‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Stranger Things 2’ and ‘Suspiria’
take top honors in 16th Annual Rondo Awards
‘The Art of Horror Movies’ is Book of the Year;
archivist Tim Lanza is Monster Kid of Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By David Colton
ARLINGTON, VA. – The Oscars, it turns out, were merely prelude as Guillermo del Toro’s gritty and romantic fantasy, THE SHAPE OF WATER, was voted Best Movie of 2017 in the (Gasp!) 16th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.
Del Toro’s creature revival narrowly topped another mainstream horror film, Jordan Peele’s GET OUT, as a record number of voters cast ballots in the fan-based online survey.
STRANGER THINGS 2, the Netflix series that celebrates 1980s era horror films, was named Best Television Show of 2017, its second straight win.
The biggest winner was the Synapse Blu-Ray restoration of SUSPIRIA, a lushly violent 1977 Italian horror directed by Dario Argento which swept the DVD categories, winning the Best DVD/Blu-Ray, Best Restoration, Best Commentary (by David Del Valle and Derek Botelho), and Best DVD Extra (a retrospective by Daniel Griffith).
SUSPIRIA prevailed despite the most classic horror restorations in many years, including James Whale’s OLD DARK HOUSE, the 1925 LOST WORLD, VAMPIRE BAT and CALTIKI.
The Rondo Awards, named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, honor the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation. This year’s e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, a 23-year old online community, drew more than 3,700 ballots, the most ever in the largest survey of the classic horror genre held each year.
In other categories, voters named THE DEVIL’S CANDY, a heavy-metal chiller directed by Sean Byrne, as Best Independent Film. Tom Woodruff Jr’s KONG: STEEL IN LOVE, a touching re-animation of the original King Kong armature used in the 1933 classic was voted Best Short Film. And MONSTER KIDS, a documentary by James-Michael Roddy about the professionals who were influenced by the classic monsters in the 1950s and 1960s, was chosen as Best Documentary.
Horror historian Stephen Jones’ richly illustrated THE ART OF HORROR MOVIES was voted Book of the Year, and SCARY MONSTER MAGAZINE, now edited by Don and Vicki Smeraldi, was voted Best Classic Magazine, with RUE MORGUE again named Best Modern Magazine.
Best article went to the 100-page exploration of FRANKENSTEIN: THE UNTOLD STORY by Sam Irvin in LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS. Canadian magazine RUE MORGUE editor Andrea Subassati won Best Interview for her exploration of witches in cinema and reality.
Dark Shadows historian Patrick McCray was voted Best Writer, cover artist Mark Maddox was again chosen as Best Artist, and David G. Hardy was voted Best Fan Artist.
Svengoolie’s national broadcast proved potent again as he received a record number of votes for Favorite Horror Host.
Other winners included Dr. Gangrene’s column in SCARY MONSTERS, the birth.death.movies website and the Twilight Zone Podcast. MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS by Emil Ferris was voted Best Horror Comic.
Tim Lanza, an executive at Cohen Media Group who was largely responsible for the stunning restoration of the 1932 OLD DARK HOUSE, was selected as Monster Kid of the Year.
And this year’s Monster Kid Hall of Fame inductees included Cassandra Peterson (Elvira); WALKING DEAD executive Greg Nicotero; film memorabilia collector Robert Taylor; Mike Hill, the noted sculptor of monsters and a creator of the creature in SHAPE OF WATER; and the late actors Haruo Nakajima and voice actor June Foray.
Below you’ll find all the winners, along with runners-up and honorable mentions. Many categories were very competitive, and numerous nominees not listed here nonetheless drew significant votes.
Below is a photo of Hatton in the 1946 film, HOUSE OF HORRORS, which was an inspiration for the distinctive bust given to winners..
