Driving home from Wonderfest I got into a conversation with my buddy Cameron McCasland about women in the Rondo Awards Hall of Fame. If you look through the awards you’ll notice that there aren’t that many women who have made it into the HOF, which is probably to be expected as the genre tends to be a male slanted one. But there are plenty of women who have contributed to the horror field, so we started discussing some who we felt were worthy of inclusion.
Before I get into that I have to say I am still a little cloudy on the criteria for the Rondo Hall of Fame, but David Colton cleared it up quite a bit in the interview he did with me here on this blog. He said it is sort of the second generation of monster kids they’re aiming for - Those who were influenced by the classics and that influence in turn fueled their creative endeavors. OK, cool – makes sense.
Top on both of our lists was
Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elvira.
As a TV horror host myself I have to say she definitely is one of the most influential people of all time in the field. From time to time I find myself describing what I do to someone who just doesn’t get it – they have no idea what a “horror host” is. In such cases I say, “Think Elvira,” and they almost always know who I’m talking about. She is probably THE most widely known horror host, even eclipsing her predecessors Zacherly and Vampira in popularity. She had nation-wide syndication, two motion pictures and more marketing and merchandise than you can shake a well-stuffed brassiere at! She is funny, smart, and an icon in the field. I would love for Cassandra to make it into the Rondo Hall of Fame.
Poison Ivy, (a.k.a. Kristy Wallace)
Poison Ivy of the band The Cramps is a woman who should definitely be in the Hall of Fame. I wrote David Colton after Lux Interior was added to the Hall of Fame and asked him if she could be added too. If you’re going to have Lux Interior In there, you’ve gotta have Ivy too. Lux was the front man but Ivy provided that cool rockabilly rhythm that made it groove. The two were a couple for 37 years – they wrote everything together, and were a team. In my book most horror rock boils down to two camps – The Misfits and The Cramps. The Cramps were rockabilly garage punk and influenced a generation of musicians. Ivy’s guitar playing was a huge part of that.
Dinah Cancer (a.k.a. Mary Sims)
So there are a few of my choices to sort of get the ball rolling. There are. Of course, there are many other women out there who have kept that horror banner flying high, so feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions.