Sunday, February 28

Donnie Dunagan and Doc Gangrene


I had the pleasure of meeting Donnie Dunagan a few years ago at the Wonderfest convention in Louisville, KY. This was in 2006, and Donnie had just started doing the convention circuit at that time. Donnie had not made any movies since he was a child actor, and in fact had put that part of his life well behind him until my pal, Tom Weaver, tracked him down for an exclusive and extensive interview for the book “Earth vs. the Sci-fi filmmakers.”  Tom is one of the best writers in the business, bar none, and after talking with Donnie for a while he convinced him there are lots of folks who would be very interested in hearing his stories of his time in Hollywood.

Donnie may have only made a few films, but he got to act with some of the biggest names in the business. He appeared in Son of Frankenstein alongside Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Lionel Atwill. Donnie was born August  16th, 1934, so he would have been 4 or 5 yrs old at this time. SOF was released in Jan. 1939.

He also appeared in Tower of London, which was released in November of 1939. That would put him at age 5, most likely, when that one was shot. He once again got to act in that film with Basil and Boris, as well as the one and only Vincent Price!

In 1942 Donnie appeared as the voice of Bambi, making his biggest role one he was never seen in, only heard.

Tom and Donnie touch on all these and much more in Tom Weaver’s interview. I had the honor of doing a Q&A with Donnie at Wonderfest before a good sized crowd, and let me tell you – he is one entertaining fella! He has some great stories and both he and his wife are two of the nicest folks you’d ever want to meet. I'm goofing around with Donnie in the pic below, checking his blood pressure...which is pretty funny, because Donnie, at age 72 at the time these were taken, looks fitter than me! This guy has taken care of himself - I only hope that I am half this fit when I reach his age!


Ghoultown tribute to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Cowpunk.   Hellbilly.  Psychobilly. Take your pick – but whatever term you use to describe Ghoultown one thing is certain – they will rock your cowboy boots off.


I first got in contact with Count Lyle, lead singer of Ghoultown, through the internet sometime around early 2000. Their video for the song “Killer in Texas” was one of the very first music videos I ever showed on Chiller Cinema.  It is a sepia toned rocker about a crazed Texas serial killer, full of gory imagery and busty babes. Needless to say I loved it and played the hell outta it!




I finally had a chance to finally meet the ghouls of Ghoultown in the flesh this past summer. They came to Nashville for Eric Powell’s Goon show, along with Calabrese and local act The Protomen. I am happy to say that Count Lyle, Ghoulette Sandy, and all the guys from Ghoultown was every bit as friendly in person as he had been over the internet, if not more so. We really clicked and got along as if we’d been friends our entire life. The rest of the band was equally nice, and let me tell you, they put on one heckuva live show!



The band was dressed head to toe in authentic cowboy attire – hats, boots, vests and attitude. They played to a packed house at the Cannery Ballroom, and let me tell you, that place is BIG. The crowd was going crazy and shot after shot of tequila was bought and passed onstage for the band! I don’t know how they could keep track of what they were doing with that much firewater coursing through their system, but it was one of the tightest sets I’ve ever seen. If Ghoultown ever passes through this way again, you can guaran-damn-tee  I’ll be there!

Most recently Ghoultown has put out a CD/DVD combo that’d make any red blooded American male stand at attention and drool in delight. It is called Mistress of the Dark and it’s a tribute project for the one and only hostess with the mostest, Elvira! The guys were invited to write and perform a new theme song for the mistress of the macabre, and shot a music video for the song featuring Elvira, too.

Mistress of the Dark is a limited edition special DVD (only 2000 copies). It features a music video for the song “Elvira” by Ghoultown, a making of the video featurette, a storyboard to video special and an episode of the Har Har show featuring Ghoultown. The Har Har show is a take off on the Hee Haw show-in the music video Ghoultown is performing on the Har har showwhen they play the song, Elvira. They expanded this and included it as an extra on the dvd!


The CD has 6 tracks including 3 mixes of the Mistress of the Dark, a new version of Return of the Living Dead (one of my favorite Ghoultown tunes), and the new songs My Halloween and Drink with the Living Dead. This is definitely one DVD/CD that is well worth picking up, and should be an instant collector’s item, too.
To get yours go to www.ghoultown.com/music.htm and tell em’ Doc Gangrene sent ya!





Saturday, February 27

Sir Cecil Creape Outre Magazine Article

Thinking about Sir Cecil from my earlier post, I thought you guys might enjoy reading an article I wrote about him. This was originally published in Outre Magazine #21.




Sir Cecil Creape
by Larry Underwood
(originally published in Outre Magazine)

Nashville Tennessee is probably best known for country music and line dancing. But here in Music City there is much more to offer than just country music, even some things of interest those of us who thrive on horror and all things creepy (believe it or not there are some things to come out of Nashville that are even more frightening than Marty Stuart!).

During the seventies it seemed every city had its own version of ghoul that would entertain audiences once the sun went down. I'm speaking, of course, of those late night horror hosts, and the host that is perhaps best remembered by the populace of Nashville, TN is Sir Cecil Creape (pronounced Ses-cil Creep). Sir Cecil was played by Russ McCown, a film editor for WSMV, Channel 4 in Nashville. McCown had a long history of camera work and film editing - In fact, he was the person who shot the very first color commercial in Nashville in 1956.

Russ got the name of Sir Cecil from Cecil B. DeMille, the late great actor/director of such movies as "The Ten Commandments." Every Saturday evening at 10:30pm Creature Feature would air, and once more Sir Cecil would descend the stone staircase into his dungeon set to utter the words "Did someone call?" in his unmistakable droll. His show aired from 1970 through 1973 and influenced many a young viewer, including one young spook who is writing this article.

Sir Cecil was quite the character; Russ was a short, round little fellow, bald on top with just a bit of hair on the sides. He wore a dark blue cape with a huge purple collar and a chain mail tunic. He had a hump back and walked in a slow, lurching style, playing up to the physical characteristics of McCown. He had a large scar across his forehead and wore a monocle in one eye. He also wore a set of deformed teeth, a custom made denture set designed by his dentist. He always carried a strange looking lamp in one hand, one that was custom made for him by a friend who worked at Aladdin Industries. It was made from parts salvaged from various Aladdin Lamps. Russ described his character as "a cross between the hunchback of Notre Dame and Oliver Hardy."

The show achieved great popularity in the Nashville area, and many kids would stay up late at night to hear the creepy introduction to Creature Feature... "Each of us carries upon his shoulders this bony sarcophagus, the grinning face of death. Within it resides the human brain, encompassing within its pulsating grey mass the totality of the cosmic consciousness. What a delicate instrument; capable of thoughts of inexpressible beauty, but often enslaved in mindless terrors by monstrous horrors that the mind cannot fathom, and indeed, horrors that may not exist except within the bony confines of the human brain box. This is Creature Feature... exploring the realms of the unknown. And now, from deep within the catacombs beneath our studios, here is your master of terrormonies, Sir Cecil Creape."
What many fans didn't realize, however, is that there was more to that introduction than merely an atmospheric opening speech - it was actually read by none other than Ken Bramming, Nashville's first horror host, Dr. Lucifer. Ken and Russ were good friends, and when Russ started his show he asked Ken to voice the introduction, which he was happy to do. (Ken's voice is still heard on the Nashville airwaves each evening, even though Ken has passed away... He did a series of station IDs for WAMB 1040 am, which are still played late at night.)