— HERE ARE WINNERS IN THE 16th ANNUAL RONDO AWARDS —
A record number of voters — more than 3,700 fans and professionals — made these choices in the 16th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards for work in the year 2017. Here is a category-by-category breakdown of winners:
BEST FILM OF 2017
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Runner-up: GET OUT
Honorable mentions: WONDER WOMAN, IT,
BLADE RUNNER 2049
BEST TV PRESENTATION
STRANGER THINGS 2
Runners-up: BLACK MIRROR, GAME OF THRONES
Honorable mentions: DOCTOR WHO, FEUD
SUSPIRIA LIMITED EDITION (Synapse)
Runner-up: THE OLD DARK HOUSE (Cohen)
Honorable mentions: THE LOST WORLD (Flicker Alley);
THE LODGER (1927; Criterion); RAWHEAD REX (Kino);
CALTIKI: THE IMMORTAL MONSTER (Arrow)
THE PHANTASM COLLECTION (Well Go USA)
Runner-up: FRITZ LANG: THE SILENT FILMS (Kino)
Honorable mentions: GEORGE ROMERO: BETWEEN NIGHT AND DAWN (Arrow);
PAUL NASCHY COLLECTION (Scream Factory)
SUSPIRIA LIMITED EDITION (Synapse)
Runner-up: THE OLD DARK HOUSE (Cohen)
Honorable mentions: THE LOST WORLD (Flicker Alley);
ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (Kino); CALTIKI (Arrow)
DAVID DEL VALLE, DEREK BOTELHO (Suspiria)
Runner-up: TOM WEAVER, GARY RHODES, ROBERT KISS (Invisible Ghost);
TIM LUCAS (Caltiki)
Honorable mention: ROD BARNETT, TROY GUINN (Naschy Collection)
BEST DVD EXTRA
A SIGH FROM THE DEPTHS: 40 YEARS OF SUSPIRIA,
directed by Daniel Griffith
Honorable mentions: THE LOST WORLD (restoration of Ghost of Slumber Mountain);
THE OLD DARK HOUSE (interview with Sara Karloff);
THE LODGER (Hitchcock talks to Truffaut); TALES FROM THE HOOD (Making of)
BEST INDEPENDENT FILM
THE DEVIL’S CANDY, directed by Sean Byrne
Runners-up: A GHOST STORY; Jovanka Vuckovic’s XX
Honorable mentions: DEMON WITH THE ATOMIC BRAIN;
THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM; THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR;
I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE;
FANTASMA; HG Lewis’ BLOODMANIA
BEST SHORT FILM
KONG: STEEL IN LOVE,
directed by Tom Woodruff Jr.
Honorable mentions: WHY IS THERE CARDBOARD IN DRACULA?;
BURN; THE BLACK CAT; RAKKA; MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
MONSTER KIDS: THE IMPACT OF THINGS THAT GO BUMP
IN THE NIGHT, directed by James-Michael Roddy
Runner-up: BATMAN AND BILL
Honorable mentions: YOU’RE SO COOL, BREWSTER: THE STORY
OF FRIGHT NIGHT; WHO GOES THERE: IN SEARCH OF THE THING;
KING COHEN; TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY
BOOK OF THE YEAR
THE ART OF HORROR MOVIES: An Illustrated History by Stephen Jones
Runners-up: RICCARDO FREDA: The Life and Works of a Born Filmmaker,
by Roberto Curti; NOPE, NOTHING WRONG HERE: The Making of Cujo,
by Lee Gambin; MONSTER SQUAD: Celebrating the Creators Behind Cinema’s
Most Memorable Creatures, by Heather A. Wixson; A WEREWOLF REMEMBERS,
by Frank Dello Stritto
Honorable mentions: ISHIRO HONDA, by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski;
UNIVERSAL TERRORS by Tom Weaver, David Schecter,
Robert J. Kiss and Steve Kronenberg; MICHAEL CURTIZ, by Alan K. Rode;
ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE: A TV Movie Compendium, by Amanda Reyes
BEST MAGAZINE (Classic)
Runners-up: LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS, FAMOUS MONSTERS
Honorable mentions: VIDEO WATCHDOG, CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES,
SCREEM, DIABOLIQUE, FILMFAX, MONSTER BASH; G-FAN
BEST MAGAZINE (modern)
Honorable mention: SCREAM
‘The Epic Untold Saga Behind Frankenstein: The True Story,’
by Sam Irvin, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #38.
Runners-up: ‘Robert Bloch: The Clown at Midnight,’ by Steven Vertlieb, thunderchild.com‘
‘Boris Karloff: Host of NBC’s Thriller,’ by Robert J. Kiss, CLASSIC IMAGES #507.
