FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS (1966/1967; Blue Underground)
— COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE (1974; Vinegar Syndrome)
— DAUGHTER OF DRACULA (Jess Franco; 1972; Kino)
— FANTOMAS (five serials from 1913-1914; Kino)
— GOG 3-D (1954; Kino)
— GOLD (German; 1934; Kino)
— INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978; Shout Factory)
— IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE 3-D (1953; Universal)
— PHANTASM REMASTERED (1979; Well Go USA)
— TENEBRAE (1982; Synapse)
— THE THING COLLECTOR’S EDITION (1982; Shout Factory)
***ME: Lots of good choices. Gotta go with CAT PEOPLE, a proper lycanthropic piece. IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE would be number two.
BEST BLU-RAY COLLECTION
— AMERICAN HORROR PROJECT, VOL. 1 (Arrow): Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood, The Witch Who Came From the Sea, The Premonition
— FRANKENSTEIN: Complete Legacy Collection (Universal Blu-Ray): Frankenstein, Bride, Son, Ghost, Meets Wolfman, House, House of Dracula, AC Meet )
— GUILLERMO DEL TORO TRILOGY (Criterion): Cronos, Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth
— HAMMER HORROR 8-FILM COLLECTION (Universal): Brides of Dracula, Curse of Werewolf, Evil of Frankenstein, Phantom of Opera, Kiss of Vampire, Paranoiac, Nightmare, Night Creatures
— HELLRAISER: SCARLET BOX LIMITED EDITION TRILOGY (Arrow) Hellraiser films 1-3
— SHOCK AND GORE: The H.G. Lewis Collection (Arrow): 14 films on 17 discs.
— THE VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION III (Scream Factory): Master of the World, Tower of London, Diary of a Madman, An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, Cry of the Banshee.
***ME: Wow. This one is the real toughie. Hammer or Universal? Vincent Price or Guillermo? If I must pick just one, I’ll go with FRANKENSTEIN, but man that’s a hard one. (That’s what she said?)***
BEST DVD EXTRA
— BLOOD BATH (1966; Arrow) ‘The Trouble with Titian Revisited,’ Tim Lucas compares versions of Roger Corman’s troubled production.
— CAT PEOPLE (1942; Criterion) French TV interview from 1979 with director Jacques Tourneur.
— CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962; Criterion) Interview with comedian Dana Gould.
— CARRIE (1976; Shout Factory) Extended interviews with Nancy Allen and other Carrie cast members.
— COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE (1974; Vinegar Syndrome) Legacy interview with Paul Naschy and director Javier Aguirre.
— EXORCIST III (1990; Scream Factory) ‘Legion,’ a reconstructed director’s cut of the film.
— INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978; Shout) Interview with writer W.D. Richter and actors Art Hindle and Brooke Adams.
— THE THING (1982; Shout Factory) New interviews with John Carpenter, Keith David, Wilfred Brimley, other actors and filmmakers.
— TENEBRAE: Documentary, ‘Yellow Fever: The Rise and Fall of the Giallo.’
— VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1995; Scream Factory). ‘It Takes a Village: The Making of Village of the Damned’
***ME: THE THING***
BEST INDEPENDENT FILM
— THE BARN, directed by Justin M. Seaman. High school seniors have a final task: defeat creatures within a barn.
— THE DARK TAPES, directed by Vincent J. Guastini and Michael McQuown. Four tales from the world of horror, sci-fi and the paranormal.
— DREAD CENTRAL’S MONSTERLAND Seven tales in a town overrun by creatures.
— A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME, directed by Christopher Ray. A dream home becomes a nightmare for an estranged couple.
— HUSH, directed by Mike Flanagan. A deaf writer is stalked by a killer in the woods.
— I AM THE PRETTY THING THAT LIVES IN THE HOUSE, directed by Oz Perkins. Nurse takes care of an aging author in a house of scary stories.
— LATE NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE, directed by Torin Langen, Navin Ramaswaran and Zachary Ramelan. Terror during a taping of Dr. Nasty’s Cavalcade of Horror show.
— MODEL HUNGER, directed by Debbie Rochon. A rejected model takes revenge on the industry and her neighbors.
— THE MONSTER, directed by Bryan Bertino. Mother and daughter are confronted by a creature on a deserted road.
— THE NIGHT OF MEDUSA, directed by Joshua Kennedy. College student is possessed by deadly Greek goddess.
— THE SIMILARS (Los Parecidos), directed by Isaac Ezban. In 1968, eight passengers meet the unknown at a Mexican bus stop.
— SiREN, directed by Gregg Bishop. A bachelor’s party is visited by a deadly intruder.