The set for the Creature Feature was a dungeon that was supposedly deep beneath the studios of Channel 4. It had rock walls and a large bookshelf, on which rested a few books, a skull, and one very interesting article... a framed picture of Floyd Kephart, political analyst in Nashville during the seventies. For some reason Russ thought it was funny to have a picture of Floyd on the mantle, and would refer to Floyd from time to time with such jokes as "Suffering Kepharts," or "That is almost as frightening as Floyd Kephart." There was always a steady drip, drip, drip sound in the background of his shows.



Brenda Jordan, Programming Director for WSMV, used to be Sir Cecil's secretary and would help answer his fan mail. She recalls "One thing many people don't remember is that many of the scripts were actually written by Pat Sajack." That's right, Pat Sajack, THE Pat Sajack, as in The Wheel of Fortune, dabbled in horror long before he achieved fame as a game show host. He worked at WSMV at the time as a Booth Announcer and part-time weather man. And you thought The Wheel of Fortune was scary!

The show was filmed live and broadcast from a closed set. Sir Cecil would come out, introduce the film, perform little skits and show movies between breaks. The movies he showed were first rate films, such as "The Beast with Five Fingers" and Universal classics. He was a host with a great sense of humor, often laughing aloud at his own jokes in his silly broken laughter "Ah - ah - ah." One thing he always mentioned was his hatred of those cursed commercials, which he would hesitantly cut away for.

In 1973 the show had run it's course, but that was not to be the end of Sir Cecil. The good ghoul of Nashville would go on to host another show at TNN, a cable division of Opryland and Gaylord Entertainment. It was called "The Phantom of the Opry," and that would be the other moniker Sir Cecil would become known as. (His automobile even had a license plate that read "Phantom.") Once again donning the cape, tunic, monocle and teeth, Sir Cecil Creape hosted movies at TNN from September 1983 - 1985.

The intro showed Sir Cecil flinging open the doors of the Grand Ole Opry during a driving rainstorm, walking through the huge auditorium, crawling down a ladder into tunnels below and making his way through them to his set. This time the set was nowhere near as spooky, consisting of stucco walls, a flat wooden table, chandelier and bookcase. He did, however, still have a set of stairs he would enter through. The show was geared for a younger audience, and the scripts weren't nearly as entertaining, having lost the creepy edge of Creature Feature. He once again would break up the movies with skits, and continued his tirades against the advertisements. They filmed thirteen episodes of The Phantom of the Opry, during which Sir Cecil hosted mostly "B" movies such as "Monster Maker" and Roger Corman's "The Little Shop of Horrors."

The show ended in 1985 and Russ settled into semi-retirement. He went on to star in a series of commercials for which he would become almost as well known in the Nashville area as Sir Cecil. The role was Elrod, a country farmer, for the Elrod and Elvira commercials for the Tennessee Department of Tourism. To this day people still remember those commercials. Russ McCown passed away in early 1994, at the age of 65. Sir Cecil Creape and Creature feature will forever be remembered by those of us who watched him as the coolest ghoul in Nashville. I'll sign off as Sir Cecil did each week..."Good night, sleep tight, and don't let the beddie bugs bite."

Larry Underwood, author of this article, is a current horror host in Nashville, TN and the surrounding areas. He plays Dr. Gangrene weekly on Chiller Cinema on Nashville's cable access Channel 19, Fridays at 8pm and Saturdays at 9:30pm. The show airs in Hendersonville, TN Thursdays at 8:30pm. You can check out the Chiller Cinema website at http://chillercinema.tripod.com.

Sir Cecil Creape


Nashville's best known horror host is Sir Cecil Creape, played by the late great Russ McCown. His original show ran on WSM-TV ch4 from 1970-73. This was back in the days where we only had 4 channels here. His show ran Saturday nights at 10:30pm

I unearthed a classic clip of Sir Cecil and posted it on youtube recently - it is from his 1971 Christmas special and features a quartet of disenbodied heads singing that old Transylvanian classic, "I'm dreaming of a cold body." Classic stuff!


Thursday, February 25

Kick ass comic cover of the day

They Just don't make em' like this anymore...
This is from Ace Comics, 1946.

This comic is on auction right now at Heritage Auctions - current bid - $1000. Who'd have thought this "trash" would ever be worth so much? Bet there are tons of adults out there right now who are wishing they still had those books mom tossed out...


 

Naschy-cast

My good friends Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn have started a podcast that is dedicated completely to Paul Naschy and his catalog of films. They'll be going through them one by one, taking an in-depth look at the movies and the impact they had on each of them. Pretty cool.
You can download it here

I was just listening to the first podcast for the movie Frankenstein's Bloody Terror - while I was listening I was going through some old zip discs I have and lo and behold, what did I run across but a drive-in ad for that very film! Back in the early 200s I was going through the microfilm over at Vanderbilt University, researching articles on Sir Cecil Creape. While rolling through the microfilm, if I ran across a cool looking drive-in ad, I'd print a copy.

One of the ones I found and liked was that one, at the Bordeaux drive-in, a double feature of it and 5 Bloody Graves, whatever in the heck that is! Here's a few of the ones I ran across and saved. Cool stuff!



Wednesday, February 24

They did the Mash...

Back in 1998 I did a series of one panel cartoons that were all monster and horror parodies, kind of a spooky Far Side. I'm glad I added the date on these because it sure doesn't seem like 12 years ago when I did these. Thought I'd put a couple on here, and from time to time I'll add some more. This was a year before I started horror hosting, but I obviously had horror on the mind. I also  let Count Gore run most of these on his weekly web program, too, in the early 2000s.






Tuesday, February 23

Hellbilly Deluxe 2 Review



I finally got my hands on the new Rob Zombie CD. I’ve been looking forward to hearing this one since I saw Rob play live a few months back in Louisville, KY on a mini-tour in support for the upcoming album. They played a couple of the new songs, which went over really well live, so I was looking forward to hearing the rest of the CD.

It’s called Hellbilly Deluxe 2 and was released Feb 2nd 2010. This is a follow-up CD to Rob’s first solo effort, Hellbilly Deluxe, released in 1998. I got my copy from a Barnes and Nobles at a local mall for right around 10 bucks. Not bad at all.

Hellbilly Deluxe was a breakout album for Rob. He had outgrown White Zombie and was ready to branch out on his own. The songs on that one are classics he’ll be playing for years… Superbeast, Living Dead Girl, Dragula, Demonoid Phenomenon,Spookshow Baby - Great stuff that really brought horror movies and comic book subculture to the mainstream public in a way that hadn’t been done since Alice Cooper’s heyday. There are a ton of other bands out there flying the horror banner high, don’t get me wrong, but none that have that massive fan base and a major label behind them, and certainly none getting mainstream airplay like Rob does.

