2022 Rondo Awards

Rondo Awards administrator David Colton announced the 2022 Rondo Award winners on April 29.

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.

Among top winners of the publicly-voted Rondo were Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune, voted Best Film, and What We Do in the Shadows, picked for a third year as Best Television Show.

And in a posthumous tribute, comedian and classic horror fan Gilbert Gottfried, who died last month, was inducted into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame.

Almost 4,700 fans and pros voted online, in what has become the largest annual survey of classic horror fans and pros in history.

In addition to the winners named below, go to the Rondo Award site to see the runners-up and honorable mentions (generally, everything else that was nominated.)

This photo of Hatton in the 1946 film, House Of Horrors, is an inspiration for the distinctive bust given to winners.

BEST FILM OF 2021

  • DUNE, directed by Denis Villeneuve

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (Fx)

BEST BLU-RAY

  • INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957; Criterion)

BEST BLU-RAY COLLECTION

  • KOLCHAK: THE NIGHTSTALKER: The Complete Series (Kino)

BEST RESTORATION

  • DOCTOR X (1932; Warner Bros)

BEST COMMENTARY

  • Tom Weaver (Incredible Shrinking Man)

BEST DVD EXTRAS

  • INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957; Criterion), includes documentary on Jack Arnold, directed by Daniel Griffith, Arnold interview, remembrance by Richard Matheson’s son.

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

  • JAKOB’S WIFE, directed by Travis Stevens, starring Barbara Crampton

BEST SHORT FILM

  • THE MOST HAUNTED HOUSE IN VENICE BEACH, directed by Ansel Faraj

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • BORIS KARLOFF: THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTER, directed by Thomas Hamilton, written by Ron MacCloskey

BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • YOURS CRUELLY, ELVIRA: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, by Cassandra Peterson

BEST CLASSIC HORROR FICTION

(Fiction that uses classic horror icons as jumping off points)

  • DRACULA NEVER DIES: The Revenge of Bela Vorlock by Christopher R. Gauthier

BEST MAGAZINE (Classic)

  • SCARY MONSTERS

BEST MAGAZINE (modern)

  • FANGORIA

BEST ARTICLE

  • ‘Child of Dark Shadows,’ by Kathryn Leigh Scott, FANGORIA #11

BEST INTERVIEW

  • Sam Irvin interviews Elvira (THE DARK SIDE #222)

BEST COLUMN

  • Scene Queen, by Barbara Crampton (FANGORIA)

BEST COVER

  • CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES #25 by Daniel Horne

BEST WEBSITE

  • BLOODY DISGUSTING

BEST PODCAST

  • GILBERT GOTTFRIED’S AMAZING COLOSSAL PODCAST

FAVORITE HORROR HOST OF 2021

  • SVENGOOLIE

BEST EVENT

  • A DARK SHADOWS CHRISTMAS CAROL, read by several members of the Dark Shadows cast

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL OR COLLECTION

  • LUGOSI: THE RISE AND FALL OF HOLLYWOOD’S DRACULA by Koren Shadmi

INDIVIDUAL RONDO AWARDS

SPECIAL RECOGNITION for achievements that may have been overlooked or don’t fit into other categories

  • KIER-LA JANISSE — Like no other before her, horror scholar Kier-la Janisse in 2021 demonstrated  that so-called “folk horror” goes far beyond the mythologies of Bigfoot and Loch Ness.In two seminal works, a weighty Blu-Ray collection of films called ALL THE HAUNTS BE OURS, which she helped assemble, and an in-depth documentary she directed, WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED, Janisse traces the deep roots of humanity’s natural fears — of forest beasts, of witches and sprites, and of all things supernatural, many hiding in plain sight. No Frankensteins are needed when owls are enough. In addition to her years of writings and her founding of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies 12 years ago, Janisse is deserving of Rondo’s ‘Special Recognition’ for advancing horror scholarship and understanding.

MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR Rondo’s highest honor: Who did the most in 2021 to advance the cause of classic horror scholarship, film preservation or genre creativity?

  • EVAN DAVIS — Whether known as Halloween Jack or Evan Davis, he is the energy behind the resurgence of The Monster Channel, which curates horror host shows 24/7 online, on Roku and wherever you can find it.

WRITER OF THE YEAR

  • FRANK DELLO STRITTO — In a series of fact-packed fictionalizations of the legends of the Wolf Man and kindred were-things, the Pacific Island brethren of King Kong, and now the might-have-been journeys of the Mummy — old and new —  Dello Stritto breathes new life into the stories we thought we know so well.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • MARK MADDOX

FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • NOUFAUX

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME
New inductees

JEAN-CLAUDE MICHEL  — A French horror and film historian of long-standing, Jean-Claude Michel was the first foreign correspondent for Famous Monsters of Filmland, remaining with the magazine for many years.

LAURA WAGNER — Laura Wagner is not only ‘Classic Images’ magazine’s book reviewer; she has spent  decades interviewing stars and almost-stars whom everyone has forgotten except for  their fans.

BELA G. LUGOSI — There were times when Bela Lugosi’s son, Boris Karloff’s daughter, and Lon Chaney Jr.’s grandson would dine together in Hollywood. The trio of real ‘Monster Kids’ always caused a nervous buzz.

FRANK DIETZ — If the Baby Boomer generation of ‘Monster Kids’ — and that’s who most of us are — has a creative heart, it just may be artist, animator, actor, screenwriter, director, and monstrous party planner Frank Dietz. An artist at Disney studios, he taught young creatives the secrets of lines and shadows.

MAITLAND McDONAGH — Author, editor and cultural critic Maitland McDonagh was an influencer long before Tik-Tok. As early as 1991, McDonagh explored the world of Euro horror and giallo with her groundbreaking book, ‘Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento.’

MR. LOBO — For more than 21 years, Erik Lobo’s Cinema Insomnia has been a creative force in the horror host community, especially during the years when the format was close to disappearing. Now his always curated site, OSI74 (which stands for Outer Space International), houses dozens of hosts permanently online.

GILBERT GOTTFRIED — The no-holds-barred funnyman was not to everyone’s taste, but there was no doubt he knew his monsters. In bits onstage or on his Rondo Award-winning Amazing Colossal Podcast with Frank Santopadre, guests could range from Rick Baker and Sara Karloff to author David J. Skal and Adam West.

2022 Rondo Awards Nominees

Online voting has begun for the 20th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. You’re invited to vote for your favorites in any or all 28 categories. Click the link for instructions and the complete ballot. The deadline to participate is midnight April 17.

(Don’t be shy about voting for Steve Vertlieb, a nominee in the Best Events of 2021 category for Talking Kong – “Expert Steve Vertlieb appears on Classic Movies with Ron McCloskey to discuss King Kong and gorillas in cinema.”)

And as a teaser, below are the Best Film and Best TV Presentation nominees.

BEST FILM OF 2021

  • Antlers
  • Candyman
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  • Don’t Look Up
  • Dune
  • Free Guy
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  • Godzilla Vs Kong
  • Halloween Kills
  • Last Night In Soho
  • Malignant
  • Night House
  • Nightmare Alley
  • Old
  • A Quiet Place, Part Two
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Zach Snyder’s Justice League


BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • Chucky, Bravo. The deadly doll is back. ‘We’re gonna party like it’s 1999.’
  • Creepshow, Shudder. Episodes in the EC vein.  ‘Naperville Ripper Still at Large’
  • Doctor Who, BBC America. The Thirteenth Doctor battles enemies old and new. ‘Don’t blink!’
  • Evil, CBS. Mysteries with a supernatural twist. ‘If one word is spoken within the monastery walls, the demon will be out.’
  • Fear Street,  Netflix. Teenagers battle a town curse in three eras. ‘Would you say he was more Dawn of the Dead, or Night of the Living Dead?’
  • ServantApple TV+. M. Night Shyamalan’s look at a family’s odd nanny.  ‘She’s not the sweet child you think she is.’
  • Midnight Mass, Netflix. A priest shakes a village’s faith. ‘God still has a plan, and death isn’t part of it anymore.’