— WERESQUITO: NAZI HUNTER, directed by Christopher M. Mihm. Captured soldier is turned into blood-seeking giant insect.
— THE WINDMILL (formerly The Windmill Massacre), directed by Nick Jongerius. Tourists seek refuge in a sinister windmill once used for human sacrifices.
***ME: This one serves as a list of must-sees for me. And in all fairness, since I haven’t seen ‘em all, I probably should abstain from voting. But I’m gonna go ahead and vote for THE MONSTER anyway. I am THAT confident that it is the best of the lot. SIREN comes in at number two.***
BEST SHORT FILM
— EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, directed by Rick Baker (5 mins) Halloween sendup of famous Twilight Zone episode.
— THE BEAST IN THE CAVE, directed by Cameron McCasland (7 mins). Adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft classic by Larry Underwood.
— THEATRE FANTASTIQUE: THE JOB INTERVIEW, directed by Ansel Faraj (7 mins) Vampire seeks a new Caretaker in this Dark Shadows tribute.
— MONSTERKYD MANOR, directed by Linda Wylie. Comedy episodes with Dana Gould, Frank Dietz, Bob Burns and others.
— A NEARLY PERFECT BLUE SKY, directed by Quarxx (36 mins). French film traces supernatural delusions of a kidnapper.
— THE PUPPET MAN, directed by Jacqueline Castel (9 mins). A supernatural stalker walks into a bar. Features John Carpenter.
— SAMURAI DEAD, Episode Two, directed by Jimmy Ren and Jack Vang (6 mins). Zombies meet challenges of the apocalypse.
— THE SPIRIT BOARD, directed by Andrea Ricca (6 mins). A ouija séance goes off the board.
— THE STYLIST, directed by Jill Gevargizian. (15 mins) A lonely hairstylist has her own ideas about the perfect cut.
— TROUSER SNAKE, directed by Alex DiVincenzo (5 mins) Weird goings-on at Lover’s Lane.
— UFO DIARY, directed by Jason Apuzzo (16 mins). Two members of the Women’s Army Corps battle an alien invasion of Los Angeles in 1942.
— WRAITH, directed by Daniel James (22 mins). The ghost of a child haunts Jessica and her life.
***ME: Another list of must-sees. Frank Dietz and Bob Burns are online friends of mine, so I’ll go with MONSTERKYD MANOR, but all of them sound intriguing.***
— THE CAROUSEL, directed by Jonathan Napolitano. Story behind Cortlandt Hull’s restoration of the Binghamton, N.Y. carousel of Rod Serling’s childhood.
— CHARLES GEMORA: UNCREDITED, directed by Jason Barnett. The career of Hollywood’s greatest gorilla man.
— FLESH AND BLOOD, THE HAMMER HERITAGE OF HORROR, directed by Ted Newsom. Extended and remixed version features Cushing and Lee.
— FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK, directed by Adam Nimoy. A son traces his father’s long and prosperous legacy.
— JUST DESSERTS: THE MAKING OF CREEPSHOW, directed by Michael Felsher. Revised version of documentary on the Stephen King film.
— KONG: LONG LIVE THE KING, directed by Frank Dietz and Trish Geiger. Affectionate fan and pro memories of the 1933 classic, and its offspring.
— NO STOPPING THE STOVER, directed by Jeff Herberger. The true and sometimes shocking story of one of Baltimore’s B-movie legends.
–THEY CAME FROM THE SWAMP: THE FILMS OF WILLIAM GREFE, directed by Daniel Griffith. A look at the man from the everglades responsible for Tartu, Stanley and Mako, Jaws of Death.
— 24X36, directed by Kevin Burke. A look at the history and impact of movie posters.
***ME: Another hard decision. I’ll go with KONG: LONG LIVE THE KING over THE HAMMER HERITAGE, but just barely.***
BOOK OF THE YEAR
— BELA LUGOSI IN PERSON, by Bill Kaffenberger and Gary D. Rhodes (BearManor Media, softcover, 420 pages, $24.95). Documenting Lugosi’s on-stage performances from 1931-1945.
— BEWARE THE MOON: The Story of An American Werewolf in London, by Paul Davis (Cult Screenings, hardcover, 200 pages, $36.50). Hundreds of photos, 35 interviews and more in this return to the moors.
— DINOSAURS EVER EVOLVING: The Changing Face of Prehistoric Animals in Popular Culture, by Allen A. Debus (McFarland, softcover, 320 pages, $39.95). How dinosaurs have reflected our views of the past, myths, and fears.