On both Hellbilly Deluxe and the 2001 follow-up, The Sinister Urge, Rob is drawing deeply from that horror well. Like a rock and roll shaman or a musical version of a classic horror host, Rob guides his listeners through song after song of monsters, B-movies, sex and gore. Which is kind of a fitting description, actually, as Rob has even done some horror hosting in his time, hosting a series of movies for none other than AMC TV.

But on the album Educated Horses from 2006, Rob seemed to step away from this shock rock horror host persona a bit. The album seemed a bit more subdued and in fact Rob doesn’t even appear in trademark costume or makeup on that cover. It is more of a rock album and less of the techno-industrial metal sound from the previous two CDs. Perhaps he was going for a more adult sound, or just channeling whatever influences he had going on at that time. But either way, it was a bit disappointing of an effort for me.

But I’m happy to report that on the new CD, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, Rob is back in the horror swing full force. There are 11 tracks on this one, and once again Rob has fully embraced that horror persona that made him so successful. This is Rob Zombie the entertainer, the monster, the horror host.

The full title of the CD is: Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool - which is a fitting title as it summarizes the horror movie and pop-culture influence on this disc. Rob Zombie makes horror cool. Wrapped in danceable techno-tinged head boppin’ riffs, Rob’s music runs the gamut of nerdsville and tells us this is what’s cool, not your plastic, popular, pretty-people but your dirty, grimy, blood spattered b-movies. The songs on this disc cruise through topics as diverse as lyncathropy, witchcraft, slasher films and even a tribute to Lon Chaney Sr.
Werewolf Women of the SS is my favorite track off this disc and I swear it sounds just like it could have come off of those first two CDs. This song is titled after the fake movie trailer Rob did for Quentin Tarintino’s Grindhouse film. Man, I wish Rob would make this movie. What a great exploitation flick this would be. Sexy women, evil Nazis, shape shifting werewolves – man that’s right up Rob’s alley, I’d think. Rob, man, you really should consider making this movie!

While Hellbilly Deluxe 2 may not be as strong of an album as either the original Hellbilly Deluxe or The Sinister Urge, it is nonetheless refreshing to see Rob return to his horror roots. Definitely a worthy addition to the Zombie catalog, and let me tell you – if Rob comes to your town live you should do yourself a favor and go see them. The band has kept the same 4 members over the past few releases and it shows. They are super tight live and John Five is a kick-ass guitarist. Their stage show is a visual assault of flashing lights, horror movie imagery, cartoons and sexy women. If this is juvenile fare then I don’t wanna grow up!

Hellbilly Deluxe 2 track listing:
01. Jesus Frankenstein
02. Sick Bubble-Gun
03. What?
04. Mars Needs Women
05. Werewolf, Baby
06. Virgin Witch
07. Dream Factory
08. Burn
09. Cease to Exist
10. Werewolf Women of the SS
11. The Man Who Laughs

Monday, February 22

Recommended Movie of the Week – a Trick or Treat Treatise, 1986

I am such a sucker for hair bands. I know I’m dating myself here (wait, that doesn’t quite sound right…) but back in the day I was a heavy metal fanatic. If a metal band was rockin’ in the early to mid-80s, odds are I was a fan. This was back when I had hair myself, and could head-bang with the best of em’… And today’s recommended movie of the week was a true 80’s child.


Trick or Treat was made in 1986, not to be confused with the instant cult-classic “Trick r’ treat” from 2009. It was directed by Charles Martin Smith, who was known at that time primarily as an actor. Matter of fact, this was his first directing job. He is much better known for his acting roles, having appeared in such classics as American Graffiti, the Untouchables, and Trick or Treat. That’s right, good ole Charles makes an appearance in his own movie as Principal Wimbley, who gets killed by a blast of electricity from reanimated rocker Sammi Curr’s guitar. Death by rock n’ roll! If I’d have directed this movie I would have had myself killed by Sammi too –how cool is that? Don’t know how the decision was made to let Charles direct, as he’d never done so before, but he does a fine job here. Charles would later go on to direct the kid’s movie Air Bud.


Trick or Treat stars Marc Price (Skippy from the TV show Family Ties) as high school nerd and heavy metal fan Eddie “Ragman” Weinbauer. Eddie is a huge fan of all things metal, (like most good old fashioned American males in the 80s), especially rock n’ roller extraordinaire Sammi Curr. But just as Eddie is putting the finishing touches on a fan letter to Sammi he hears some devastating news on the television – Sammi Curr was caught in a mysterious hotel fire and pronounced dead.


The part of Sammi Curr is played by Toni Fields, a former solid gold dancer. You’d think they’d have cast someone in the lead villain role who had tons of acting experience, but Toni’s only previous experience was as a dancer in Thriller, A Chorus Line, and Captain EO. All that dancing experience gave him good rhythm, which must have come in real handy during the famous leg-slappin’ scene. Watch the movie and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The harder Sammi slaps that leg, the harder he’s about to bring the rock!

Eddie takes the death of his idol extremely hard. Let me take a second to digress here. This reminds me of when I was in college and Cliff Burton, the bass player of Metallica, died. I had a friend who was a HUGE Metallica fan. She listened to them religiously, and I remember the day Cliff died she got so pissed at me because I laughed at the fact she was wearing all black. I was as big a fan as the next guy of most metal bands, but mourning the death of someone you don’t even know by wearing all black for a week really hit me the wrong way. She wouldn’t talk to me for weeks. This movie, ridiculous as it is in many ways, definitely rang true there. But back to the movie…


Eddie mopes around school and town and eventually pays a visit to his friend Nuke, a local deejay. Nuke is played by none other than Gene Simmons of KISS fame. This is one of two famous rockers who play small parts in this movie. We’ll get to the other in a bit. Turns out Nuke knew Sammi Curr personally, and in fact has the only existing copy of an unreleased Sammi Curr record (convenient!). He gives it to Eddie to cheer him up.

Eddie takes the record - vinyl here folks, none of that CD crap, we’re talkin’ good old fashioned 12” vinyl – home and falls asleep listening to it. It conjures strange visions of Sammi in the fire that killed him. Turns out Sammi was dabblin’ in witchcraft and worshiping the devil. Eddie awakes and gets the idea to try playing the record backward and see if there are any hidden messages.


Ahh, and here you have it – backmasking! Love it! One of the truly bizarre and ridiculous 80’s themes of all times. All those anti-metal folks swore up and down that Satan was trying to steal the minds and souls (and money) of our children by putting backwards messages into records. Haha!! I still get a laugh thinking about that. The whole anti-metal crusade was an amazing phenomenon. Churches and mothers and politicians up in arms - Reminds me of the anti-comics crusade of the 50s… and this one also wound up going before congress, too. You had Frederick Wertham and his cronies leading the anti- comic book fight in the fifties, and the PMRC (Parent Music Resource Group) leading the anti-rock music campaign in the 80s. Wertham single-handedly destroyed EC comics and the horror-comics field, and the PMRC tried to do the same thing to heavy metal music… Funny thing is all they had to do was wait and it would have toppled under the weight of its own hairspray! Everything old is new again and vica-versa, you know.