2021 Rondo Awards

Rondo Awards administrator David Colton presided over the “19th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards Virtual Behind the Mask Stay Away From Me Don’t Touch Ceremony!” on May 3.

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.

Colton says this year’s e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, a 25-year old online community, drew more than 6,000 ballots, a 27% increase from last year’s vote and the largest survey of classic horror fans and pros in history.

On Saturday, June 5 in Louisville, with Covid protocols in place, Colton will hold a two-years-in-one Rondo Awards Ceremony at WonderFest in Louisville.

Below is a photo of Hatton in the 1946 film, House Of Horrors, an inspiration for the distinctive bust given to winners.

BEST FILM OF 2020
Due to the pandemic, includes wide release, video-on-demand and streaming

  • THE INVISIBLE MAN, directed by Leigh Whannell (wide)

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • THE MANDALORIAN, ‘The Rescue,’ 12.18.20, Disney+. Baby Yoda finds a master. ‘I’ll see you again. I promise.’

BEST DVD/BLU-RAY OF 2020

  • WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953; Criterion)

BEST DVD/BLU-RAY COLLECTION

  • FRIDAY THE 13TH DELUXE COLLECTION (Shout!) 12 movies and extras on 16 discs.

BEST RESTORATION OR UPGRADE

  • WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953; Criterion). Saucer wires gone; extensive visual and audio improvements throughout.

FAVORITE COMMENTATOR 

  • Sam Irvin (Frankenstein: The True Story)

BEST DVD EXTRAS

  • DAWN OF THE DEAD SPECIAL EDITON (1978; Second Sight). Four feature length documentaries; new interviews.

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM OF 2020

  • SEEDS, directed by Skip Shea. A pagan cult takes hold in New England. See trailer here

BEST SHORT FILM

  • THE THOUSAND AND ONE LIVES OF DR. MABUSE, directed by Ansel Faraj (17:23 mins). Third installment of modern take on Mabuse. See film here.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • CURSED FILMS, five-part Shudder documentary on mishaps and deaths surrounding Exorcist, Omen, Poltergeist, Crow, Twilight Zone.   See trailer here.

BOOK OF THE YEAR 

  • RAY HARRYHAUSEN, Titan of Cinema, by Vanessa Harryhausen (National Galleries of Scotland, softcover, 208 pages, $37.50). Stories behind models and effects in a planned exhibition.

BEST HORROR ART BOOKS 

  • ROD SERLING’S NIGHT GALLERY: THE ART OF DARKNESS, by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (Creature Features, hardcover/softcover, 316 pages, $75/$95). Commentary and reproductions of every painting used in the series.

BEST MAGAZINE OF 2020

  • Scary Monsters

BEST ARTICLE

  • ‘Black Horror; History on the Big Screen,’ by Ernie Rockelman, HORRORHOUND #84. Tracking black horror milestones.

BEST INTERVIEW 

  • Bruce Campbell by Dr. Gangrene, Scary Presents Monster Memories (#116)

BEST COLUMN

  • Scene Queen, by Barbara Crampton, FANGORIA

BEST MAGAZINE COVER

[Tie]

  • Scary Monsters #118 (Glow in the Dark) by Scott Jackson
  • Classic Monsters of the Movies #21 by Daniel Horne

BEST WEBSITE OF 2020

BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE

BEST VIRTUAL EVENTS OF 2020

  • BLOBFEST: Virtual events included Best Theatre Runouts of the past, Blob screenings, Miss Blobfest contest, online vendors.

FAVORITE HORROR HOSTS OF 2020

  • Svengoolie (Me-TV)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVELS OR COLLECTIONS

  • BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA STARRING BELA LUGOSI, by El Garing, Kerry Gammill, Richard Starkings, Robert Napton (Legendary Comics hardcover). Authorized by the Lugosi estate, he stars in a retelling of the classic tale.

WRITER OF THE YEAR 

  • Kelly Robinson

BEST ARTIST OF 2020

  • Mark Spears

BEST FAN ARTIST OF 2020 (The Linda Miller Award)

  • Noufaux – Adele Veness

MONSTER KID OF THE YEARRondo’s highest honor: Who did the most in 2020 to advance the cause of classic horror scholarship, film preservation or genre creativity?

  • From UCLA, the magic-making Scott MacQueen, who cajoled, pushed and insisted on Mystery Of The Wax Museum and this year’s Doctor X

SPECIAL RECOGNITION — for achievements that may have been overlooked or don’t fit into other categories

  • George Feltenstein, the longtime Warner Bros. executive who not only pushed Wax and Doctor X but Curse Of Frankenstein and a lifetime of DVDs and restorations. He left WB last month.
  • Monsters Holding B—–S, a very unique Instagram Site based on monsters and their victims. It not only features thousands of stills and paprodies, but also is a lab for young aspiring artists. And maybe the name will change someday!
  • Dick Klemensen for his work not only on Little Shoppe but his recent min-documentaries on ‘The Men Who Made Hammer.’

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME (See full list of Hall of Famers here.)

  • Stacie Ponder, whose Final Girl blog was among the first to show women have a rich stake in horror and horror appreciation.
  • Derek M. Koch, whose Monster Kids Radio was one of the first podcasts to be devoted entirely to classic monsters, and the kids who love them.
  • Joe Kane – posthumously — an original Monster Times editor, who became The Phantom of the Movies…
  • Robert ‘Bobb’ Cotter
  • Svengoolie 

2021 Rondo Award Nominees

Online voting has begun for the 19th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. You’re invited to vote for your favorites in any or all 28 categories. Click the link for instructions and the complete ballot. The deadline to participate is midnight April 25.

As a teaser, here are the Best Movie and Best Television Presentation nominees.

BEST FILM OF 2020

  • BLACK BOX, directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr. (Amazon Prime)
  • COLOR OUT OF SPACE, directed by Richard Stanley (wide)
  • COME PLAY, directed by Jacob Chase (wide)
  • THE CRAFT: LEGACY, directed by Zoe Lister-Jones (VoD)
  • FREAKY, directed by Christopher Landon (wide)
  • GRETEL & HANSEL, directed by Osgood Perkins (wide)
  • HIS HOUSE, directed by Remi Weekes (Netflix)
  • THE INVISIBLE MAN, directed by Leigh Whannell (wide)
  • THE LODGE, directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (wide)
  • LOVE AND MONSTERS, directed by Michael Matthews (VoD)
  • MIDNIGHT SKY, directed by George Clooney (Netflix)
  • POSSESSOR, directed by Brandon Cronenberg (wide)
  • RELIC, directed by Natalie Erika James (wide)
  • THE RENTAL, directed by Dave Franco (wide; VoD)
  • SHE DIES TOMORROW, directed by Amy Seimetz (VoD)
  • SYNCHRONIC, directed by Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead (wide)
  • TENET, directed by Christopher Nolan (wide)
  • UNDERWATER, directed by William Eubank (wide)
  • VAST OF NIGHT, directed by Matthew Patterson (wide; Amazon)
  • WONDER WOMAN 84, directed by Patty Jenkins (wide; HBOMax)
  • THE WRETCHED, directed by Brett and Drew T. Pierce (wide)