— DOWN FROM THE ATTIC: Rare Thrillers of the Silent Era through the 1950s, by John T. Soister and Henry Nicolella (McFarland, softcover, 248 pages, $39.95). A look at 24 rare films that have been ignored or underappreciated.
— EURO GOTHIC: Classics of Continental Horror, by Jonathan Rigby (Signum, hardcover, 344 pages, $34.95). Follow-up to English Gothic explores the German influence and shattered boundaries in Spain, France, Italy and elsewhere.
— FANTASTIQUE: Interviews with Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Filmmakers, by Tony Earnshaw (BearManor Media, softcover, 420 pages, $28). Friedkin, Burton, Gilliam, Tarantino and more.
— FORGOTTEN HORRORS VOL. 8: The Resurrection of Edgar Allan Poe, by Michael H. Price (CreateSpace, softcover, 290 pages, $30). Roger Corman’s films, along with Poe adaptations from Europe.
— HOLLYWOOD’S PRE-CODE HORRORS 1931-1934, by Raymond Valinoti Jr. (BearManor Media, softcover, 186 pages, $19.95). How horror movies pushed the limits during the Depression.
— I CANNOT, YET I MUST: The True Story of the Best Bad Monster Movie of All Time, Robot Monster, by Anders Runestad (Radiosonde Book, softcover, 680 pages (31.99). Phil Ticker’s Ro-Man masterpiece dissected.
— INTERVIEWS TOO SHOCKING TO PRINT: Conversations with Filmmakers and Their Accomplices, by Justin Humphreys (BearManor Media, softcover, 350 pages, $24.95). Talks with the likes of Wah Chang, Alan Ball, Chuck Griffith and others.
— THE KAIJU FILM: A Critical Study of Cinema’s Biggest Monsters, by Jason Barr (McFarland, softcover, 212 pages, $29.95). Not a film guide but a look at giant reflections of Japanese and other cultures.
— NIGHTS OF DAN CURTIS: The Television Epics of the Dark Shadows Auteur, by Jeff Thompson (Ideas Into Books, hardcover, 278 pages, $35). His reach went beyond horror to war, westerns and dramas.
— ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MONSTERS: The American International Story, by Bruce G Hallenbeck (Hemlock Books, softcover, 280 pages, $47). Film scholar traces the 1950s roots of Hollywood’s biggest exploitation machine.
— SCORED TO DEATH: Conversations with Some of Horror’s Greatest Composers, by J. Blake Fichera (Silman-James, softcover, 356 pages, $19.95) . From John Carpenter to Christopher Young, exploring the music of anxiety and terrors.
— SOMETHING IN THE BLOOD: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula, by David J. Skal (Liveright, hardcover, 672 pages, $35). Scholarly examination of the life, influences and Victorian times of Dracula’s creator.
— A THOUSAND CUTS: The Bizarre Underground World of Collectors and Dealers Who Saved the Movies, by Dennis Bartok and Jeff Joseph (University Press of Mississippi, hardcover, 266 pages, $28). How obsessive collectors have helped preserve movies in their original physical form.
— TOM WEAVER’S SCRIPTS FROM THE CRYPT 5: ED WOOD AND THE LOST LUGOSI SCREENPLAYS by Gary D. Rhodes with Weaver, Robert Cremer and Lee R. Harris. (BearManor Media, softcover, 302 pages, $29.95). Exploration of the world of Ed Wood includes scripts for unproduced The Vampire’s Tomb and The Ghoul Goes West.
— THE TURN TO GRUESOMENESS IN AMERICAN HORROR FILMS, 1931-1936, by Jon Towlson (McFarland, softcover, 240 pages, $39.95). How transgressive images and themes from the early 1930s set a tone for what was to follow decades later.
— UNSUNG HORRORS, edited by Eric McNaughton and Darrell Buxton (We Belong Dead, softcover, 440 pages, $43). More than 200 films from silents to the 70s.
***ME: You’re killin’ me here, guys! How can I pick just one? BEWARE THE MOON; kaiju; Robot Monster?! *sigh* I’ll have to go with SOMETHING IN THE BLOOD. Since you’re makin’ me.***
— Don Coscarelli and David Hartman discuss Phantasm: Ravager, by John W. Bowen. RUE MORGUE #166.
— Barbara Crampton by Trevor Parker. DELIRIUM #11.
— Ray Harryhausen, expanded 2006 interview by Mark Mawston, SCARY MONSTERS #100.
— Tom Holland and Andrew London, writer and editor of PSYCHO II, by Nigel Parkin. DELIRIUM #10.
— H.G. Lewis, his penultimate interview, by Preston Fassel, RUE MORGUE #173.