Head hypocrite Tipper Gore tried to convince congress to step in and tell us what is best for us in true Orwellian fashion. While I agree that giving parents more information to make informed choices ON THEIR OWN about what is right and wrong for THEIR children, to raise them the way THEY want to, is a good thing; the way the PMRC went about it was all wrong. They attacked the music industry in a slanderous campaign, condemning them as corrupt and evil. They showed album covers and played music before congress that they personally found offensive. And that was the catch here – THEY found it offensive, so therefore they had to be offensive. It was insanity - you had card-carrying members of the Democratic Party working hand in hand with religious right-wing zealots… what’s wrong with this picture?


Obviously congress had nothing more important to do on the tax payers’ dime than listen to this bunch of judgmental bitches. Worst of all was the fact that three of the PMRC’ers had husbands WHO WERE SENATORS, the very folks they were asking to pass laws on this. Talk about a conflict of interest! That very point was raised by none other than Frank Zappa when he testified before congress in defense of this “heinous” music and the right of free speech. And that’s what all this really came down to, an attack on the first amendment.

I still get worked up thinking about this topic, twenty-five years later. Really pissed me off good. Matter of fact, one of the reasons I will never vote for Al Gore EVER for anything, besides the fact he’s a boring blowhard liar, is his wife. Ever see the South Park takeoffs on Gore? – hilarious! “I’m super-serial.”

I guarantee I’m not the only one who feels this way – Gore couldn’t even win his own “home” state when he ran for President. People here in Tennessee know better. And I put home in quotation marks because while they claim to be Tennesseans, living in Carthage TN, I don’t claim them, and I was born and raised here. They have a home in Tennessee, true, and it’s in Carthage. Big deal. When you drive into Carthage there is a sign that reads “Home of Al Gore,” and I always make sure to flip it the bird as I drive by. Besides, they spend so much time in Washington they’re Washingtonians far as I’m concerned.

Back to the PMRC for a second before I get back to today’s topic - One of the album covers the PMRC found most offensive and showed on Capitol Hill was by a group called Impaler. The ladies were all worked up about the album cover for their LP “Rise of the Mutants.” They showed pictures of the cover and talked about how awful it was… This was, honestly, probably the best thing that ever happened to Impaler. Gave them instant notoriety and placed them on the screen in Congress right beside Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, and Twisted Sister, (and gave them some great bragging rights). Not to mention increased sales! For a group of shock rockers having your album condemned by a group of uptight middle aged sexually repressed white women is a pretty good thing, I’d say.


I’m proud to admit I was in part responsible for bringing Impaler to Nashville last summer. Bill Lindsey, lead singer for the band, called me and asked if I’d help find a venue for them to play in Nashville. We’d been corresponding for a number of years, and I was happy to do so, and in fact helped find them a place to play here again next month. On Saturday March 27th at The Basement in Nashville my band, Spookhand, will be opening for Impaler, along with local rockers The Creeping Cruds, and flipping a spooky middle finger toward the PMRC in the process!

 There is a Trick or Treat tie-in here – bet you thought I’d forgotten all about our rock n’ roll masterpiece here, didn’t you? Eddie is, at one point, flipping through his record collection and what do we see but lo and behold… Impaler, Rise of the Mutants! Woo hoo! Score another one for the rockers!

This movie was made in 1986, just one year after that congressional sham of a hearing on rock music. In fact, it is almost as-if the producers really wanted to piss off the PMRC. They put that Impaler record cover in there along with a number of albums from PMRC un-approved bands including Megadeth, Exciter, and Savatage. Eddie’s room is littered with posters of offenders of the PMRC. The lead role of Sammi Curr was originally intended to be played by Blackie Lawless of the band W.A.S.P., one of the main offenders in Tipper’s anti-metal campaign. If the producer’s didn’t completely plan this to piss on Tipper’s parade they at least had it in the forefront of their minds.

I also get a huge kick out of the fact that Gene Simmons’ character is the one who gives the uber-rare Curr record to Eddie, because in a symbolic fashion that makes Kiss responsible for bringing Sammi back from the dead and starting all the trouble. You know that to this day there are still folks who swear that KISS stands for Knights in Satan’s service? Unbelievable.

 I mentioned a second famous rocker who has a bit part in this movie. It is none other than Ozzy Osbourne, of Black Sabbath fame. Man what a coup the producers of this movie scored on these castings. They had to be laughing all the way to the theater at Ozzy’s role, too. They cast the Oz man as an evangelical preacher railing about the evils of Rock and Roll! Hilarious! Ozzy plays it straight, too, even reading lyrics on television PMRC-style at one point. Sammi Curr takes care of him, however, as he no doubt would have handled Tipper, sucking the lifeforce out of Ozzy through the very television screen he’s using to attack the music.

But this all happens later. For now, Sammi is feeding messages to Eddie on how to get even with the bullies that are making his life at Lakeridge High School miserable. Chief among the bullies is actor Doug Savant, who is best known nowadays as an actor on Desperate Housewives. I have never seen an episode of that show, proudly, so I’ll just have to take the word of IMDB on that one!

Sammi starts growing more and more powerful. One evening while listening to the record Eddie accidentally spills Pepsi on the the record player, causing a backlash of electricity and allowing Sammi to spring to life! Yes!! Soda and rock n’ roll, two evils out to spoil our children’s souls and gums, working together as one to resurrect the dead! Just think how powerful he’d have been if Eddie was drinking Coke! As long as it wasn’t New Coke, that stuff sucked. This is when Sammi reaches through the TV set and sucks Ozzy’s ass into oblivion.


Man this movie must have been a blast to make. Seems everyone wanted to get killed by Sammi. Kevin Yagher did the special effects work on this movie. Kevin would go one to make quite an impact in the horror field. He worked on such genre films as Nightmare on Elm Street 2, 3 & 4 (Freddy’s makeup), Child’s Play 1, 2 & 3 & Bride of Chucky (created animatronic Chucky & Tiffany and makeup effects), Sleepy Hollow, 976-evil, and much more. Kevin also did a little acting in this film, playing the lead guitarist/singer for the band at the Halloween dance late in the film. He dies horribly at the hand of Sammi Curr – I said hand, singular, because Sammi reaches through the speaker on stage and grabs Kevin by the head, causing it to explode! Oh, now I get it, THAT’S what the PMRC was warning us about! This scene would later be copied in another heavy metal horror film, Black Roses. I’ll have to review that one another day.

Another interesting tidbit – Eddie’s best friend, Roger is played by Glen Morgan. This is actually Glen’s only acting credit. He would go on, however, to a successful Hollywood career as a writer, director, and producer. Among his credits is the wonderful 2003 Willard remake (screenplay/director), the 2006 Black Christmas remake (screenplay/director), Final Destination (screenplay/producer), and many more.

