These are tough days indeed, and they are getting tougher for all of us. We hope these Rondo Awards can provide a bit of an escape, and a reminder that real people did accomplish real things before our world was frozen in place — and that those things indeed will return.
‘Joker,’ ‘Mandalorian’ and 1979 ‘Dracula’
take top honors in 18th Annual Rondo Awards
‘Lady from the Black Lagoon’ is Book of the Year;
Director Jordan Peele is Monster Kid of the Year;
and Svengoolie wins again!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By David Colton
ARLINGTON, VA. – A monster in green hair and red lips dancing on the steps. A baby Yoda discovering the Force for the first time. A cool, cruel Dracula charming his soon-to-be dinner guests. And an unknown makeup woman of the 1950s helping to create a Creature for the ages. All these and more were honored today as the best of 2019 in the (Gasp!) 18th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.
From Criterion’s collection of 15 Godzilla movies to a startling confrontation between Karloff and Lugosi in 1934’s transgressive THE BLACK CAT, this year’s winners represent all facets of the classic horror experience. The nominees and winners also reflect the growing diversity and sophistication of today’s horror firmament.
Among top winners of the fan-based awards were JOKER (voted Best Film), THE MANDALORIAN (Best TV), and LADY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (Book of the Year). Frank Langella’s under-appreciated DRACULA from 1979 was voted Best DVD/Blu-Ray; HORROR NOIRE, an eye-opening and long overdue exploration of black horror films and black filmmakers, won Best Documentary; and a pair of articles from RUE MORGUE’s landmark “Queer Fear” issue topped the magazine categories.
Director Joshua Kennedy’s unprecedented gathering of former Hammer stars — Veronica Carlson, Caroline Munro and Martine Beswicke — in HOUSE OF THE GORGON was voted Best Independent Film. And British film experts Jonathan Rigby and Kat Ellinger were among those inducted into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame.
All these from a year that featured more magazines, books, websites and podcasts than ever before, along with an explosion of “classic horror” and modern Blu-Rays from Universal, Shout/Scream, Kino, Criterion, Arrow, Severin, Indicator and many others.
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 25-year old online community, drew more than 4,700 ballots, the most ever in the largest survey of the classic horror genre held each year.
In individual categories, filmmaker Jordan Peele, director of GET OUT, US and producer of a new TWILIGHT ZONE series, was named Monster Kid of the Year, Rondo’s highest honor. Film historian Gregory William Mank was voted Best Writer, Mark Maddox again Best Artist and author Scott Gallinghouse was cited for his deep-dive biography of Rondo Hatton himself.
Other winners ranged from comedian Gilbert Gottfried’s “Amazing Colossal Podcast” to an outpouring of votes for horror host Svengoolie, honored for 40 years on television.
Monster Kid Hall of Fame inductees included Rigby, Ellinger, the late author Robert Bloch, Greg Luce of Sinister Cinema, a pair of Cleveland horror hosts, the late Ghoul (Ron Sweed), and Son of Ghoul, artist George Chastain, and the zany clown-prince of horror, David “The Rock” Nelson.
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 THE WINNERS IN THE
(GASP!) 18th ANNUAL
RONDO HATTON CLASSIC HORROR AWARDS
BEST FILM OF 2019
Runners-up: AVENGERS: ENDGAME, GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS
Honorable mentions:PARASITE, DOCTOR SLEEP, MIDSOMMAR, LIGHTHOUSE
BEST TV PRESENTATION
Runners-up: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, STRANGER THINGS 3
Honorable mentions: AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984; CREEPSHOW
DRACULA (1979; Shout)
Runner-up: THIS ISLAND EARTH (Shout)
Honorable mentions: SILVER BULLET COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Shout);
THE BODY SNATCHER (Shout); MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (Shout);
THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (Flicker Alley)
GODZILLA: THE SHOWA ERA (15 films; Criterion)
Runner-up: UNIVERSAL HORROR COLLECTION (Vol. 1): Black Cat, The Raven,
Invisible Ray, Black Friday (Universal)
Honorable mentions: THE FLY COLLECTION (Shout);
THE OMEN COLLECTION (Shout); HAMMER VOLUME 4: Revenge of Frankenstein,
Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, Taste of Fear The Damned (Indicator);
ALL THE COLORS OF GIALLO (Severin)
THE BLACK CAT (1934; Universal)
Runner-up: MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Academy Film Foundation
Film Foundation; George Lucas Foundation)
Honorable mentions: MAN WHO LAUGHS (Flicker Alley);
THIS ISLAND EARTH (Shout); TRILOGY OF TERROR II (Kino)
‘TWISTED TALE: The Unmaking of Spookies’
by Michael Gingold and Glen Baisley
(SPOOKIES; 1986; Vinegar Syndrome)
Runner-up: Kim Newman on Lon Chaney (MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES, Arrow)
Honorable mentions: Castle Film versions of THIS ISLAND EARTH (Shout);
‘Of Mushrooms and Madmen,’ directed by Daniel Griffiths (MOLE PEOPLE, Shout)
Tom Weaver, David Schecter, Dr. Robert J. Kiss (TARANTULA, Shout)
Runners-up: Gregory Mank (BLACK CAT, Universal); Tim Lucas (DEAD OF NIGHT, Kino)
Honorable mentions: Robert Skotak (THIS ISLAND EARTH, Shout);
Amanda Reyes (DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, Warners); Lee Gambin (CUJO, Eureka);
Gary Rhodes (MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, Shout); Kit Ellinger (ALL THE COLORS OF GIALLO, Severin)
BEST PACKAGE OF DVD EXTRAS
GODZILLA: THE SHOWA ERA (Criterion)
Interviews include director Ishira Honda, unused footage.