— Cassandra Peterson on her life as Elvira, by Jason Hignite. HORRORHOUND #61.
— James Storm of Dark Shadows by Rod Labbe, SCARY MONSTERS #100.
— John Sanders, Walking Dead’s prop master by Don Vaughan, VIDEOSCOPE #98.
— Virgil Vogel, director of Land Unknown, by Tom Weaver, MONSTER BASH #26.
— Tom Woodruff Jr., monster designer and performer, by david j. moore, FILMFAX #143.
***ME: Harryhausen. No question.***
— Bay of the Living Dead, by David-Elijah Nahmod, brokeassstuart.com
— Camp Grindhouse, by David Del Valle, DELIRIUM.
— Disc Flix, by David J. Hogan, FILMFAX
— The Doctor Is In-Sane, by Dr. Gangrene, SCARY MONSTERS
— Fright Gallery, curated by Gary Pullin, RUE MORGUE
— Grey Matters, by Richard Schellbach, MONDO CULT ONLINE
— It Came from Bowen’s Basement, by John W, Bowen, RUE MORGUE
— Larry Blamire’s Star Turn, VIDEO WATCHDOG
— Ralph’s One and Only Traveling Reviews, by Richard Klemensen, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS
— Rondo Remembers, by Ron Adams, MONSTER BASH MAGAZINE
— They Came from the Krypt, by Jon Kitley, HORRORHOUND
— Or write in another choice:
***ME: It should be noted that any and all of these categories allow for write-ins, so I’m writin’-in MYSELF for this one. You all should do it, too! Me! The Evil Cheezman! Best Columnist! What difference does it make if we’re talking about print magazines or online magazines? The rightful winner is ME!***
BEST WEBSITE OR BLOG OF 2016
***ME: Don’t bother looking at the other choices. Your choices as write-ins are this site, vampires.com, zombies.org, or darkness.com. Pick one.***
BEST LIVE EVENT
— AMERICAN WEREWOLVES IN SANTA ROSA: John Landis, Rick Baker and David Naughton speak after screening of An American Werrewolf in London at Scream Festival.
— ‘AT HOME WITH MONSTERS’ exhibit of Guillermo Del Toro’s collection at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
— BLOB PANIC RE-ENACTMENT. Fans run out of the same Pennsylvania theatre attacked by The Blob (Blobfest)
— COUNT GORE DEVOL PRESENTS Live shows in Silver Spring, Md. include Kong, Body Snatchers and both Things.
— ELVIRA INDUCTED INTO HORROR HOST HALL OF FAME. The Mistress of the Dark receives Lifetime Achievement Award at HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati.
— FRANKENSTEIN LAKE REVISITED, Sara Karloff and Don Watkins, son of child actress Marilyn Harris, are reunited at lake near Malibu where the Monster threw ‘little Maria’ into the water. Organized by Pierre Fournier.
— AKIRA IFUKUBE CHAMBER MUSIC, concert in Chicago featuring Reiko Yamada and hosted by Erik Homenick.
— MAN WITH KALEIDOSCOPE EYES, live reading of script of Joe Dante’s proposed biopic of Roger Corman’s ‘The Trip.’
— PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, live reading of script by Patton Oswalt, Fred Willard, Dana Gould, others. Los Angeles.
— RADIOTHEATRE’S EDGAR ALLAN POE FESTIVAL, 16 audio drama perfomed in May and June by NYC’s Radiotheatre.
— ‘A STRANGE NIGHT WITH COFFIN JOE’, Ray Castile and Tom Stockman present double-feature of Brazilian’s films at Webster University in St. Louis.
— TRIBUTE TO BERNIE WRIGHTSON. Ailing artist’s son, John, on hand for exhibit of artist’s work at Creature Features in Burbank.
— WITCH’S DUNGEON CLASSIC MOVIE MUSEUM celebrates 50 years in Connecticut.
***ME: No reading of the script for PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE could do justice to the actual film, so Ima go with the BLOB panic reenactment, since I’ve actually been to that one. Honorable mention to THE WITCH’S DUNGEON, though.***
–BEST WRITER OF 2016 (includes reviewers)
–MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR (Who did the most to advance the cause of classic horror scholarship, film preservation or genre fun).
AND FINALLY, THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME
Which fans, pros, writers, researchers, horror hosts or others should be inducted into the Rondo Awards Monster Kid Hall of Fame? Suggest up to six names.
***ME: Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Oh, and Me!***
REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR NAME; E-MAIL YOUR PICKS TO firstname.lastname@example.org YOU DO NOT HAVE TO VOTE IN EVERY CATEGORY.
***ME: Don’t forget those write-ins!!!***