Eddie is really deep down a good guy, and can’t take the increasingly evil actions of Sammi. When the bodies start to pile he refuses to go along with Sammi’s plans and this pisses his idol off good and leads to a showdown between the two to save the town and the day.

This film is a nostalgic trip back to the 1980s. The music is all done by the band Fastway, lead by “Fast” Eddie Clark, former Motorhead guitarist. Man I used to dig that band. I gotta dig up a copy of the soundtrack for Trick or Treat. It is a very fun film, but not a really good movie. Yeah, that’s right, I said it. This movie isn’t great. But it IS enjoyable in that bad movie kind of way. Watch it for the cameos, watch it for the nostalgia, watch it for the fashion, the music, the unintentional hilariousness... Trick or Treat is a true cult classic and my choice for Recommended Movie of the Week.

Sunday, February 21

2009 Rondo Awards!!

The official ballot for this year's Rondo Awards have been released - let the voting begin! Congrats to everyone nominated, and here's to another year of Gods and Monsters!







OFFICIAL BALLOT FOR EIGHTH ANNUAL RONDO AWARDS



Here is the official ballot for the EIGHTH Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror awards, recognizing the best in monster research, creativity and genre appreciation. These awards are by fans, for fans. Every Rondo nominee below is being recognized for a significant achievement in the genre during the year of 2009. So take a look at the ballot and please let the nominees know how much we appreciate their work by voting.

HOW TO VOTE:

-- All voting is by e-mail only. Simply copy this ballot and send an e-mail with your picks to David Colton at taraco@aol.com by midnight, April 3, 2010.

-- Winners will be announced the following night at rondoaward.com

THE RULES:
-- One vote for person, please.
Every e-mail must include your name to be counted.
All votes are kept strictly confidential. No e-mail addresses or any personal information will ever be shared with anyone.
-- Important: Organized voting campaigns (duplicated ballots, mass mailing efforts), are prohibited and can result in disqualification. Let's keep this a fun vote of monster fans.

-- You do not have to vote in every category.
-- Many winners will receive Rondo statuettes, sculpted by Kerry Gammill (monsterkid.com), and cast by Tim Lindsey (tmlindsey.com).

AGAIN HERE'S HOW TO VOTE: E-mail your selections from the ballot (cut-and-pasting the whole thing works fine), or you can type them into a separate e-mail, below to David Colton at taraco@aol.com.
And please remember to include your name so your vote can be counted.

Thanx again to the thousands who have voted every year. We look forward to hearing from you again. And now the ballot. Thanks everyone!


THE EIGHTH ANNUAL RONDO HATTON CLASSIC HORROR NOMINEES

This year's awards are dedicated to the memories of Jim Harmon, Michael Thomas and Paul Naschy



1. BEST MOVIE OF 2009

-- AVATAR
-- CORALINE
-- DISTRICT 9
-- DRAG ME TO HELL
-- HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
-- I SELL THE DEAD
-- THE LOVELY BONES
-- MONSTERS VS. ALIENS
-- MOON
-- MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D
-- THE ORPHAN
-- PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
-- SHERLOCK HOLMES
-- STAR TREK
-- TERMINATOR: SALVATION
-- TRICK 'R TREAT
-- TWILIGHT NEW MOON
-- WATCHMEN
-- ZOMBIELAND


2. BEST TV PRESENTATION OF 2009
-- BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, 'Daybreak Part 2 (3),' SyFy, 3.20.09. Loss, death and new hope in series finale. 'We all make our choices. Today, I made a choice. I think it's my last one.'
-- DOCTOR WHO, 'The End of Time,' Parts 1 and 2), SyFy, 12.25.09-1.1.10. Farewell to the Tenth Doctor. 'If the time lock's broken then everything's coming through. Not just the Daleks.'
-- FLASH FORWARD, 'No More Good Days,' ABC, 9.24.09. For two minutes and seventeen seconds, the whole world blacks out and sees their future.
'You're worried your future's gonna come true. I'm worried mine won't.'
-- FRINGE, 'There's More Than One of Everything,' FOX, 5.12.09. World Trade Center is intact in Season One cliffhanger.  'Unfortunately, the question is what can't he do?'

-- LOST, 'This Place Is Death,' ABC, 2.11.09. Violent shifts in time take toll on the Oceanic Six.
"You asked me how to save the island and I told you, you had to move it. I said that you had to move it, John.'

-- THE MEDIUM, 'Bite Me,' CBS, 10.30.09. Allison's nightmares throw her into scenes from 'Night of the Living Dead.' Elvira guest stars. 'I'm not sure I like what this black-and-white is doing to my skin.
'

-- SUPERNATURAL, 'The End,' The CW, 10.1.09. Lucifer reveals the future is a wasteland populated by zombies, 'You ever hear the story of how I fell from grace?'

-- TORCHWOOD, 'Children of Earth,' SyFy, 7.10.09.  Reunions and sacrifice mark the final Sanction.  'I wanted to know about that Doctor of his. The one who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. except sometimes he doesn't.'

-- TRUE BLOOD, 'I Will Rise Up,' HBO, 8.16.09. The eldest of the vampires, Godric, sacrifices himself to the sun.  'We may be immortal, but you are dead to me.'

-- V, 'Pilot,' ABC, 11.3.09. UFOs arrive over major cities. The Visitors have arrived. 'Just be sure not to ask anything that would paint us in a negative light.'

-- Or write in another choice:

3. BEST CLASSIC DVD

-- AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON: FULL MOON EDITION
-- BUCK ROGERS (serial)
-- FAUST (1926 Kino)
-- FIVE (Arch Obeler)
-- MAD MONSTER PARTY: SPECIAL EDITION
-- NIGHTMARE CASTLE (1965)
-- NIGHT OF THE CREEPS: DIRECTOR'S CUT
-- PHANTASM II
-- Or write in another choice:
4. BEST CLASSIC DVD COLLECTION-- HELLRAISER BOX SET (first two films, and Blu-Ray)
-- ICONS OF SCI FI: TOHO COLLECTION: Battle in Outer Space, Mothra, H-Man
-- KARLOFF/LUGOSI HORROR CLASSICS: The Walking Dead, You'll Find Out, Zombies on Broadway, Frankenstein 1970

-- UNIVERSAL CULT HORROR COLLECTION: Murders in Zoo, Mad Doctor of Market Street, Strange Case of Dr. RX, Mad Ghoul, House of Horrors.
-- WILLIAM CASTLE COLLECTION,
Tingler, 13 Ghosts, Homicidal, Mr. Sardonicus, Zotz!, Old Dark House, Strait-Jacket, 13 Frightened Girls.
-- Or write in another choice:

5. BEST CLASSIC TV ON DVD

-- ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (Season Four)
-- BBC SHERLOCK HOLMES (Peter Cushing)

-- DARK SHADOWS: THE VAMPIRE CURSE: Barnabas' origin condensed to three hours.
-- DEAD OF NIGHT (1977 Dan Curtis TV trilogy)
-- ONE STEP BEYOND (Season One)-- TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE (Seasons 1 and 2)
-- TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION (1966 British series)
-- Or write in another choice:

6. BEST RESTORATION (or video upgrade)

-- BUCK ROGERS (serial): All 12 episodes clear and clean.
-- FAUST (1926); Intensive Murnau Foundation restoration with original hand-painted intertitles.
-- FIVE (1951): Sony restoration is best film has looked.
-- MESSIAH OF EVIL: THE SECOND COMING (1973). Restored, Techniscope transfer..
-- NIGHTMARE CASTLE (1965). Pristine print, uncensored.