Runner-up: THE FLY: Five new interviews (Shout)
Honorable mentions: A BUCKET OF BLOOD: Interviews, list of dropped scenes (Olive);
DRACULA (1979): 8 new interviews (Shout); SCARS OF DRACULA: Two aspect ratios (Shout)
BEST INDEPENDENT FILM
HOUSE OF THE GORGON, directed by Joshua Kennedy,
with Caroline Munro, Martine Beswicke, Veronica Carlson
Runners-up: LOON LAKE; ONE CUT OF THE DEAD
Honorable mentions: NIGHTMARE CINEMA; HE DRIVES AT NIGHT; RABID
BEST SHORT FILM
FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER FRANKENSTEIN
directed by Daniel Gray Longino; starring David Harbour.
Honorable mentions: THE HAUNTED SWORDSMAN; FILTH;
AS THE EARTH TURNS; WHAT DAPHNE SAW; MISS UNDERSTOOD MONSTER;
SKYWATCH; THE EMPTY HOUSE
HORROR NOIRE: A HISTORY OF BLACK HORROR, directed by Xavier Burgin,
based on a book by Robin R. Means Coleman
Runners-up: SMOKE AND MIRRORS: THE STORY OF TOM SAVINI;
A GOOD GAME: KARLOFF & LUGOSI AT UNIVERSAL
Honorable mentions: MAKING APES: THE ARTISTS WHO CHANGED MOVIES;
IN SEARCH OF DARKNESS; SCREAM QUEEN: MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
BOOK OF THE YEAR
THE LADY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON: Hollywood Monsters
and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara
Runners-up: INTO THE VELVET DARKNESS: A Celebration of Vincent Price,
by Eric McNaughton, Peter Fuller and Darrell Buxton;
HARRYHAUSEN: The Lost Movies, by John Walsh
Honorable mentions: TAKING SHAPE: Developing Halloween from Script to Screen,
by Dustin McNeill and Travis Mullins;
JAMES WARREN: Empire of Monsters, by Bill Schelly;
BELA LUGOSI AND THE MONOGRAM 9, by Gary Rhodes and Robert Guffey;
BELA LUGOSI: The Monogramthology, edited by Brad A. Braddock;
ITALIAN GOTHIC HORROR FILMS 1980-89, by Roberto Curti;
DISCOVER THE HORROR, by Jon Kitley;
THE BRUTE MAN, by Tom Weaver, Scott Gallinghouse,
Dr. Robert J. Kiss , George Chastain;
CARL DENHAM’S GIANT MONSTERS by Frank J. Dello Stritto;
BIZARRO ENCYLCOPEDIA OF FILM by John Skipp and Heather Drain
BEST MAGAZINE (Classic)
Runners-up: LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS, FAMOUS MONSTERS
Honorable mentions: THE DARK SIDE, CINEMA RETRO, CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES, FILMFAX, MONSTER BASH; SCREEM, G-FAN
BEST MAGAZINE (modern)
Runners-up: RUE MORGUE, HORRORHOUND
Honorable mention: SCREAM (UK)
RISE OF THE SUPERMONSTERS/MONSTERS FROM THE CLOSET,
by Carly Maga and Matthew Hays, RUE MORGUE #189
Runner-up: Four-Color Memories of a Monster Kid, by Rod Labbe,
Scary Monsters Presents MONSTER MEMORIES #27;
Honorable mentions: ‘Facts of Drac: Lugosi and Dracula, the Early Years,’
by Frank J. Dello Stritto, MONSTER BASH #35;
‘History of Horror Film Fanzines: The Monster Times,’ by Richard Klemensen, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #43;
‘Ghosts of Collinwood,’ by Wallace McBride and Dana Gould, FANGORIA #4;
‘Doctor Sleep: The World Will Shine Again,’ by Bev Vincent, SCREEM #38;
‘Dracula’s Daughter: Re-Examning a Horror Classic,’ by Matthew E. Banks,
SCARY MONSTERS #113, 115.
