'The Black Swan,' restored 'Metropolis' and
'The Art of Hammer' take top Rondo Award honors
'The Walking Dead' wins twice; Bruce Hallenbeck is voted Best Writer; Daniel Horne is Best Artist;
Penny Dreadful named favorite horror host
-- Gary Gerani and Marc Scott Zicree are first co-Monster Kids of the Year --
By David Colton
ARLINGTON, VA. -- The restored version of the 1925 silent film Metropolis and the popular zombie franchise The Walking Dead each were double winners Wednesday in the 9th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, a fan-based recognition of the best in classic horror, science fiction and fantasy.
Voters also decided that The Black Swan, the dark and stylish thriller that earned star Natalie Portman an Oscar, would add a Rondo as Best Film of 2010, narrowly topping Inception and the remake of The Wolfman.
The 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 16-year old online community, drew more than 2,900 votes as fans chose among 30 categories.
Among other winners for work in 2010:
-- The discovery in Argentina of 25 additional minutes of footage helped produce the most complete version yet of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. The Kino release was picked as Best Classic DVD and as Best Restoration.
-- AMC's adaptation of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead was an overwhelming favorite for Best TV Presentation, ending a three-year run by the BBC's Doctor Who in the category. The zombie fest also won for Best Horror Comic.
-- A 14-DVD set of all 67 episodes of Thriller, hosted by Boris Karloff in the 1960s, was named Best DVD Collection.
-- Stop-motion legend Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton won for Best Commentary for Jason and the Argonauts, and "Pure in Heart,'' a documentary about horror star Lon Chaney Jr., included in the 1941 The Wolf Man: Special Edition, was named Best DVD Extra.
-- The Art of Hammer: Posters from the Archive of Hammer Films, by Marcus Hearn was named Book of the Year and the Canada-based Rue Morgue won for a third straight year as Best Magazine. In an effort to recognize both mass market and fan-based efforts, Monsters from the Vault was cited as best fan market magazine.
-- The classic horror electorate picked a photo-rich history of wolf man films in HorrorHound #21 by Robert Aragon as Best Article, and an interview with horror icon Christopher Lee by James Burrell in Rue Morgue #100 was chosen as Best Interview.
-- Legendary artist Basil Gogos won Best Cover for his portrait of Bela Lugosi in the revived Famous Monsters of Filmland (#251), and the popular Daniel Horne was named Best Artist, his third Rondo.
-- The winner of the Linda Miller Award for Best Fan Artist was Shana Bilbrey, whose playful caricatures of monstrous favorites has won her growing notice. (The award is named for the late horror artist Linda Miller).
-- In video categories, there was only the second tie in Rondo history: Best Documentary or Independent Film went to Aurora Monsters, a loving tribute to the plastic model kits that helped spark the monster boom of the 1960s, and to a double-feature DVD set by Larry Blamire: The Lost Skeleton Returns Again and Dark and Stormy Night. Rondo organizer David Colton said both projects were so close that declaring co-winners was appropriate in the hotly contested category.
-- A new category, Best Short Film, went to Greg Nicotero's United Monster Talent Agency, a reimagining of the classic Universal monsters in a noir Hollywood setting.
-- In digital categories, the horror news site, Dread Central repeated as Best Website and Frankensteinia, an obsessive look at all versions of the Frankenstein Monster, was named Best Blog.
-- The largest collection of horror hosts ever for a tribute to the 1950s horror host Vampira helped HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis win Best Convention, and the first-ever Women in Horror Month from February 2010, conceived by Hannah Neurotica (!) of Ax Wound magazine, was voted Best Fan Event.
-- The New England-based Penny Dreadful was voted favorite Horror Host for a second time, helped by her appearance in the Dreadful Hallowgreen Special, a horror host jam that was a runner-up in the video category starring Penny and past Rondo winners Count Gore DeVol and Dr. Gangrene.
-- Rue Morgue Radio won for a third straight year as Best Horror Audio Show and Dark Shadows: The Night Whispers, an audio recreation of classic episodes featuring Jonathan Frid was named Best Horror CD.
-- A diorama of the Creature from the Black Lagoon and actress Julie Adamsby Diamond Select won Best Toy, Model or Collectible, narrowly beating a life-size series of Boris Karloff busts by sculptor Ray Santoleri.
-- And Rondo voters for the sixth 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.
In write-in categories, Bruce G. Hallenbeck's exhaustive explorations of Hammer films in Little Shoppe of Horrors helped him take Writer of the Year honors. Video Watchdog's Kim Newman was named Best DVD Reviewer for a second straight year.
-- The Tutor Project, a multimedia study series that involved students in a collaborative horror film project, was awarded a Special Recognition Rondo.