-- OLD DARK HOUSE (1963). Color replaces B/W TV print.
-- ONE STEP BEYOND (Official First Season): Great transfers; pilot episode extended.
-- REPULSION (Criterion). Correct aspect ration.
-- RITUALS (1977). Presented uncut.
-- THE SHE-BEAST 1966) Widescreen Chromovision.
-- Or write in another choice:


7. BEST DVD EXTRA

-- AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON: 'Beware the Moon,' documentary.
-- BUCK ROGERS (serial): 'Buster Crabbe: All-American hero,' 1972 autobiographical talk.
-- DEAD OF NIGHT (1977):  Includes unaired pilot episode.
-- FAUST (1926): 'Language of Shadows' documentary.
-- HELLHOUND: HELLRAISER II: 'The Soul Patrol,' interviews with Cenobites.

-- KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS: William Shatner interview.
-- MAD MONSTER PARTY: SPECIAL EDITION: 'Making of a Cult Classic,' documentary.
-- MESSIAH OF EVIL: THE SECOND COMING: documentary.
-- MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 VOL. XVI: 'Santa Claus Conquers the Devil: A 50 Year Retrospective,' documentary.
-- WILLIAM CASTLE COLLECTION:  'Spine-Tingler,' documentary on master of shock.
-- Or write in another choice:

8. BEST DVD COMMENTARY

-- Fred Dekker, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS
-- Barbara Steele, Ian Ogilvy, THE SHE-BEAST
-- Gregory Mank, THE WALKING DEAD
-- Steve Ryfle, Ed
Godziszewski, MOTHRA (Toho collection)
-- Tom Weaver, Bob Burns, Charlotte Austin, FRANKENSTEIN 1970
-- Jim and Ken Wheat, Rebecca Balding, THE SILENT SCREAM
-- Or write in another choice:

9. BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION (Film, documentary or short)

-- AMERICAN SCARY, finally on DVD, John Hudgens and Sandy Clark highlight dozens of horror hosts old and new.
-- AUTOPSY OF THE DEAD, Night of the Living Dead retrospective, directed by Jeff Carney.
-- BOB BURNS' HALLOWEEN SHOWS (streaming video documentary)
-- DARK DREAMERS collection. Four discs of Stanley Wiater's interviews with genre writers and creators.
-- EVERY OTHER DAY IS HALLOWEEN, a Curtis Prather documentary tracing the monstrous career of Dick Dyszel.
-- FAMOUS MONSTER, updated for DVD, a look back at Forrest J Ackerman.
-- FANEX FILES: HAMMER FILMS: Interviews with Lee, Pitt, Sangster, others.

-- THE GUARDIAN (short), directed by Andrea Ricca (Skeleton confronts a motorist)
-- HOUSE OF THE WOLFMAN, Eban McGee enlists Ron Chaney in homage to the original.
-- THE INSTITUTE OF SEANCE (short), directed by Kevin Corcoran. (Invokes murder mysteries of the 30s)
-- LOVECRAFT: FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN, directed by Frank H. Campbell. His influence through the decades.
-- NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD -- REANIMATED, directed by Mike Schneider. (Original soundtrack over new animation and stop-motion)
-- NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, Mark Hartley's exploration of Australian cult cinema.
-- ORLOK THE VAMPIRE IN 3D, directed by Keith Carter. The original Nosferatu tweaked and rendered in threee dimensions.
-- TERROR FROM BENEATH THE EARTH, directed by Christopher R. Mihm. A Monster Kid homage to 50s sci-fi.
-- VIRGINIA CREEPER, Sean Kotz' documentary about Virginia horror hosts, from Dr. Madblood to Sir Graves Ghastly.

-- Or write in another choice:


10. BEST BOOK OF 2009
-- AMONG THE RUGGED PEAKS: An Intimate Biography of Carla Laemmle, by Rick Atkins. Last surviving member of 'Phantom of the Opera' and  'Dracula' cast.

-- BELA LUGOSI AND THE HOUSE OF DOOM, by Dwight Kemper. Another comedy thriller starring our favorite horror stars.

-- BELA LUGOSI AND BORIS KARLOFF: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, by Gregory William Mank. Almost 700 pages examining the myths and realities of the Karloff-Lugosi rivalry.

-- COMEDY-HORROR FILMS: A Chronological History 1914-2008, by Bruce Hallenbeck. From silents to Bud and Lou and Scary Movie.

-- EDISON'S FRANKENSTEIN, by Frederick C. Wiebel Jr. Everything about the making of the 1910 silent (E-book with DVD).

--
GRAND DAME GUIGNOL CINEMA: A History of Hag Horror from 'Baby Jane' to 'Mother,' by Peter Shelley. How mother complexes, and aging actresses, found work.
-- THE HORROR FILM QUIZ BOOK: 1,000 Questions on Spine-Tingling Films, by Chris Cowlin and Mark Goddard. Sure to settle, or start, tavern brawls.

-- KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES, American Science Fiction Movies of the 1950s, The 21st Century Edition, by Bill Warren. More than 1,000 pages in this expanded and greatly revised edition of the classic film-by-film analysis.

-- THE MAN WHO COLLECTED PSYCHOS: Critical essays on Robert Bloch, edited by Benjamin Szumskyj . Twelve looks at a master of suspense fiction.

-- THE MONSTER MOVIE FAN'S GUIDE TO JAPAN, by Armand Vaquer. From destroyed bridges to shattered temples, retrace the real footprints of Godzilla, Rodan and more.

-- MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN,
The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda, by Peter H. Brothers.  Examining the visionary behind 80 films and the origins of Japan's greatest monsters.

--
PREHISTORIC MONSTERS: The Real and Imagined
Creatures that We Love to Fear
, by Allan A. Debus.  The truth and fancy about movie monsters through the ages.
-- ROMANCING THE VAMPIRE: From Past to Present, by David J. Skal.  A lush 'collector's vault' of research and reproductions covering the entire history, books and films of the undead.

-- SHADOWS OVER FLORIDA, by Dave Goudsward. A tour of the Sunshine State's spookiest locations.

-- THE TELEVISION HORRORS OF DAN CURTIS, by Jeff Thompson. A look at the force behind Dark Shadows, Night Stalker and TV's horror adaptations.