Honorable mentions: ‘Battle of the Monster Makers,’ by Mark C. Glassy, SCARY MONSTERS #103;
‘The Great and Secret Showman,’ by Sean Plummer, RUE MORGUE #176;
‘The Future of Horror,’ by Nathan Hanneman, HORRORHOUND #68;
‘Caltiki, the Name Written in Tripe,’ by Tim Lucas, SCREEM #33;
‘Supernatural Folklore in the Japanese Ghost Film,’ by Kat Ellinger, DIABOLIQUE #26;
‘Less Is More: The Need to Return to Generic Horror,’ by Preston Fassel, HeardTell.com
BEST INTERVIEW (Award goes to interviewer)
The W.I.T.C.H. interviews by Andrea Subassati,
RUE MORGUE #178
Runners-up: Marie Wallace, by Rod Labbe, SCARY MONSTERS #104;
Martin Landau by Mike Stein, FILMFAX #149
Honorable mentions: Adrienne Barbeau by Terry and Tiffany DuFoe, VIDEOSCOPE #103; Sissy Spacek by Lee Gambin, SCREAM #41; John Walsh (Harryhausen friend),
by Adrian Smith, SCREEM #33; Kelli Maroney by Preston Fassel, CineDump.com
The Doctor Is In-Sane, by Dr. Gangrene (SCARY MONSTERS)
Runner-up: It Came from Bowen’s Basement, by John T. Bowen, RUE MORGUE
Honorable mentions: They Came from the Crypt, by Jon Kitley, HORRORHOUND;
SHOT IN THE DARK by Tim Lucas, DIABOLIQUE; Rondo Remembers by Ron Adams,
MONSTER BASH; Overlooked in Hollywood by Laura Wagner, GOLDEN FILMS
OF THE GOLDEN AGE
SCARY MONSTERS #105 by Scott Jackson
Runners-up: LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #38 by Mark Maddox;
CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES #9, by Daniel Horne
Honorable mentions: FAMOUS MONSTERS #289 by Terry Wolfinger;
RUE MORGUE #178 by Sara Deck and Andrew Wright
Runners-up: Bloody Disgusting, Dread Central
Honorable mentions: Collinsport Historical Society; Video Watchblog;
Daily Dead; Dr.Gangrene’s Mad Blog
BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE
TWILIGHT ZONE PODCAST
Runners-up: Blumhouse Shock Waves; Bloodbath and Beyond;
Monster Kid Radio; Ray Harryhausen Podcast
Honorable mentions: Trailers From Hell; Damn Dirty Geeks;
Count Gore De Vol’s Creature Features; Homicidal Homemaker
Veronica Carlson, Larry Storch. Terry Moore at Monster Bash
Runners-up: Monsterpalooza; HorrorHound Weekend
Honorable mentions: Texas Frightmare
BEST LIVE EVENT
RAY HARRYHAUSEN’S MYTHICAL MENAGERIE,
Science Museum Oklahoma
Runners-up: Blob Panic Re-Enactment (BlobFest);
Honorable mentions: Women in Horror Month;
Frankenstein the True Story event (Creature Features, Burbank)
FAVORITE HORROR HOST
Runners-up: Elvira, Joe Bob Briggs
Honorable mentions: Dr. Gangrene, Penny Dreadful, Count Gore De Vol,
Karlos Borloff, Bone Jangler, Lord Blood-Rah, Son of Ghoul
BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK
MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS,
by Emil Ferris
Runners-up: American Gods; Walking Dead;
Haunted Horror; Lucio Fulci’s Zombie
HAMMER HORROR: CLASSIC THEMES 1958-1974
Runners-up: Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Long Live the King;
Audio Adventures of Big Dan Frater; Vault of Horror
WRITER OF THE YEAR
Few people know the secrets of Collinsport more than Patrick McCray, a Dark Shadows
expert whose contributions to the Dark Shadows Daybook keep horror’s enduring
scare opera alive for new generations. A writer who viewed 1,225 episodes in
45 days, he shares his obsession with Collinsport fans daily.
Runners-up: Jonathan Rigby, Gary Rhodes, Tom Weaver,
Tim Lucas, Kit Ellinger, BJ Coangelo, Frank Dello Stritto,
The dazzling artwork of Mark Maddox has become as familiar as the logos
of our favorite monster magazines. Whether giving a vibrant vibe to Ghidrah or
a somber take on Dracula, the Maddox touch is sure and steady.
No wonder his work is nominated for several covers each year.
Runners-up: Daniel Horne, Chantal Handley, Scott Jackson, Gary Pullin,
Frank Dietz, Jason Edmiston, L.J. Dopp, Peter Von Sholly, George Chastain
LINDA MILLER AWARD
FOR FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR
(In memory of the late Linda Miller)
David G. Hardy
The art of David G. Hardy flows naturally, capturing the hearts and torments
of our favorite monsters and supporting players. Whether casual sketches or
full-throated portraits, Hardy’s work is in the grand tradition of classic fantasy,
propelled by an exuberance of spirit that keeps his horrors…alive.