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • BRAVE NEW WORLD, ‘Everybody Happy Now,’ 7.15.20, NBC Peacock. Rebellion grows against a genetic caste system. ‘If this place is so perfect, why is it upside down?’
  • CREEPSHOW, ‘Survival Type,’ 10.30.20, Shudder. Animated adaptation of Stephen King story. ‘How badly does the patient want to survive?’
  • DOCTOR WHO, ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati,’ 2.16.20, BBC America. The Thirteenth Doctor encounters Mary Shelley at Lake Geneva. ‘’Nobody mention Frankenstein. Nobody interfere.’
  • DRACULA, ‘The Rules of the Beast,’ 1.4.20, BBC/Netflix. At a convent, Sister Van Helsing confronts the Lord of the Undead. ‘Why does death always come as such a shock to mortals?’
  • HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, ‘The Great Good Place,’ 10.9.20, Netflix.  Adaptation of Henry James’ Turning of the Screw. ‘You young people have no idea what you are letting yourselves in for.’
  • INTO THE DARK, ‘Good Boy,’ 6.12.20, Hulu. Woman finds her support dog offers no support at all. ‘He can tell when I get anxious.’
  • LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, ‘Sundown,’ 8.16.20. HBO. Racism of 1950s South collides with creatures from another reality. ‘I’ve heard worse. I’ve been part of worse.’
  • THE MANDALORIAN, ‘The Rescue,’ 12.18.20, Disney+. Baby Yoda finds a master. ‘I’ll see you again. I promise.’
  • SUPERNATURAL, ‘Carry On,’ 11.19.20, The CW. After 15-years, the monster hunt comes to an end. ‘You knew it was going to end like this for me.’
  • THE TRUTH SEEKERS, ‘Shadow of the Moon,’ 10.30.20, Amazon. Racing an eclipse, the team finds one member is not what they seem. ‘Never send a human to do a super-being’s job.’
  • THE TWILIGHT ZONE, ‘The Who of You,’ 6.25.20, CBS All Access. A would-be bank robber eludes a cop by jumping from body to body. ‘Charge him with criminal hypnosis.’
  • THE WALKING DEAD, ‘Walk With Us,’ 3.15.20, AMC. Negan and Alpha have a reckoning. ‘It took you long enough.’
  • WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, ‘Nouveau Theatre Des Vampires,’ 6.10.20, FX. A gala is really a trap for the Staten Island vampires. ‘He was getting more and more sad. I could smell it on him.’

Memories of “Rondo”

By Steve Vertlieb: With the excitement this week regarding the announcement of this year’s marvelous crop of deserving new winners of the prestigious annual Rondo Awards, I’m happily reminded of my own encounter with the announcement and subsequent award ceremony just four years ago. Here I am being presented with the Rondo Hall of Fame Award for a precious lifetime of journalism and achievement by David Colton, former editor of USA Today, on Saturday evening, June 4th, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky.

David Colton and Steve Vertlieb

The proudest moment of my seventy four years…winning the coveted “Rondo Hall Of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award” for more than half a century of genre writing and publishing in a variety of books, magazines, journals, tabloids, and on the worldwide “web” (with apologies to Spiderman).

I’d like to humbly offer my sincere best wishes and congratulations to those worthy souls and winners of this year’s assortment of Rondo Award winners, as well as my eternal gratitude to the thousands of writers, directors, composers, actors, and special effects technicians whose work in film bathed my dreams, and my own meager accomplishments these past five plus decades in their creative shadow.

My work remains merely a pale reflection of the love and admiration that they so generously inspired in me, and in the millions of fans around the world who continue to love and respect the art of motion pictures, as well as those wondrous souls who inhabit them.

To all of you, I can only offer my profound and enduring gratitude for being permitted to share the love, inspiration, and joyous wonder of films and music.

2020 Rondo Awards

As Rondo Awards administrator David Colton puts it — “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.

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.

Colton says 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.

Below is a photo of Hatton in the 1946 film, House Of Horrors, an inspiration for the distinctive bust given to winners.

BEST FILM OF 2019

  • Joker

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • The Mandalorian

BEST BLU-RAY/DVD

  • Dracula (1979; Shout)

BEST COLLECTION

  • Godzilla: The Showa Era  (15 films; Criterion)

BEST RESTORATION

  • The Black Cat (1934; Universal)

BEST DVD EXTRA

  • Twisted Tale: The Unmaking of Spookies by Michael Gingold and Glen Baisley (SPOOKIES; 1986; Vinegar Syndrome)

BEST COMMENTARY

  • Tom Weaver, David Schecter, Dr. Robert J. Kiss (Tarantula, Shout)

BEST PACKAGE OF DVD EXTRAS

  • Godzilla: The Showa Era (Criterion); Interviews include director Ishira Honda, unused footage.

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

  • House Of The Gorgon, directed by Joshua Kennedy, with Caroline Munro, Martine Beswicke, Veronica Carlson

BEST SHORT FILM

  • Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster Frankenstein directed by Daniel Gray Longino; starring David Harbour.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Horror Noire: A History Of Black Horror, directed by Xavier Burgin, based on a book by Robin R. Means Coleman

BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • The Lady From The Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara

BEST MAGAZINE (Classic)

  • Scary Monsters

BEST MAGAZINE (modern)

  • Fangoria

BEST ARTICLE

  • Rise Of The Supermonsters/Monsters From The Closet, by Carly Maga and Matthew Hays, Rue Morgue #189

BEST INTERVIEW

  • Dark Shadows’ Kathryn Leigh Scott, interview by Rod Labbe, Scary Monsters #111

BEST COLUMN

  • “Scene Queen,” by Barbara Crampton (Fangoria)

BEST COVER

  • Scary Monsters #115 by Scott Jackson

BEST WEBSITE

  • Bloody Disgusting

BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE

  • Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast

FAVORITE HORROR HOST OF 2019

  • Svengoolie

BEST CONVENTION

  • Monster Bash

TOP LIVE EVENT

  • Svengoolie 40th Anniversary Honored by City of Chicago

ACHIEVEMENT IN HORROR STUDIES

  • Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation

BEST COMIC BOOK

  • The Creeps (Warrant)

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

RONDO AWARD FOR SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT

  • SCOTT GALLINGHOUSE

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

  • JORDAN PEELE

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

  • MARK MADDOX

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.

FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR (The Linda Miller Award)

  • JERROD BROWN

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.

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

  • Robert Bloch, Jonathan Rigby, Kat Ellinger, Constantine Nasr, Greg Luce, George Chastain, The Ghoul (Ron Sweed) And Son Of Ghoul,  David ‘The Rock’ Nelson

2020 Rondo Awards Nominees

Online voting has begun for the 18th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. You’re invited to vote for your favorites in any or all 30 categories. Click the link for instructions and the complete ballot. The deadline to participate is midnight March 29.

As a teaser, here are the Best Movie, Best Television Presentation, and Best Website finalists. Yes, Best Website – because guess who’s blog is smack dab in the middle of the list?

 1) BEST FILM OF 2019

  • AD ASTRA
  • ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE
  • ANNABELLE COMES HOME
  • AVENGERS: ENDGAME
  • BLACK CHRISTMAS
  • BRIGHTBURN
  • CHILD’S PLAY
  • CRAWL
  • THE DEAD DON’T DIE
  • DOCTOR SLEEP
  • GLASS
  • GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS
  • HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U
  • IT: CHAPTER TWO
  • JOKER
  • THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • MIDSOMMAR
  • PARASITE
  • READY OR NOT
  • SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
  • SHAZAM!
  • SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
  • STAR WARS: RISE OF SKYWALKER
  • US
  • ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

2) BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984, ‘Camp Redwood,’ 9.18.19, FX.  Season nine kicks off with homages to the 80s. ‘This is the site of the greatest summer camp massacre of all time.’
  • ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK, ‘Submitted for Approval,’ 10.11.19, Nickelodeon. A new member joins the Midnight Society. ‘Nothing bad is gonna happen on this ride. Just relax.’
  • BLACK MIRROR, ‘Smithereens,’ 6.5.19, Netflix. An Uber driver has another destination in mind. ‘Do you mind if I follow an alternate route?’
  • THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, ‘An Exorcism in Greendale,’ 10.26.19, Netflix. A demon inhabits Uncle Jesse. ‘Mephistopheles, save us from the dramatics of a teenage witch.’
  • CREEPSHOW, ‘The Man in the Suitcase,’ 10/10/19, Shudder. An unexpected visitor has magical powers. ‘An unfortunate condition causes me to produce gold when I am in pain.’
  • DOCTOR WHO, ‘Resolution,’ 12.31.19, BBC. The 13th Doctor confronts the Daleks. ‘Don’t take that with alcohol, you’ll grow an extra head.’
  • EVIL, ‘October 31,’ 10.24.19, CBS.  Halloween and an exorcism are a deadly combination. ‘Kindness is hypocrisy.’
  • INTO THE DARK, ‘All That We Destroy,’ 5.3.19, Hulu. For Mother’s Day, an experiment with clones and family. ‘How many times has he killed me?’
  • THE MANDALORIAN, ‘Chapter Two: The Child,’ 11.15.19, DIsney+. Baby Yoda uses the Force to save his protector. ‘May it survive and bring you a handsome reward.’
  • MARIANNE. ‘You Left Her’  9.13.19, Netflix. Friends return to an old school for a ritual.  ‘She’s a witch. I wrote these books to fight against her.’
  • NOS4A2, ‘The Gas Mask Man,’ 6.2.19, AMC. A sinister Christmas is coming at the school. ‘He’s hunting you.’
  • STAR TREK DISCOVERY, ‘Such Sweet Sorrow’ 4.11.19, CBS Access. The saga of Captain Pike ends where it began. ‘There’s a whole galaxy out there full of people who will reach for you.’
  • STRANGER THINGS 3: ‘The Battle of Starcourt,’ 7.4.19, Netflix. The Mind Flayer comes for El. ‘The hurt is good. It means you’re out of that cave..’
  • SUPERNATURAL, ;Atomic Monsters,’ 11.7.19. Final season finds Sam and Dean on the road again. ‘You’ve got to stop calling yourself “The Meat Man”. It doesn’t mean what you think it means.’
  • THE TWILIGHT ZONE, ‘Replay,’ 4/1/19, CBS Access. A camcorder rewinds time on a racist cop. ‘Only by embracing her past could she protect her son’s future.’
  • THE WALKING DEAD, ‘We Are the End of the World,’ 10.13.19, AMC. The origins of Alpha and Beta.  ‘There is clarity in the chaos. Do you doubt me?’
  • WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, ‘The Trial, 5.8.19, FX. Vampires stand accused by a tribunal of their peers. ‘We might have floated the idea of murdering him, but we didn’t do it. Did we??’

18) BEST WEBSITE

Pixel Scroll 4/30/19 Pixel My Blue Suede Scrolls

(1) WEIGHING IN ON THE TOLKIEN MOVIE. In the Catholic Herald, Fr. Michael Ward’s verdict is that “This Tolkien biopic is woefully unconvincing”.

…This handsome, earnest, yet overstuffed and poorly paced film deviates frequently from the historical record. Most seriously, it ignores Tolkien’s devout Christian faith: there is no indication that he served Mass daily as a boy or ever even entered a Catholic church. His punch-ups with Wiseman and drunken night-time profanities are, in comparison, unimportant inventions.

But departures from reality are inevitable in dramatisations, and enumerating them can quickly devolve into captiousness. What’s more relevant is whether the artistic licence results in a successful story. One expects a biopic to sit somewhat loose to the facts, yet one hopes it will also hold the attention and make one care about the characters, however far from real life they may diverge.

A helpful comparison is Richard Attenborough’s Shadowlands, the story of CS Lewis’s late marriage. It’s worthless as an account of actual events, but works brilliantly as a movie: engaging, well-structured, powerful and poignant.

Here, with Lewis’s friend Tolkien, it’s a different story. Incidents come thick and fast, but are strangely uninvolving….

Ward is the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to CS Lewis.

(2) A MODEST PROPOSAL. Daniel Dern is making an offer –

Our dead tree edition of the Sunday New York Times this week (here in the year 2019 – April 28) included a special 12-page section, consisting of (a version of) Ted Chiang’s story, “Better Versions of You,” adapted from his story “Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom” from Chiang’s new (coming out May 7) collection Exhalation. Illustrations by Daehyun Kim/Moonassi.

According to social media, “The piece is PRINT ONLY.” (My brief searches don’t show otherwise; I’d been looking for it before I found this tweet.)

Once we’re done reading the story, I don’t feel the need to keep it. So I’m happy to pass it along to the first Filer who asks for it, via a comment to this post. (We’ll sort out snail addresses, etc. off-list. If need be, I’ll ask OGH to be the email-address intermediary.)

Beyond possibly the minor cost of mailing it, I’m not asking any $ for it.

OTOH, I’m happy if the recipient will in turn, once it’s arrived, make a modest (say, $10-$25) donation to some sf/fan related fund/fundraiser or other Good Cause (of their choice, e.g., the Gahan Wilson GoFundMe, or some WorldCon-related fundraiser — your choice, I don’t need to know what/who, how much, or whether). But this is an optional follow-through.

(I don’t see Chiang listed in the current ReaderCon Guests list, so you’d be on your own for trying to get it autographed.)

Let the clicking begin!

(3) BORDERLANDS CAFÉ CLOSES, BOOKSTORE STAYS OPEN. “After 10 years, Valencia Street’s Borderlands Cafe to shutter” reports Mission Local.

Owner Alan Beatts, also the owner of Borderlands Books — which will remain open on Valencia Street at least for the next year — said that the decision to shutter the cafe was, by and large, voluntary. He attributed the move to a confluence of factors, including staff retention, slumping sales, and his personal desire to focus on the bookstore….

(4) BLAME HIM FOR THANOS! Entertainment Weekly’s Christian Holub, in “Thanos Creator Jim Starlin Discusses His Avengers: Endgame Cameo And The Journey From Page To Screen”, has a profile of Jim Starlin, who created Thanos for Invincible Iron Man #55 in 1972, and says he enjoyed his cameo in the film and says the Thanos on screen is true to “the spirit of the character” he created.

“It’s more of a full circle than you realize,” Starlin says. “I got the assignment to draw Invincible Iron Man #55-56 because the regular penciller on it, George Tuska, had to go in for some elective surgery. So I did the first issue, which I plotted out with Mike Friedrich, and then the second one I worked with this writer Steve Gerber. We did a funny Iron Man issue, and Stan Lee hated it so much he fired both of us.”

(5) CAPTAIN AMERICA. “MIT students deck out dome with Captain America shield” – the Portland (ME) Press-Herald has the story.

MIT students over the weekend draped the university’s signature Great Dome with a giant cloth version of Captain America’s red, white and blue shield.

Their efforts drew a Twitter “Very cool!” from actor Chris Evans, the Massachusetts native who plays Captain America in “Avengers: Endgame.”

(6) HELP WANTED. Westercon bid chair Kevin Standlee posted the Tonopah [in 2021] Committee List. And they’re hoping to add more workers.

The Tonopah Westercon committee is a standing committee of San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. answerable to the corporation’s Board of Directors. Our organizing committee consists of the following people, with others helping on an ad hoc basis.

Chair: Kevin Standlee (Co-chair, 2002 Worldcon, San José CA)
Assistant to Chair/Hospitality Lead : Lisa Hayes
Treasurer: Bruce Farr (Chair, Westercon 45 (1992), Phoenix AZ)
Facilities: Mike Willmoth (Chair, Westercon 62 (2009), Tempe AZ)
Website Planning: Cheryl Morgan
Travel Coordinator: Sandra Childress

Other Committee Members Without Portfolio:
David W. Clark (Chair, 1993 Worldcon, San Francisco CA)
Lisa Detusch Harrigan (Chair, Westercon 40 (1987), Oakland CA)
Kevin Roche (Co-Chair, Westercon 66 (2013), Sacramento CA and Chair, 2018 Worldcon, San José CA)
Andy Trembley (Co-Chair, Westercon 66 (2013), Sacramento CA)

(7) IT’S HISTORY. “And she’s not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead.” At Gizmodo/io9, last Thursday’s Morning Spoilers column drops the news that “At Least One of the Game of Thrones Spinoff Series Is Truly Dead” and the creator is done, at least for now, at HBO. Tidbits for a dozen or so shows are shared in the column.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Bryan Cogman confirmed that his time with the franchise is over for now—because the spinoff series he was attached to is officially scrubbed…