-- Two longtime fans were named Monster Kids of the Year, the first time that award, which honors special achievement to keep the spirit of classic monsters alive and well, has been given to two winners.
Horror and science fiction historian and writer Gary Gerani's work on the Thriller commentaries and Twilight Zone archivist Marc Scott Zicree's work on the Blu-Ray Twilight Zone -- more than 60 commentaries old and new grace the two projects -- stood out in a year where extra frills are increasingly rare as Hollywood retrenches from classic horror on DVD.
While others of course helped in the work, Gerani and Zicree's tireless research culminated in the two projects, earning each the Monster Kid of the Year honors.
Finally, based on suggestions from Rondo voters, the following Monster Kid Hall of Fame inductees were named:
-- Tim and Donna Lucas,editor and publisher of the influential Video Watchdog magazine; historian
-- Tom Weaver, who for decades has been compiling an oral history of the genre through the recollections of stars and crew;
-- Ron Borst; a pioneer in the preservation and collectiblity of vintage horror movie posters;
-- George A. Romero, whose Night of the Living Dead marked the demarctaion point netween horror cycles old and new;
-- Longtime fantasy artist William Stout, whose work has ranged from underground comix to dinosaurs and now Famous Monsters;
-- The late Verne Langdon, a veteran of the Don Post mask studios who exemplified the best in horror and science fiction enthusiasm and fellowship.
Many of the Rondo winners will receive Rondo busts, sculpted by Kerry Gammill, at the Wonderfest convention in Louisville in May.. Further information, including runners-up and all the nominees, can be found at rondoaward.com
--- HERE ARE THE WINNERS IN EVERY CATEGORY IN THE 9th ANNUAL RONDO HATTON AWARDS ---
More than 2,900 voters made these choices in the 9h Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards for work in the year 2010. Here is a category-by-category breakdown of who won. (Includes winners, runners-up; also honorable mentions who scored well.) :
BEST FILM OF 2010
THE BLACK SWAN
Runners-up: INCEPTION, THE WOLFMAN
Honorable mention: LET ME IN
BEST TV PRESENTATION
THE WALKING DEAD: 'Days Gone Bye'
Runner-up: DOCTOR WHO
Honorable mentions: SHERLOCK; TRUE BLOOD
BEST CLASSIC DVD OF 2009
THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS
Runners-up: KING KONG 1933 (Blu-Ray); THE WOLF MAN SPECIAL EDITION
Honorable mentions: VAMPIRE CIRCUS; NIGHT OF THE HUNTER
BEST CLASSIC DVD COLLECTION
THRILLER: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Runner-up: TWILIGHT ZONE (Seasons One and Two; Blu-Ray)
Honorable mentions: HAMMER FILMS: ICONS OF SUSPENSE; LON CHANEY SIX-FILM COLLECTION
THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS
Runner-up: PSYCHO: 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Honorable mentions: DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW; BBC SHERLOCK HOLMES
RAY HARRYHAUSEN, TONY DALTON (Jason and the Argonauts Blu-Ray)
Photo: BAFTA/Brian J. Ritchie
Runners-up: Frank DeFelitta, J.D. Feigelson (DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW); Tim Lucas, David Schow, Ernest Dickerson (THRILLER, 'The Grim Reaper')
Honorable mention: Marc Scott Zicree (Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough at Last'))
BEST DVD EXTRA
THE WOLF MAN SPECIAL EDITION: 'Pure in Heart' documentary
Runner-up: MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000 VOL. XVIII: 'Making of Beast of Yucca Flats.'
Honorable mention: AURORA MONSTERS: 'Zacherley Behind the Scenes'
BEST INDEPENDENT FILM OR DOCUMENTARY
There are two winners:
THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN/DARK AND STORMY NIGHT DOUBLE-DVD SET
Runners-up: THE DEAD MATTER; TRAILERS FROM HELL VOL. 1
Honorable mentions: ATOMIC BRAIN INVASION; SHADOWLAND
BEST SHORT FILM OR DOCUMENTARY
UNITED MONSTER TALENT AGENCY (Greg Nicotero)
Runner-up: DREADFUL HALLOWGREEN SPECIAL
Honorable mentions: THE DEVIL AT LOST CREEK; VOLKODLAK
BEST BOOK OF 2010
THE ART OF HAMMER: Posters from the Archive of Hammer Films, by Marcus Hearn
Runner-up: CONFESSIONS OF A SCREAM QUEEN, by Matt Beckoff
Honorable mentions: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: Behind the Scenes of the Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever, by Joe Kane
RAY HARRYHAUSEN: Master of the Majicks, Vol. 3, by Mike Hankin
FORRY: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman, by Debbie Painter
HOUSE OF ACKERMAN: A Photographic Tour of the Legendary Ackermansion, by Al Astrella, James Greene
BEST MAGAZINE (mass market)
Runner-up: HORROR HOUND
Honorable mentions: FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND; SCARY MONSTERS; FANGORIA; VIDEO WATCHDOG
BEST MAGAZINE (fan market)
MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT
Runners-up: LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS; MIDNIGHT MARQUEE;
LATARNIA FANTASTIQUE INTERNATIONAL; SCARLET;
'THE WOLF MAN: 69 YEARS OF TERROR,' by Robert Aragon. HORROR HOUND #21
Runners-up: 'The Creature Incarnate (Paul Naschy),' by Mirek Lipinski, Shade Rupe and Gore-Met. RUE MORGUE #98.