-- THE TWILIGHT AND OTHER ZONES: The Dark Worlds of Richard Matheson, edited by Stanley Wiater, Matthew Bradley and Paul Stuve.  Interviews, essays and letters serve as a tribute to a genre grand master.

-- UNIVERSAL STUDIOS MONSTERS: A Legacy of Horror, by Michael Mallory. An oversized and lushly illustrated history of the films that started it all.


-- Or write in another choice:

11. BEST MAGAZINE OF 2009

-- Filmfax
-- G-Fan
-- HorrorHound
-- Little Shoppe of Horrors
-- Mad Scientist
-- Monster Bash
-- Monsters from the Vault
-- Phantom of the Movies' VideoScope
-- Rue Morgue
-- Scarlet
-- Scary Monsters
-- Screem
-- Van Helsing's Journal
-- Video Watchdog
-- Or write in another choice:

12. BEST MAGAZINE ARTICLE OF 2009 (PLEASE PICK TWO)

-- 'All Miller, No Filler: An Interview with Dick Miller,' by Anthony Petkovich, FILMFAX #121. After all these years, the B-movie favorite has plenty more to say.

-- 'The Bad Moon Rises Again,' by Jason Lapeyre and Jovanka Vuckovic (with Brice McVicar). RUE MORGUE #93. A retrospective on the making and influence of An American Werewolf in London.

-- 'Boris Karloff at Warner Brothers, 1935-1939,' by Greg Mank, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #26. Behind the scenes at The Walking Dead and Karloff's four other WB films.

-- 'Cult Classic Commander,' by Brett Homenick, G-FAN #86. Interview with Robert Horton about his career and The Green Slime.

-- 'Dee Wallace: Hills, Howling and Beyond!' by Rob Freese, VIDEOSCOPE #69. Interview with the genre star of E.T. Cujo and The Howling.

-- 'Down the Block from Bergman: The Last House on the Left and Beyond,' by Eric Somer, VIDEO WATCHDOG #151. Connecting the cinematic dots from art house to slaughter house.

-- 'Eerie Eyre: War Eagles Beyond the Test Reel,' by Allan A. Debus, MAD SCIENTIST #20. Everything known about Willis O'Brien's unfilmed epic.

-- 'Four Remember Five,' by Tom Weaver, SCREEM #18. Interviews compiled over 60 years, some for the first time, describe the filming of the 50s A-bomb classic.

--
'Godzilla, My Old Friend: Akira Takarada Talks about His Career, His Co-Stars', by Yutaka Ichimura (totorom), G-FAN #87. Interview with star of the original Gojira.

-- 'How I Met the Man Behind Famous Monsters of Filmland,' by Daniel Kirk, SCARY MONSTERS #70. Remembering the day Forrest J Ackerman's cross-country tour in 1963 stopped at his house in Columbus, Ohio.

-- 'King Kong's Lost Nightmare: Mystery of the Lost Spider Sequence, Part 3,' by Gary Vehar, FILMFAX #120. Facts and remembrances try to track down the truth behind stop-motion's biggest mystery.

-- 'Let the Twilight In,' by Stephen R. Bissette, VIDEO WATCHDOG #150. A sympathetic exploration of the newest wave of vampire romance and shock.

-- 'Linda Miller,' by Max Cheney, SCARLET #3. A tribute to the late fan artist, richly illustrated.

-- 'A Look Inside of Bela Lugosi's Personal Scrapbook,' by Dennis L. Phelps. SCARY MONSTERS #69. Lugosi's show business past, carefully preserved by the actor himself.
-- 'The Making of Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile,' by Bruce Hollenbeck, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #23. A look at Hammer's audacious B-movies from the summer of 1965.

-- 'The Many Faces of Carmilla,' by John Paul Checkett, VAN HELSING'S JOURNAL #10. Exploring the literary and film versions of one of the first vampire tales.

--
'The Most Famous Monster of Them All: A Personal Remembrance of Forrest
J Ackerman,' by Steve Vertlieb, THUNDER CHILD Website.

-- 'Mr. Rains Goes to Burbank,' by David J. Skal and Jessica Rains. SCARLET #3. A look at Claude Rains triumphs and battles in Hollywood in the 30s.

-- 'Mystery and Imagination,' by Kim Newman. VIDEO WATCHDOG #151. Revelations from the obscure British TV series that adapted 'Frankenstein,' 'Dracula,' 'The Suicide Club' and other gothic classics.

-- 'One Browning, Two Helens and a Host of Fakes: Narrative and Cinematic Trickery in The Thirteenth Chair,' by Gary D. Rhodes, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #26. Exhaustive study of the director's use of sound, editing and, two years before Dracula, Lugosi.

-- 'Peter Lorre: The Lost One Is Found,' by Herbert Shadrack, CINEMA RETRO website. An interview with Stephen Youngkin, author of Lorre biography.

-- 'Scare News,' by John Skerchock, SCARY MONSTERS and MONSTER MEMORIES.  Fandom's insider column, appearing regularly.

-- 'Tales from the Crypt: A Horrorhound Retrospective,' by Nathan Hanneman, HORRORHOUND #18. From comic to movie to TV, 20 years of the Cryptkeeper.

-- 'A Tribute to Oliver Reed,' by Tom Triman, SCARY MONSTERS #72. Complete career retrospective of Hammer's werewolf.

-- 'Universal-International's The Strange Door, Part One,' by Tom Weaver and Steve Kronenberg, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #26. Inside the over-the-top Karloff-Laughton production of 1951.

-- 'Vampires, Zombies and Sorcerers,' by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn,
MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #26. Examining their picks for the best Hammer horrors of the 1960s.

-- 'A Very Careful Hatred,' by John W. Bowen, Dave Alexander and staff, RUE MORGUE #96. The making, loss and rediscovery of the 1977 film, 'Rituals.'

-- 'Video Invasion: Remembering the VHS Boom,' Parts 4-9, by Matt Moore, HORRORHOUND #15-20. The definitive history of the please-rewind gore days of VHS in the 1980s.

-- 'Weird Scenes Inside the Fun House: The Making of Malatesta's Carnival of Blood,' by Shaun Brady. VIDEO WATCHDOG #153. Resurrecting the bizarre ghoulfest filmed in Pennsylvania 40 years ago.

-- Or write in another choice:
Remember, please pick TWO articles from the list above. One will win.