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 30, 1926 Cloris Leachman, 93. I’ve got grist in the genre in Young Frankenstein as Frau Blücher. (Strange film.) she does her obligatory mouse role when she voices Euterpe in The Mouse and His Child. Next up is being The Lord’s Secretary in The Muppet Movie. (Always a fun time.) Hmmm… she’s Millie Crown in Shadow Play, a horror film that I don’t plan on seeing. Not my cup of tea. Lots of voice work from there out and I will only note her as Mrs. Tensedge in The Iron Giant, a great film indeed. She in the live action and I assume disgusting Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse as Ms. Fielder. 
  • Born April 30, 1934 Baird Searles. Best- known for his long running review columns in Asimov’sAmazing Stories and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. For a time, he managed a genre bookstore in New York City’s Greenwich Village, the Science Fiction Shop, which is no longer in business. With Brian Thomsen, he edited Halflings, Hobbits, Warrows & Weefolk: A Collection of Tales of Heroes Short in Stature, and among other publication that he wrote was the Cliff Notes on Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. (Died 1993.)
  • Born April 30, 1938 Larry Niven, 81. One of my favourites author to read, be Ringworld, The Mote in God’s Eye with Jerry Pournelle, or the the Rainbow Mars stories, there’s always good reading there. What’s your favourite Niven story? 
  • Born April 30, 1968 Adam Stemple, 51. Son of Jane Yolen. One-time vocalist of Boiled in Lead. With Yolen, he’s written the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fairy TalesPay the Piper and Troll Bridge which are worth reading, plus the Seelie Wars trilogy which I’ve not read. He’s also written two Singer of Souls urban fantasies which I remember as engaging. 
  • Born April 30, 1973 Naomi Novik, 46. She wrote the Temeraire series which runs nine novels so far. Her first book, His Majesty’s Dragon, won the Compton Crook Award for best first novel in the science fiction and fantasy category. She most deservedly won the Nebula Award for Best Novel for Uprooted which is a most excellent read. I’ve not yet her Spinning Silver, so opinions are welcome.
  • Born April 30, 1982 Kirsten Dunst, 37. Her first genre role was as Claudio in Interview with the Vampire. Later genre roles include Judy Shepherd in Jumanji, voicing Christy Fimple in Small Soldiers, voicing Becky Thatcher in The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man franchise,  voicing Kaena in Kaena: The Prophecy, and showing up on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Hedrilin in the “Dark Page” episode. She would have been nine years old in that episode! 
  • Born April 30, 1985 Gal Gadot, 34. Wonder Woman, of course, in the DC film universe. Other genre work, well, other than voicing Shank on Ralph Breaks the Internet, there really isn’t any. She did play Linnet Ridgeway Doyle in the Kenneth Branagh of Murder on the Orient Express which is quite lovely but hardly genre… 

(9) POOH INSPIRATION BURNS. CNN brings word that “Winnie the Pooh’s real-life Hundred Acre Wood hit by forest fire”. Authorities do not think it was deliberately set.

An overnight fire ripped through a forest in England that provided the setting for the Winnie the Pooh children’s stories.

The blaze at Ashdown Forest, in East Sussex, started at around 9.30 p.m. on Sunday and affected an area of more than 35 acres, according to the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Six fire crews were on the scene as flames fed on dry undergrowth in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne, who lived in nearby Cotchford Farm, Hartfield, drew inspiration from Ashdown Forest to write the popular series of children’s books in the 1920s….

(10) PACHYDERM IN FLIGHT. “Dumbo: How we made the visual effects” – BBC has a video.

Moving Picture (MPC) company’s Richard Stammers, the Overall VFX Supervisor for the Walt Disney film Dumbo, tells BBC Click how the digital effects for the movie were put together.

(11) SPOILER ALERT. “Game of Thones: Secrets behind Winterfell battle episode” – the secrets apparently include “11 weeks of night shooting,” “Too cold to snow.”

It’s taken eight years, 70 episodes and thousands of deaths to get us to this moment.

The epic fight between the living and the dead in Game of Thrones was shown in the UK on Monday.

The episode, called The Long Night, lasted 82 minutes and took viewers on a rollercoaster journey featuring our favourite characters…

HBO, makers of the fantasy drama, have also released a behind-the-scenes video giving some of the secrets of how it all came together.

(12) RETRO REVIEWS. Steven J. Wright has completed his Retro Hugo Novel finalist reviews:

Retro Novel

(13) BEAUTIFUL BOOK. Look at the gorgeous endpapers in the Russian edition of Goss’ novel:

(14) CELEBRATING THE RONDO WINNERS. Steve Vertlieb sends his regards:

I want to take a moment this morning to wish hearty congratulations to all of this year’s most worthy Rondo Award winners. As always, the nominated films, television shows, writers, and artists were strong and worthy contenders, and each winner was deservedly voted the absolute best in his or her field of endeavor. In particular, however, I’d like to pay respect and homage to Veronica Carlson, Caroline Munro, and Martine Beswick whose long overdue recognition by The Rondo Hall of Fame was enthusiastically welcomed, and for my lifelong friend and brother, Wes Shank, whose loss late last Summer shattered us all, and whose entry last night into “The Monster Kid Hall of Fame” was a most fitting tribute to a beloved friend and fan. My personal remembrance of Wes was posted on File 770. Congratulations once again to all of this year’s most deserving Rondo Award winners. 

(15) WHERE NO CAT HAS GONE BEFORE. Well, cremated cat, says Space.com: “RIP Pikachu: Ashes of Beloved Cat Will Launch to Space in Cosmic Burial”.

A cat lover and space fan is about to make history by launching the remains of a cat named Pikachu into orbit around the Earth. 

“Pikachu will have a final send-off like no cat has ever had before,” Steve Munt, Pikachu’s owner, wrote on a GoFundMe page dedicated to raising funds for Pikachu’s space memorial. Thanks to a company called Celestis — which also offers memorial spaceflights for humans — the orange tabby’s cremated remains will hitch a ride to space as a small secondary payload on a satellite launch sometime in the next 18 months, Munt told Space.com

(16) MICE IN SPACE. These mice, however, made it to orbit while still alive. Ben Guarino in “Up in space, mice found a new way to play” in the Washington Post, says a paper in Scientific Reports discusses what happened to mice that spent a month in the International Space Station on the NASA Rodent Habitat.

After more than a week in space, young mice began to psrint and glide, as though they were zooming inside invisible hamster wheels.  The scientists called this circling behavior, which they hadn’t seen before, ‘racetracking.’  Within a few days, other mice joined the fray.  As a group, they ran laps around the habitats, reaching speeds of about a mile an hour.  It’s strange to watch.

(17) HEDGEHOGGING THE ROAD. Sonic The Hedgehog is fast enough to create a blue shift.

He’s a whole new speed of hero. Watch the new trailer for Sonic The Hedgehog, in theatres this November

[Thanks Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Daniel Dern, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Hampus Eckerman and/or Daniel Dern. It’s complicated.]

17th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

The winners of the 17th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards were announced April 30.

The awards are named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, and “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 responses from a record 4,510 fans and pros around the world.

First-time director Ari Aster’s Hereditary, an unsettling look at a family haunted from within was voted Best Film of 2018.

Reflecting the impact of streaming services, The Haunting of Hill House, a Netflix adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel, was voted Best TV Presentation; and in a new category Best Fantasy or Action Film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse beat two other Marvel epics, Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther as the best of 2018.

Don Glut’s film Tales of Frankenstein won the Best Independent Film category, an anthology-style film, inspired by the old Hammer Horror films from the 1950s. Ed Green has a part in the final chapter. It’s also the last film Len Wein acted in and is dedicated to his memory.

Svengoolie was again voted Favorite Horror Host, but his large vote total was challenged this time by Joe Bob Briggs, Lamia, Queen of the Dark and Elvira, among others.

Other winners included Bloody Disgusting, a two-time winner as Best Website (where File 770 was also a nominee).

The return of Texas exploitation film personality Joe Bob Briggs, who brought his “Drive-In” redneck movie critic character back to Shudder TV, another example of the resurgence in horror enthusiasm, was named Monster Kid of the Year.

This year’s Monster Kid Hall of Fame inductees include the late horror collector and historian Wes Shank (remembered in this post by Steve Vertlieb); one of the genre’s founding horror historians, Lucy Chase Williams; Cleveland horror hosts Big Chuck and Lil’ John; Ron Adams, creator of the long-running Monster Bash convention and magazine; Ricou Browning, who swam as the original Creature from the Black Lagoon in 1954; and three of Hammer’s original glamour heroines, Caroline Munro, Martine Beswick and Veronica Carlson, all still active on the convention circuit and in films.

The annual Rondo Awards Ceremony will be held Saturday, June 1 at the Wonderfest Convention in Louisville.

Here are the Rondo XVII results:

BEST FILM OF 2018

  • HEREDITARY

BEST FANTASY/ACTION FILM

  • SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

BEST TV PRESENTATION

  • THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (Netflix)

BEST BLU-RAY/DVD

  • NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (Criterion)

BEST BOX SET

  • UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: Complete 30-film Collection

BEST RESTORATION

  • NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (Criterion)

BEST DVD EXTRA

  • ‘Night of the Anubis’ work print (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD)

BEST COMMENTARY

  • Tim Lucas (THE NIGHT STALKER/STRANGLER, Kino)

BEST PACKAGE OF DVD EXTRAS

  • THE OUTER LIMITS Vol. 1 and 2 (Kino)

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

  • TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN, directed by Don Glut

BEST SHORT FILM

  • THE HOUSE OF SEVEN GABLES, directed by Ben Wickey

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • HAMMER HORRORS: The Warner Bros. Years, directed by Marcus Hearn

BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • THE DR. PHIBES COMPANION, by Justin Humphreys

BEST MAGAZINE (Classic)

  • SCARY MONSTERS

BEST MAGAZINE (modern)

  • FANGORIA

BEST ARTICLE

  • ‘When Danforth Ruled the Earth,’ by Mark Wolf, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #41.

BEST INTERVIEW (Award goes to interviewer)

  • Cassandra Peterson (Elvira) by Sam Irvin, SCREEM #36

BEST COLUMN

  • Dr. Gangrene’s Mad Interviews by Larry Underwood (SCARY MONSTERS)

BEST COVER

  • MAD #4 by Gary Pullin

BEST WEBSITE

  • Bloody Disgusting

BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE

  • THE REVIVAL LEAGUE

FAVORITE HORROR HOST

  • SVENGOOLIE

BEST CONVENTION

  • MONSTERPALOOZA

BEST LIVE EVENT

  • HORRORHOUND PRESENTS HALLOWEEN 40th CELEBRATION (Pasadena)

BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK

  • THE CREEPS (Warrant publishing)

BEST CD

  • HALLOWEEN 2018 soundtrack

WRITE-IN CATEGORIES

WRITER OF THE YEAR

  • ANDREA SUBISSATI: In addition to editing RUE MORGUE magazine, Andrea contributes smart and timely essays, singular interviews and sharp reporting on the sometimes forbidden sides of horror and dread.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • MARK MADDOX: Mark Maddox’ eye-catching covers and dramatic use of color and shading has become the look of monsters in the 21st Century. Mark is a multiple Rondo winner whose work appears on numerous magazines each year.

LINDA MILLER AWARD FOR FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR (In memory of the late Linda Miller) 

  • ERIC PUCKETT: The art of Eric Puckett is bright and scary, capturing a monstrous world where deadly clowns and villains lurk behind garish masks. A mainstay at conventions and exhibits, Eric’s work is soaked with humor and danger.

MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR

  • JOE BOB BRIGGS:  A smooth-talking Texan who made the most deranged drive-in films somehow respectable, Joe Bob Briggs returned with both car speakers blasting in 2018, heading up a new show on the Shudder streaming service. In a world of safely digitized horror hosting, Joe Bob reminds us that love of the films and old-fashioned showmanship always must come first. Welcome back Joe Bob!

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME

  • WES SHANK:  Yes, the late Wes Shank really did have The Blob, and that was just the start. Wes was a master collector of monster and science fiction memorabilia as well as a comforting and continuing presence at conventions and educational events. Gone too soon, his enthusiasm and knowledge will be missed but never forgotten.
  • LUCY CHASE WILLIAMS: The second wave of horror fandom was still young in 1995 when Lucy Chase Williams released THE COMPLETE FILMS OF VINCENT PRICE, still the definitive look at the master of horror’s cinema output.  Along the way she survived the ordeals of unwanted sexual harassment in fandom, and bravely came forward, no matter the personal cost. A true hero of fandom.
  • BIG CHUCK AND LIL’ JOHN: Cleveland has always been a magnet for horror hosts, and two of the most enduring are Charles “Big Chuck” Schodowski and “Lil’ John” Rinaldi. Starting in 1966 with the original Ghoulardi, Schadowski worked for many years with Bob “Hoollihan” Wells and later Rinaldi. Featuring sketches, movies and more, Chuck and John are now a part of horror hosting legend.
  • RICOU BROWNING: The Creature from the Black Lagoon is more popular today than ever, thanks in large part to the underwater swimming and elegant menace of Ricou Browning. Portraying the lovesick prehistoric beastie was just the beginning for Browning, who helped create Flipper and decades of film and TV work and has been a friendly and accessible presence at conventions,
  • RON ADAMS: Much of what we take for granted in the world of horror would not exist without the clear and monstrous vision of Ron Adams, one of the genre’s original impresarios. Whether his groundbreaking Monster Bash conventions, his ability to combine family-friendly weekends with wonderfully obscure guests, his mail order catalog or his retro Monster Bash magazine, Ron Adams is always on the forefro0nt of the hobby and what it stands for.
  • MARTINE BESWICK, VERONICA CARLSON and CAROLINE MUNRO: It’s easy to throw around terms like scream queens and Hammer glamour, but most horror film actresses were far more. Witness these three wondrous inductees — Martine Beswick, Veronica Carlson and Caroline Munro – all active during the Golden Age of Hammer but still active today. Whether signing autographs at conventions around the globe or offering memories of working with horror and fantasy greats, these three icons remind us of why their films will always endure.

Pixel Scroll 4/22/19 Ceci N’est Pas Un Pixel Scroll

(1) HELP IS ON THE WAY. Jimmy Kimmel Live plugs the “Game of Thrones Hotline for Confused Fans.”

There is a lot going on in “Game of Thrones,” and it can be difficult to keep track of what’s what and who’s who. But fortunately help is on the way. Cast members Sophie Turner, Lena Headey, John Bradley, Joe Dempsie, Maisie Williams, Kristian Nairn, Iwan Rheon & Liam Cunningham host a new hotline to assist their confused fans.

(2) RONDO SETS RECORD. Never mind the Dragon Awards – voting just closed in the “17th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards” and would you like to guess how many participants they had? The administrator says —

The final votes are still be tallied, but close to 4,500 people voted this year, a new record.

The results will be posted soon, once the vote is finalized and visual material is prepared for the release.

(3) RELATIVELY LITERATURE. Gautham Shenoy contemplates “Ian McEwan and the (re)invention of science fiction: Why contempt for SF only exposes ignorance” at Factor Daily.

…So in this light, in the context of authors who actively avoid a novel of theirs being described as ‘science fiction’, and given the latest instance of Ian McEwan distancing himself from said label, I’d like to humbly offer a way in which one can tell if it’s an SF novel or not. “Whether a novel is science fiction—or not—depends on who the author is and who reviews it”.

As an advertising professional who has spent almost 20 years in the marketing business and who knows a thing or three about positioning and target audiences, this is perhaps the best description that I think we can arrive at. But where does this leave the reader?

It is up to the individual reader to decide whether he/she/they would rather go by convenient labels than follow interests or read what he/she/they would like to. As a reader – and not just of SF – I am in agreement with the author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, the writer David Mitchell who says that genre snobbery is a bizarre act of self-mutilation because, “It’s convenient to have a science fiction and fantasy section, it’s convenient to have a mainstream literary fiction section, but these should only be guides, they shouldn’t be demarcated territories where one type of reader belongs and another type of reader does not belong…What a shame. All those great books that you’re cutting yourself off from.”

(4) WEIMER DOUBLE-HEADER. Paul Weimer told Facebook readers:

If you thought “Self, I want to hear @PrinceJvstin on a podcast”, today is YOUR day.

