With the Oscar winners announced, Green Book enjoyed a noticeable bump at the box office and the positive word of mouth is likely to fill theater seats for people who cannot get seats for Captain Marvel, A Medea Family Funeral or How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. While the mainstream awards season is taking a break until the Tony Awards in June, people who are not members of the Academy, American Film Institute and actor or trade guilds/unions, can vote in the 17th Annual Rondo Hatton Award. Vote at www.rondoaward.com.
Established in 2002 by David Colton and Kerry Gammill, The Rondo Hatton Awards was one of the earliest collections of World Wide Web fan sites and the growth of the convention circuit. Oscar-winning director Guillermo Del Toro has been quoted that he would rather win a Rondo than an Oscar. Fortunately for Del Toro, the writer/director/producer has both.
With no surprise, Halloween and The Nun (both now on DVD) are two films that are nominated for the coveted “Best Film of 2018” in a crowded field of 15 nominations.
Halloween was the most hyped horror movie of 2018. Jamie Lee Curtis returned to the role of Laurie Strode, in a role that made Curtis famous 40 years ago. With John Carpenter returning as a producer/creative consultant, this Halloween exorcised seven Halloween sequels and the two Rob Zombie reboots. Instead, this film focuses on a showdown between a grandmother and the boogeyman who harassed her in 1978.
Young Director David Gordon Green does a great job setting up the conflict with creepy cinematography and a good performance by Curtis. However, the film falters during the much-awaited climax that features poor survival decisions by our heroine. Without meaning to, this Halloween becomes a version of Home Alone, minus the sense of humor.
The Nun is part of the horror universe created by James Wan and has been represented by the The Conjuring and Annabelle movies. Set in war torn Romania, circa 1952, The Nun does a fine job setting up the atmosphere recreating the Gothic world of Vladimir Dracula the Impaler. Alas, like Halloween, the climax does not live up to the build-up that went before. For Monster Mavens, there are 13 other “Best Film” choices to choose from by the April 20 due date.
So who is Rondo Hatton? The Hollywood publicity machine described Rondo as a man so ugly that he needed no make-up [to be in monster movies]. Rondo did appear in many mainstream motion pictures, mostly as a bit player in classics like The Ox Bow Incident or The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Rondo became a certified movie star as “The Hoxton Creeper” in the Sherlock Holmes film The Pearl of Death, which led to his featured films House of Horrors and The Brute Man.
At the height of his career, Rondo died of a broken heart on Groundhog Day, 1946.
Like Richard Kiel, Andre the Giant and Irwin Keyes, Rondo really died from the complications from acromegaly, a disorder from one’s growth hormone. It is the acromegaly that distorted Rondo’s jawbone and gave him such gaunt features.
Like any monster legend, there are many folk tales that grew from Rondo’s malady. Having served in World War I, the Hollywood publicity machine claimed that Rondo was a victim of a German mustard gas attack. It is a fact that Rondo Hatton did serve (possibly with my Grandfather Dave Glen Watson) in World War I and aided the Pancho Villa Expedition under General Pershing. A Christian all of his life, Rondo is interred in the American Legion Cemetery in Tampa, his adopted hometown where he served as a sports writer for the The Tampa Tribune.