'Video Invasion: 'Remembering the VHS Boom,' by Matt Moore, HORRORHOUND #21-26
Honorable mentions: 'The First Frankenstein: 100 Years of Fear,' by Phil Hall. VIDEOSCOPE #76.
'The Making of Blood on Satan's Claw,' by Bruce G. Hallenbeck. LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #25
BEST INTERVIEW (Award goes to interviewer)
James Burrell interviews Christopher Lee, RUE MORGUE #100
Runnes-up: Michael Monahan and Sandy Clark interview Vampira (2004), HORROR HOUND Convention Special.
Honorable mention: Mark Redfield interviews Veronica Carlson, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #252; Terry and Tiffany DuFoe interview Allan Arkush. VIDEOSCOPE #75
FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #251 by Basil Gogos
Runners-up: RUE MORGUE #105 by Gary Pullin; SCREEM #20 by Daniel Horne; FAMOUS MONSTERS #253 by Kerry Gammill
Honorable mentions: SCARLET #5 by Michael Wilk; FAMOUS MONSTERS # #252 by William Stout; LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #25 by Adrian Salmon
Runners-up: Trailers from Hell; Fearnet.com; Universal Monster Army
Honorable mentions: Dr. Gangrene's Chiller Cinema; Count Gore de Vol's Creature Features; Horrorhost Graveyard
BEST HORROR BLOG
Runners-up: The Drunken Severed Head;
Terror from Beyond the Daves; Video Watchblog
Honorable mentions: The Good, the Bad, and Godzilla; Final Girl; Cinema Suicide;
Monster Magazine World
BEST CONVENTION OF 2010
HORROR HOUND WEEKEND
(Indianapolis, featuring horror host salute to Vampira)
Runners-up: Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear; Monster Bash; Monsterpalooza; WonderFest
Honorable mentions: WonderFest; Chiller; Dragon Con
BEST FAN EVENT
FEBRUARY IS WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH (conceived by Hannah Neurotica of Ax Wound Magazine)
Runner-up: Tribute to Vampira at HorrorHound Weekend
Honorable mentions: Blob panic re-enactment at Blobfest;
Night of the Living Dead reunion at FM Con; Dr. Gangrene calls Bob Burns at WonderFest
FAVORITE HORROR HOST (Active)
Runners-up: Dr. Gangrene; Svengoolie; Wolfman Mac
Honorable mentions: Count Gore de Vol; Karlos Borloff; Mr. Lobo; Ghoul a Go-Go
BEST HORROR AUDIO SITE OR PODCAST
RUE MORGUE RADIO
Runner-up: Old-Time Radio Mystery/Horror; Deadpit
Honorable mentions: Cult Radio A-Go-Go!; B-Movie Cast; Mail Order Zombie;
Bloody Pit of Rod; Bloody Good Horror
DARK SHADOWS: The Night Whispers (Big Finish productions)
Runner-up: BATMAN 1966 (La-La Land)
Honorable mentions: THEY WON'T STAY DEAD! Music from the Soundtrack of Night of the Living Dead; LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES; SPOOKY SONGS FOR CREEPY KIDS, by Voltaire
BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK
THE WALKING DEAD by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard
Runner-up: BELA LUGOSI'S TALES FROM THE GRAVE (Monsterverse)
Honorable mentions: VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS; HELLBOY: DOUBLE FEATURE OF EVIL; AMERICAN VAMPIRE; THE GOON
BEST TOY, MODEL OR COLLECTIBLE
CREATURE AND JULIE (Diamond Select)
Runner-up: Karloff bust series (Ray Santoleri)
Honorable mentions: Elvira (Amok Time); Zacherley (Executive Replicas); Psycho Bates Mansion, mother in window included (Round 2/Polar Lights); Twilight Zone Gremlin Bobblehead (Bif!Bang!Pow!)