You can hear Paul on @SFFAudio talking about @nevalalee’s Astounding – “The SFFaudio Podcast #522 – READALONG: Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee”

-AND-

On @SkiffyandFanty, he talks with their Hugo Finalist crew about Komarr — “Reading Rangers #10: Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold”.

Hello, Rangers! We’re back with everyone’s favorite Space Nancy Drew in Komarr! This time Stina, Paul, and Trish sit around the campfire to talk about women’s agency, budding relationships, whether or not Miles is “dad” material, how good intentions can go horribly, horribly wrong, the politics of isolationism, and more!

(5) KNOWING CAMPBELL. Stanley Schmidt’s guest editorial for Analog “John and Me” takes off from the “The Astounding John W. Campbell, Jr.” panel at last year’s Worldcon moderated by Alec Nevala-Lee. Schmidt’s views of Campbell’s work are very different than those of fellow panelist Robert Silverberg, and he says in closing —

…As for what kind of editing John was doing in his last years, my experience indicates that he was still doing the kinds of things he was famous for, and still doing them very well. It’s unfortunate that some of his personal idiosyncrasies drove away some of his best writers, but that’s a separate question from the quality of his work. Maybe I was fortunate that I didn’t know him personally before I started writing for him, or I might have found it harder, too—though I hope I wouldn’t have let my disagreements with him, even on big issues, make me reject him entirely as a person. I did disagree with his editorials more often in those years than I had earlier, but as far as I knew he was just doing the professional argument-baiting he had always done. Even if I had known that he really held beliefs that I found highly objectionable, I doubt that I would have found that adequate reason to sever all contact with him and his work. A lot of people hold misguided beliefs, but my experience, I think, is a good example of how it’s possible to work productively with somebody, and respect some of his qualities, even while sharply disagreeing with some of his views. Maybe that’s a lesson that a whole lot of people need to relearn about now.

(6) SLF READINGS. The Speculative Literature Foundation’s Deep Dish Reading Series in Chicago resumes on May 9.

(7) DOC WEIR AWARD. The Doc Weir Award is voted on by attendees at the Eastercon and is presented to a fan who has worked hard behind the scenes at conventions or in fandom and deserves recognition. As Fandom.com explains —

The award consists of a silver cup (which must be returned the following year) and a certificate (if someone remembers to create one!)

The cup is engraved with the names of the previous winners, and in fine fannish tradition, it is up to each year’s winner to have their own name engraved at their own cost!

Jamie Scott is the 2019 winner.

Bill Burns of eFanzines has more info on the Doc Weir Award, and a list of all winners from 1963 to 2018 here.

(8) 71ST EASTERCON. Next year’s UK Eastercon, called Concentric, will be in Birmingham at the Hilton Metropole (NEC).

(9) ON THE AIR. Eneasz Brodski offers a “Crash Course in Creating a Podcast” at Death Is Bad.

1. Bona fides

I’m Eneasz Brodski. I produce the Methods of Rationality podcast. It began as me, in my bedroom, with a lot of enthusiasm and a handheld mic after a few hours of research. As of this writing it’s been 6.5 years since I started. I’ve spent over 10,000 hours working on this podcast, I’ve produced over ninety hours of audio fiction spread across 185 episodes, totaling almost 4.5 million downloads. I’ve been a finalist for the Parsec Awards three times. I’ve never done professional audio work, but I have some idea of how to get an amateur podcast going.

(10) WOLFE’S MEANING. In a New Republic article, Jeet Heer declares “Gene Wolfe Was the Proust of Science Fiction”.

…News of Wolfe’s passing spread on the internet on Monday morning, as the first images of the fire at Notre-Dame also started circulating. Many Wolfe fans were struck by the coincidence. “Gene Wolfe is dead and Notre-Dame is engulfed in flames,” the writer Michael Swanwick tweeted. “This is the Devil’s own day.” Swanwick’s grief is understandable. Yet Wolfe himself might offer more consoling counsel. Death and life, his work often showed, are not so much opposites but partners, with the passing of the old being the precondition for the birth of the new. Cathedrals can burn but they can also be rebuilt, and in fact all cathedrals are in a constant state of maintenance and repair….

(11) MARTIN BÖTTCHER OBIT. German film composer Martin Böttcher (1927–2019) died April 19. Cora Buhlert pays tribute — “In Memoriam Martin Böttcher”.

…But Böttcher’s most famous film score would be the one he composed for Horst Wendlandt’s other series, the Winnetou movies of the 1960s, based on Karl May’s adventure novels. Ironically, Martin Böttcher himself had never read a single Winnetou novel, which must make him one of the very few Germans of his generation who did not read Karl May. When someone asked him why he didn’t read the novels, Böttcher answered, “I’ve seen every single Winnetou movie dozens of times. I know how the story goes. I don’t need to read it.”

I’ve written about the Winnetou movies and what they meant for several generations of Germans before, so let’s just listen to Martin Böttcher’s iconic Old Shatterhand theme….

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 22, 1916 Virginia Heinlein. Editor of Grumbles from the Grave. Also allowed Tramp Royale to be published after her husband’s death. And for some reason allowed longer versions of previously published works Stranger in a Strange Land, The Puppet Masters, and Red Planet to be published. Anyone read these? Used bookstores here frequently had copies of Stranger in a Strange Land so buyers didn’t hold on to it… (Died 2003.)
  • Born April 22, 1934 Sheldon Jaffery. Bibliographer who was a fan of Weird Tales, Arkham House books, pulps, and pretty much anything in that area. Among his publications are Collector’s Index to Weird Tales (co-written with Fred Cook), Future and Fantastic Worlds: A Bibliographical Retrospective of DAW Books (1972-1987) and Horrors and Unpleasantries: A Bibliographical History and Collector’s Price Guide to Arkham House. He also edited three anthologies which Bowling Green Press printed, to wit Sensuous Science Fiction from the Weird and Spicy PulpsSelected Tales of Grim and Grue from the Horror Pulps and The Weirds: A Facsimile Selection of Fiction From the Era of the Shudder Pulps. (Died 2003.)
  • Born April 22, 1937 Jack Nicholson, 82. I think my favorite role for him in a genre film was as Daryl Van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick. Other genre roles include Jack Torrance in The Shining, Wilbur Force in The Little Shop of Horrors, Rexford Bedlo in The Raven, Andre Duvalier in The Terror, (previous three films are Roger Corman productions), Will Randall in Wolf, President James Dale / Art Land in Mars Attacks! and Jack Napier aka The Joker in Tim  Burton’s The Batman. I watched the last one, was not impressed.
  • Born April 22, 1946 John Waters, 73. Yes, he did horror films, lots of them. Shall we list them? There’s Multiple ManiacsSuburban GothicExcision, Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat and Seed of Chucky. The latter described as a “supernatural black comedy horror film” on Wiki. He also narrates Of Dolls and Murder, a documentary film about a collection of dollhouse crime scenes created in the Forties and society’s collective fascination with death.
  • Born April 22, 1950 Robert Elswit, 69. Cinematographer. An early short film he worked on was a 1982 TV adaptation of the Ray Bradbury short story “All Summer in a Day.” He began his career as a visual effects camera operator working on films like Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Empire Strikes Back, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He worked on Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • Born April 22, 1959 Brian Taves, 60. Author of The Jules Verne Encyclopedia and Hollywood Presents Jules Verne: The Father of Science Fiction on Screen.  He also wrote Talbot Mundy, Philosopher of Adventure: A Critical Biography. Mundy is the author of the Jimgrim / Ramsden stories, a fantasy series. 
  • Born April 22, 1966 Jeffrey Dean Morgan,53. He’s best known for his roles as Dr. Edward Marcase in The Burning Zone, John Winchester on Supernatural, the Comedian in Watchmen, Negan on The Walking Dead  and Harvey Russell in Rampage. He also played Jeb Turnbull in Jonah Hex. And was Thomas Wayne in Batman v. Superman though he was uncredited for it. 
  • Born April 22, 1984 Michelle Ryan, 35. She appeared as the evil sorceress Nimueh in Merlin, and as Lady Christina de Souza in the Doctor Who episode “Planet of the Dead” in the era of the Tenth Doctor. She was also in the comedy film Cockneys vs Zombies as Katy,and played Elanor in Andron. And yes, they rebooted the Bionic Woman series in which she played the lead character Jaime Sommers. It lasted nine episodes. Points to who remembers the original actress without looking her up. 