Dark Shadows’ Kathryn Leigh Scott,
interview by Rod Labbe, SCARY MONSTERS #111
Runners-up: Jordan Peele by Paul Thomas Anderson, FANGORIA #3;
William Friedkin by Andrea Subissati, RUE MORGUE #190
Honorable mentions: Mark Patton by Rocco Thompson, RUE MORGUE #189;
Tom Savini by Tony Earnshaw, DARK SIDE #201-202;
Pamela Pierce Barcelou by Laura Beerman for joebobbriggs.com;
John Richardson by Mark Mawston, CINEMA RETRO #45-46
Scene Queen, by Barbara Crampton (FANGORIA)
Runner-up: Dr. Gangrene’s Mad Interviews, SCARY MONSTERS;
Honorable mentions: They Came from the Crypt, by Jon Kitley, HORRORHOUND;
Homicidal Homemaker, by Kaci, RUE MORGUE;
Rondo Remembers by Ron Adams, MONSTER BASH;
Overlooked in Hollywood by Laura Wagner, GOLDEN FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE
SCARY MONSTERS #115 by Scott Jackson
Runners-up: HORRORHOUND #78 by Jason Edmison;
THE DARK SIDE #201 by Rick Melton; SCREEM #37 by Mark Maddox;
FANGORIA #2 by Joshua Hoffine;
CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES #15, by Daniel Horne;
RUE MORGUE #78 by Rob Birchfield
Runners-up: Collinsport Historical Society;
Universal Horror & Classic Creatures (Facebook);
Honorable mentions: Birth.Movies.Death; Dread Central
Dr.Gangrene’s Mad Blog
BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE
GILBERT GOTTFRIED’S AMAZING COLOSSAL PODCAST
Runners-up: Dinosaur Dracula; Shock Waves;
Monster Kid Radio
Honorable mentions: Trailers From Hell; Twilight Zone Podcast;
Count Gore De Vol’s Creature Features
FAVORITE HORROR HOST OF 2019
Runners-up: Lamia; Joe Bob Briggs;
Elvira; Offbeat Cinema
Honorable mentions: Deadwest; Mummy & the Monkey;
Marlena Midnight; Mr. Lobo; Dr. Gangrene, Count Gore de Vol;
Key Master Slash Poe; Son of Ghoul; Lord Blood-Rah; Drac and Carlita
Runners-up: Monsterpalooza; HorrorHound Weekend
Honorable mentions: Horror Hotel; DragonCon; Flashback Weekend;
Chiller Expo; Texas Frightmare Weekend; Blobfest
TOP LIVE EVENT
Svengoolie 40th Anniversary Honored by City of Chicago
Runners-up: Women in Horror Month; Legend of Boggy Creek restoration in Texarkana
Honorable mention: Blob Panic Run-out in Phoenixville, PA
ACHIEVEMENT IN HORROR STUDIES
Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation
Runner-up: Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies
Honorable mentions: 3-D Film Archives;
Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival; Stoker Con;
Teenage Werewolves Horror Fiends Film Club
BEST COMIC BOOK
THE CREEPS (Warrant)
Runner-up: EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF TERROR; CULT CLASSIC
Honorable mentions: SNOW, GLASS, APPLES, GIDEON FALLS, ICE CREAM MAN
RONDO AWARD FOR SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT
For decades, the few details known about Rondo Hatton have been a mixture of conjecture and legend. Enter Scott Gallinghouse, whose masterful biography of Hatton in the book THE BRUTE MAN uncovered a richer life than anyone imagined. Two marriages, a thriving career as a reporter, an athlete and a brave gamble on Hollywood after his features began to distort. Meticulously researched and superbly written, Gallinghouse’s work is an important part of the Rondo Hatton story.
MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR
Director and writer Jordan Peele has brought a new
sensibility and terrific energy to the horror and fantasy field with
his depictions of real people confronting unreal truths. His films US and GET OUT and
his reboot of THE TWILIGHT ZONE only hint at his new horror concepts to come. For
thoroughly shaking tired tropes, he is our Monster Kid of the Year.
WRITER OF THE YEAR
GREGORY WILLIAM MANK
Greg Mank was one of the first horror historians to delve deeply into the production and personalities behind the Universal horror films, and decades later he shows no sign of ending his search for new insights about the films we all love. His recent books and lectures on actors Colin Clive and Laird Cregar, along with his Blu-Ray commentaries make him an essential part of ever-changing film history.
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Like the best of genre artists, Mark Maddox makes familiar images new again through color and depth, superb composition and eye-pleasing dynamics. His work in magazines is legendary but his entry into Blu-Ray covers and more shows an artist moving with the times, and with his audience.
Runners-up: Daniel Horne, Scott Jackson, Jeff Carlson, Ron Birchfield, Frederick Cooper, LJ Dopp, Jason Edmiston, Pete Von Sholly.
FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR (The Linda Miller Award)
Jerrod’s art is bold and grand, a mix of classic images and modern monsters. But last year his large-scale reproductions of Aurora monster model box art went on tour, wowing visitors with a mix of nostalgia and presentations that made childhoods new again.
Runners-up: Max Martelli, Malcolm Gittins, Noufaux, Derek Koch, Audrey Funk.
THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME
(Based on votes and Rondo selections)
One of the original masters of horror, Robert Bloch’s PSYCHO and other macabre tales filled a generation with intelligent dread, spawning young writers, shaping early television and films and setting a baseline for horrors to come. Whether screenplays or short fiction, his stories still bring a shudder.
Horror historian Jonathan Rigby sees movies with a worldly eye. His books such as ENGLISH GOTHIC, EURO GOTHIC and AMERICAN GOTHIC do more than simply compile the films of the century. He discerns the cultural shifts and winks within, producing a body of work that is entirely original.
Author, editor, podcaster and film commentator (150 projects so far), Kat Ellinger is an important voice working to broaden too-often traditional views of film, culture, gender and genre. Expanding definitions helps her bring more people into a world of forbidden or even difficult cinema, from horror and giallo to surprising new takes on pop favorites and beyond.
For years, Constantine Nasr has been a hidden hand behind some of the genre’s most important DVD and BluRay releases, working with studios on commentaries, documentaries, interviews and pushing, pushing, pushing to ensure classic and contemporrary films get the best presentations possible. This year alone his work has ranged from the 1979 Dracula to Universal Horrors and more.
Greg Luce’s Sinister Cinema was a gateway drug of sorts for a generation discovering video in the 1990s. Far from your corner Blockbusters, Sinister Cinema offered rare and obscure and often unknown films on VHS, a mail order warehouse still active today. Luce has struggled but says his maile order DVD operation will stay open at least into 2021. He is a founder of … all this.
George Chastain, shown here with a recent Forry Award, is a longtime fan, artist and as George ‘Egor’ Chastain, one of the earliest chroniclers of the wide and weird world of television horror hosts. His work can be seen in magazines, books, convention posters, buttons and more. His recent look at muscle-bound celebrities of the past in the Rondo Hatton biography is a wonder of graphic storytelling. A true Monster Kid for the ages.
THE GHOUL (Ron Sweed) and SON OF GHOUL
Cleveland’s long history of monster enthusiasm has had its share of horror hosts, beginning with the late Ron Sweed (the original Ghoul), and now, Son of Ghoul. “Son” has held a gentle yet reassuring presence in northeast Ohio for decades, keeping televised and online horror alive and well.
DAVID ‘THE ROCK’ NELSON
Every part of life, from sports to the boardroom, needs its pranksters, and David “The Rock’ Nelson is that — a zany and unstoppable force at conventions, and a recurring figure on Chicago TV every October. His crude handheld filmmaking interrupts conversations so the footage can be compiled into guerrilla DVDs of streaming basement unconsciousness. As one voter wrote, “David is a heartfelt Monster Kid through and through.” Welcome to the Hall!
As we always say, if you’ve gotten this far, you are a true Monster Kid. Again, remember that winning is fun but the true value is in all the nominees and all their work. We hope you use this “downtime” to check out the links and podcasts and videos on the ballot. And thanks for being a part of the Rondo experience.
Rondos copyright 2020 by David Colton