Runners-up: John Sargent, Malcolm Gittins, Jeff Carlson,
Jerrod Brown, Rob Costello.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Sonny Vento of the Haunted Barn Movie Museum
That’s Sonny Vento, now 87, appearing very briefly in 1953 as a
longshoreman in THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, just before
the Rhedosaur attacks. Vento helped his son, Joey, start the
Haunted Barn Movie Museum in New York, which since 1968 has
displayed monster props and shown movies to kids young and old.
Says Joey: “When we do our Monstrous Movie Memories Show displays,
we always do a tribute to dad.”
We at the Rondos are delighted to honor a Greatest Generation Monster Kid!
MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR
A vice president at the Cohen Media Group, Tim was the driving
force behind the restoration of James Whale’s OLD DARK HOUSE
on Blu-Ray. Working his industry contacts for years, he finally got access
to a Library of Congress copy for a 4K restoration. Classic horror fans
now have the 1932 film as it was meant to be seen. The Rondos are
honored to select Tim Lanza as our Monster Kid of the Year,
June Foray was quite literally the voice of several generations,
the voice artist behind Rocky and Bullwinkle, Looney Toons, Hanna-Barbera,
Disney and scores of commercials and films. Passing away last year at the
age of 99, her legacy lives on to the delight of our children and grandchildren.
Taking the tradition of horror hosts to sexy and hilarious
heights, Cassandra Peterson’s Elvira character never
forgot the dignity of the films she lampooned. For 30 years
she’s kept forgotten horror franchises alive. One of the genre’s
In a world of suits and balance sheets, it’s rare that
someone who gets it takes charge of a horror franchise
as important as THE WALKING DEAD. A trailblazing
makeup and effects artist, Nicotero’s deft directing touch
keeps the show at the cutting edge of 21st Century storytelling.
His work will be a guide for generations of filmmakers to come.
In a world of collectors, few can compare with Robert Taylor,
whose rooms of show business memorabilia from the early
1900s to the fright films of the 50s is a living museum. With access
to Forrest J Ackerman’s writings and Vincent Price artwork, Taylor
is a master of ephemera that matters. In addition, his years of serving
as Sara Karloff’s aide de camp at conventions and elsewhere have
kept icons available to fans and researchers. Shown above with Victoria
Price and Karloff, Robert is a true gentleman of the genre.
For decades he was the anonymous man in the Godzilla suit, walking
silently through miniature cities. It was hot in the suit, he said later,
sometimes he was injured. But Haruo Nakajima never
faltered as he kept Toho’s monster franchise on schedule.
Late in life fans learned his names and flocked to him at conventions.
When he died at age 88, Nakajima knew that in his own way, he was a star.
Mike Hill’s lifelike sculpts of famous monsters can take your
breath away. Full-size and detailed down to the tear on
a teenage werewolf’s pants leg, Hill’s work reveals the humanity
in even the fiercest of creatures. His work on the merman in
THE SHAPE OF WATER shows his Hollywood influence has only just begun.
And there you have it. Whew!
None of this would be possible without the thousands of you who voted, or
convinced others to vote. And the bedrock of it all remains the Classic Horror Film Board.
If you want to comment or react to the awards — or suggest nominees for next year — visit the CHFB’s Rondo Forum.
A Rondo Awards Ceremony will be held at the WonderFest Convention
in Louisville on Saturday, June 2, 2018.
Many of the winners will attend or send
videos. Keep track of Rondo doings at classichorrorfilmboard.com or at rondoaward.com.
And remember the words of Zacherley:
‘Good night, whatever you are!’
Rondo Awards copyright David Colton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VOTING NOW CLOSED
This year’s awards are dedicated to Basil Gogos, George Romero and Haruo Nakajima
VOTING IS CLOSED
— AMERICAN HORROR STORY: CULT, ’11/9.’ 9.26.17, FX. Election results spark a murderous cult from both sides. ‘Take pain in one hand and anger in another. Use them.’
Classic Monsters of the Movies #9
Dark Side #285
Famous Monsters #289
Filmfax #149, vintage
Little Shoppe of Horrors #38 by Mark Maddox
Monster Bash #29 by Daniel Horne
Rue Morgue #178
Mad Scientist #32 by Mark Maddox
Scary Monsters #105 by Scott Jackson
Screem #34 by Mark Maddox
Video Watchdog #184
We Belong Dead #19