(13) TV ON THE CHEAP Because Filers may still have time still available for consuming video content – yeah, right — ZDNet points you at the “10 best free video streaming services for cord cutters”.

It’s possible to watch a lot of excellent movies and TV shows for free — if you know how.

When cord-cutting became a thing, it was all about saving money. Today, cord-cutting costs are catching up with cable. Indeed, with Disney Plus coming, with its must-watch package of Marvel Universe, Star Wars, and Disney films, plus internet TV streaming services like AT&T DirecTV Now drastically raising its prices, I can easily see a cord cutter’s total viewing bill crossing the $100-a-month barrier. 

Fortunately, there are some answers.

There’s at least one inexpensive TV-bundling service: Philo TV. At $16 a month for three simultaneous streams of 45 popular channels, it’s a steal. But, if you can live with commercials, there are at least 10 good free streaming services to try.

(14) AFRICAN VOICES. CNN reports “Netflix to launch all girl superhero animation series from Africa”.

As part of its growing acquisition of content from Africa, Netflix has announced its first original African animated series – Mama K’s Team 4.

The series is produced by award-winning South Africa based studio, Triggerfish Animation, and London based kids and family entertainment specialist, CAKE.

Mama K’s Team 4 tells a story of four teenage girls living in a futuristic version of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city. The girls are recruited by an ex-secret agent to save the world.

Designed by Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope, the animation drew inspiration for the visuals from retro 90s hip hop girl groups, Netflix said in a statement announcing the deal….

(15) BY THE BOOK. Steve J. Wright has completed his Hugo Novel finalist reviews.

(16) COMMEMORATIVES. These BrexitStamps are over a year old – but news to me!

(17) NAVIGATING BY THE PUPPY CONSTELLATION. Lou Antonelli has launched a semiprozine for original sff, Sirius Science Fiction, which offers $25 for each original story upon publication.

WHO WE ARE

Sirius Science Fiction is an on-line web site dedicated to publishing original speculative fiction – science fiction, fantasy, alternate history and horror. We like stories with a sense of wonder and excitement.

In a time when mainstream speculative fiction has been overrun by political correctness and identity politics, we offer a venue free of pretension and ideological litmus tests.

Sirius Science Fiction publishes one original short story a week, plus occasional reprints. Original stories are posted every Friday.

(18) SPOILER WARNING. Well, beware if you’re a fluent Rot-13 speaker. Here’s the surprise ending to “Beyond the Bounds of Genius: Chapter 8” of Timothy the Talking Cat’s autobiography:

Fbba jr fnj gur Juvgr Pyvssf bs Qbire be ng yrnfg gung’f jung jr nffhzrq gurl jrer ohg rirelobql ryfr jnf fubhgvat “VPR ORET!” Orsber lbh pbhyq fubhg “zna gur yvsr obngf” gur fuvc jnf fvaxvat naq Pryvar Qvba jnf fvatvat naq rirelguvat jnf orpbzvat irel pbashfvat.

(19) YAKETY-YAK. Here’s some art by an Ursula Vernon admirer:

(20) OLD GAME. NPR tells how “For Mongolia’s Ice Shooters, Warmer Winters Mean A Shorter Sports Season”.

On a bright Sunday afternoon in early March, the Tamir River in the steppes of Mongola becomes a bowling alley. Two dozen Mongolian herdsmen have gathered to play musun shagai, known as “ice shooting.” Right now, the ice on the river is perfect. Clear and smooth. The players are cheerful and focused.

Their goal? To send a small copper puck called a zakh down a 93-yard stretch of ice and knock over several cow ankle bones, painted red, none bigger than a golf ball, at the other end. Extra points for hitting the biggest target, made of cow skin.

Together, the targets form a line of tiny red dots that are difficult to see, let alone hit. When that happens, players know because the spectators raise a boisterous cheer.

…This competition, originally scheduled for mid-March, was bumped up by two weeks. “The river was already melting,” Gurvantamir said.

(21) IRON ART. Lots of photos accompany NPR’s feature “The Beauty And The Power Of African Blacksmiths”.

In the fictional world of Marvel’s Black Panther, the Afro-futurist utopia of Wakanda has a secret, almost magical resource: a metal called vibranium. Its mythic ability to store energy elevated vibranium to a central role in the fictional nation’s culture and the metal became part of Wakandan technology, fashion and ceremony.

Of course vibranium isn’t real. But one metal has held a similarly mythic role for over 2,000 years in many cultures across the African continent: iron.

African blacksmiths have been crafting agricultural tools, musical instruments, weapons and symbols of power and prestige out of the raw material for ages. “Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths,” a new exhibit at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. showcases Africa’s rich history of ironworking through 225 tools, weapons and adornments from over 100 ethnic groups across Africa.

(22) SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES. “SpaceX capsule suffers ‘anomaly’ during tests in Florida”.

SpaceX has confirmed that its Crew Dragon capsule suffered an “anomaly” during routine engine tests in Florida.

A US Air Force spokesperson told local press the incident, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, had been contained and no-one had been injured.

An unmanned Crew Dragon successfully flew for the first time last month.

This latest incident, however, could delay plans to launch a manned mission to the International Space Station later this year.

Not since the end of the Space Shuttle programme in 2011 has the US been able to send its own astronauts into orbit. It has had to rely instead on Russia and its Soyuz spacecraft.

(23) A ‘STAN LEE’ MOMENT. Daniel Dern asks:

Wanna get caught up on the Avengers: Endgame related comics… or just overload your eyeballs and brain in general?

Try a month of the Marvel Unlimited streaming comic service for $4.99 (normall $9.99/month, jumps to that if you don’t cancel). ~ 25,000 digitized Marvel comics (ranging from from-the-beginning-of-time through at-least-six-months-old).

Best on, sigh, a tablet that can view a comic full size, like the non-cheap iPad Pro 12.9. (which is why I bought one a year or so ago).

(24) AFTER SHAKESPEARE. This is far beyond what prompted Independence Day’s Wil Smith to demand, “What’s that smell?” “Nathan Lane Cleans Up Broadway’s Biggest Pile of Dead Bodies in ‘Gary: a Sequel to Titus Andronicus’”.

Even before the lushly designed curtain rises on Taylor Mac’s Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, which opens Sunday night on Broadway (at the Booth Theatre, to Aug. 4), the fluids start shooting forth.

A woman appears and begins to spurt blood from her slashed neck. The blood flies out sporadically, and this looks a little precarious if you are in the front two rows. The woman, inevitably raspy of voice given her injury, muses on the nature of sequels and revenge.

Then the curtain rises on one of the great stage designs of this Broadway season. The sight of hundreds of human bodies immediately confronts the audience….

In this banqueting hall turned charnel house, there is the prosaically named Gary (Nathan Lane), a former clown now turned laborer, here to do some tidying up of bodies before the inauguration of a new leader the next day. “Bit more of them than I was expecting,” he says of the bodies. His voice is Cockney. Lane—orbiting in his brilliant way from shy to showman, naughty schoolboy to moral fulcrum—at first seems like a mischief-maker, bored on the job and up for fun.

The fourth wall stays permeable throughout; the actors stare out at us, puzzled at our applause….

(25) DERAILERS. ScreenRant shares “10 Superhero Deleted Scenes That Could Have Changed Everything.”

Deleted scenes in movies are fun to watch but they are even more fun to watch when they are from superhero films. Instead of arguing over which Universe you enjoy more, DC or Marvel, sit back and watch these deleted scenes and let us know what you think in the comments below. Let’s take a look at Screen Rant’s video, ten Superhero Deleted Scenes That Could Have Changed Everything. And we have the plot holes from some of your favorite movies including the X-Men series, Marvel’s Iron Man, the Hugh Jackman film Logan, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice plus many more.

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, World Weary, Daniel Dern, Mike Kennedy, Daniel Dern, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rob Thornton.]