RONDO AWARD OF SPECIAL RECOGNITION
'THE TUTOR' PROJECT
Filmmakers Terrance Zdunich and Shem Andre Byron enlisted students online to collaborate on a multi-part horror film, resulting in a creatively viral learning experience about art, film, death -- and life.
CLASSIC MOST IN NEED OF DVD RELEASE OR RESTORATION
ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (Come on Universal, it's the SIXTH time this film has been chosen!)
Runner up: DRACULA; BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Honorable mention: THE UNINVITED
WRITER OF THE YEAR
BRUCE G. HALLENBECK (Chronicler of the Hammer heritage)
Runners-up: Tom Weaver, Tim Lucas, Greg Mank, Nathan Hannemann, Bill Adcock
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Runners-up: Basil Gogos, Kerry Gammill
Honorable mentions: Frank Dietz, Mike Hill, Wendy Pini, Bob Eggleton, Jeff Carlson
LINDA MILLER AWARD FOR
FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR
(In memory of the late Linda Miller)
SHANA BILBREY (aka Belle Dee)
Runners-up: Roger Koch, Jerrod Brown, E.M. Gist,
Brian Maze, Markchro, April A. Taylor, Megan the Stay Puft Costumer
DVD REVIEWER OF THE YEAR
Runners-up: Bill Cooke, Tim Lucas,
Glenn Erickson, 'The Phantom of the Movies,' George Reis
MONSTER KID(S) OF THE YEAR
We have co-winners this year:
GARY GERANI and MARC SCOTT ZICREE
A lifetime of devotion to fantastic television culminated in 2010 with two spectacular sets of audio commentaries for the THRILLER and TWILIGHT ZONE collections.
Gary Gerani, author of the pioneering FANTASTIC TELEVISION in the 1970s and this year's TOP 100 HORROR MOVIES helped spearhead (with Steve Mitchell), the astounding assemblage of THRILLER commentaries. He also appears on the TWILIGHT ZONE Blu-Ray collection, adding the wisdom of a true monster kid to every project he touches.
Marc Scott Zicree knows every signpost of Rod Serling's surreal sci-fi kingdom. A veteran TV writer and author of THE TWLIGHT ZONE COMPANION, Marc's spirit inhabits the Twilight Zone Blu-Rays in commentaries full of production details and insights that come from a lifetime in a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.
The efforts of both, this year and for decades, earn each the award of Monster Kid of 2010.
THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME
The six latest inductees are:
TIM and DONNA LUCAS
Watchdogs of film history
No one has won more Rondos than Tim Lucas, not only for his writings but also for his wonderful journal of cinema history, Video Watchdog. And it is Donna's perfect sense of design and balance that keeps VW such a permanent part of movie appreciation. As a couple, the mind boggles.
Keeper of our fantasies
From Disney to dinosaurs, Wizards to Xenozoic Tales and Death Rattle, William Stout has been leading the way into new worlds of graphic imagination since the 1960s. His fine lines and powerful imagery now graces Famous Monsters, closing a fantastic circle for all of us.
Legacy of graven images
Ron Borst started collecting vintage horror posters long before it was fashionable, or thought of as high end decor. His gorgeous coffee table book of horror posters, Graven Images, is an essential for any fan's bookshelf. But more, his deep knowledge of the beginnings of ballyhoo is a rich source for all those wondering how the monster films began.
GEORGE A. ROMERO
Changing the horror equation
George Romero's revolutionary embrace of zombie noir in Night of the Living Dead is often viewed as the dividing line between classic horror and the grislier shocks to come. But what Romero really taught is that the horror is not about who is chasing us, but how we react to being chased. And has there ever been a director friendlier with fans?
King of the monster hunters
Tom Weaver has been interviewing every star, director, writer, bit player and crew member behind some of the most beloved, and sometimes forgettable films in movie history. His humor, frankness and ultimate humanity brings dignity even to the most lowly bit player, and illuminates a Hollywood that may soon be forgotten -- except for his detailed books of memories.
VERNE LANGDON (1941-2011)
Hollywood's biggest fan
Far more than just a Mask Man, Verne Langdon's work with the Don Post Studio in the 1960s helped scare the wits out of parents and Monster Kids alike. A musician, a wrestler, a producer and a gentle friend of stars and would-be stars, Langdon's influence will be felt long after the masks he helped create are too delicate to wear. Verne Langdon will be remembered most for his enthusiasm to create things anew.
And there you have it! Check out the rondoaward.com website for the latest, and thank you for all the support. Thanx for everyone's great work this year. Long live Rondo!