 


13. BEST MAGAZINE COVER


FILMFAX #120
By Vincent DiFate




G-FAN #89
By Lee Munday



HORROR HOUND #20
By Nathan, Thomas Milliner


LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #22
By Mark Maddox



LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #23
By Bruce Timm


MAD SCIENTIST #20
By Pete Sholley



MONSTER BASH #9
By Lorraine Bush


MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #26
By Daniel Horne


MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT: SPECIAL EDITION #1
By Kerry Gammill and Joe 'Sorko' Schovitz

RUE MORGUE #90
By Gary Pullin

 

SCARLET #4
By
Michael Wilks



SCARY MONSTERS #72
By Terry Beatty



 
SCREEM #18
By Bill Chancellor



VIDEOSCOPE #68
By Kevin Hein


VIDEO WATCHDOG #147
By Charles Largent
-- Or write in another choice:
 
14. BEST WEBSITE OF 2009 (Online magazine, message board or tribute site)
(Classic Horror Film Board, sponsor of the Rondos, is not eligible)

-- Atomicmonsters.com (Fun look at 50s scifi)
-- Chiller Cinema (Dr. Gangfrene's website of horrors)
-- Cinema Retro (online genre magazine)
-- Classic-horror.com (Dedicated to the history of classic horror)
-- Creature Feature (Count Gore DeVol's weekly multimedia monsters)
-- Creepy Classics (Monster Bash and latest product news)

-- Dread Central (all things classic and modern)
-- Eccentric-cinema (One of earliest cult sites)
-- E-gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts (amazing)
-- Famous Monsters of Filmland (latest version, under new management)

-- FearZone.com (modern horror)
-- Film Noir Foundation (For fans of long inky shadows)
-- Gallery of Monster Toys (The source)
-- HK and Cult Film News (Off the well-worn horror paths)
-- HorrorhostGraveyard.com (Clips, listings and more)
-- Horror Society (Independent horrors)

-- Latarnia: Fantastique International (all things Euro and more)
-- Lugosiphilia Yahoo Group (Just Bela)
-- The Many Faces of the Frankenstein Monster (like it says)
-- Mondo Cult Online (the world of, well, everything)
-- Monster Island News (Godzilla is just the start)
-- Monster-Mania Forum (monster conventions)
-- Movie Meltdown (Interviews and more)

-- Serialsquadron.com (Cliffhangers, restored serials and talk)
-- Shriekfreak Quarterly (online magazine)
-- Stoner's Monster Mayhem (if downtown had a monster shop)

-- Thethunderchild.com (Online magazine)
-- Trailers from Hell (Joe Dante, pros comment on trailers)-- Universal Monster Army (Toys, models, masks and way more)
-- Witch's Dungeon (Home of the monstrous Hollywood tributes)
-- Or write in another choice:

15. BEST BLOG OF 2009

-- Cinebeats (for monster cinephiles)
-- Cinema Dave (movie musings)
-- Cinema-suicide (Smart look at modern films; soundtracks, too)
-- Dollar Bin Horror (for fans on a budget)
-- The Drunken Severed Head (Max Cheney's unique blog about it all)
-- Final Girl (A different kind of scream)
-- Frankensteinia (If it didn't exist it would have to be invented)
-- Gary J. Svehla: Midnight Marquee/Mad About Movies (From a genre original)
-- The Good, the Bad, and Godzilla (August Ragone's G-blog)-- Groovy Age of Horror (Not for faint-hearted)
-- HorrorHostGraveyard.com (All host news, all the time)
-- The Horrors of it All (Horror in the comics and more)
--
Love Train for the Tenebrous Empire (mondo, Euro and fantastique)
-- Mail Order Zombie (Strictly undead; zombie webisodes, too)-- Monsterama.blogspot.com (Friendly creeps from Jay Stevens)
-- Monstermoviemusic.blogspot.com (Music is just the start)
-- Obscure Hollow (The look of horror)
-- Secret Fun Blog (childhood reveries from creator of Flip!)
-- Unimonster's Crypt (John Stevenson's news and views)
-- Vault of Horror (Blog for every era of horror)
-- Vampiros and Monstruos (the blog of Mexican horrors)
-- Video Watchblog (and still it lives)
-- Zombos' Closet of Horror Blog (John Cozzoli new generation blog)
-- Or write in another choice:


16. BEST CONVENTION OR FILM FESTIVAL OF 2009

-- B-MOVIE CELEBRATION (Franklin, Ind.)

-- CHILLER (Meadowlands)
-- CINEMA WASTELAND (Cleveland)
-- DARK CARNIVAL (Bloomington, Ind.)
-- DEEP RED FESTIVAL OF FANTASTIC FILM (Portland and Seattle)

-- DRAGONCON (Atlanta)-- FANGORIA WEEKEND OF HORRORS (New York)
-- G-FEST (Chicago)
-- HORROR-FIND (Baltimore)
-- HORROR HOUND WEEKEND (Indianapolis)
-- HORROR REALM (Pittsburgh)
-- IT'S ALIVE ZOMBIE FEST (Pittsburgh)
-- LIVING DEAD FESTIVAL (Evans City, Pa.)
-- MONSTER BASH (Pittsburgh)
-- MONSTER FEST (Chesapeake, Va.)
-- MONSTER-MANIA (Cherry Hill, N.J.)
-- MONSTERPALOOZA (Burbank)
-- RUE MORGUE'S FESTIVAL OF FEAR (Canada)
-- SPOOKY EMPIRE (Orlando)
-- SPOOKY MOVIE FEST (Washington, D.C.)
-- WONDERFEST (Louisville)
-- Or write in another choice:


17. BEST FAN EVENT OF 2008

-- Ron Chaney appears as the Wolf Man (Ron Chamberlain's makeup), at the Monster Bash.

-- Blob panic reenactment, held at actual theater where movie was filmed in Phoenixville, Pa. (Blobfest)

-- Classic 3D double feature (Creature from the Black Lagoon and It Came from Outer Space), at Cleveland Cinematheque. 

 
-- Dr. Gangrene's Horror Hootenanny and Zombie Walk  in Nashville,

--  Frankenstein blog-a-thon, organized online by Frankensteinia.

-- Godzilla actor Kenji Sahara appears at  G-FEST XVI, Rosemont, Ill.

--
Shadow and Substance: The Twilight Zone Tales of George Clayton Johnson, hosted by Terry Pace, Sheffield, Ala.

-- Tribute to Forrest J Ackerman, Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood, organized by Joe Moe.

-- Tribute to Mike 'Ygor' Thomas, Chiller convention. Paul Scrabo assembles archival footage of late actor and makeup artist.

-- Universal Monster Army toy exhibit, including rare toys from 50s and 60s, at Wonderfest.

-- James Warren talks about Famous Monsters and more, Monsterpalooza, Burbank.

-- Witches' Dungeon Classic Movie Museum. Startling recreations of full-sized classic monsters, open at Halloween in Bristol, Conn.

-- World Zombie Day included zombie walks and charity events.

-- Or write in another choice:

18. FAVORITE HORROR HOST OF 2009

 Who did the best hosting in 2009? If your favorite is missing, please write them in.

-- A. GHASTLEE GHOUL (Ohio)
-- THE BONE JANGLER. (Illinois)
-- KARLOS BORLOFF (Washington, D.C.)
-- COUNT GORE DE VOL (Mid-Atlantic)
-- DR. GANGRENE (Nashville)
-- DR. PUREBLOOD (Smyrna, Tenn.)
-- GHOUL A GO GO (NYC area)
-- GRAVELY MacCABRE and GRIZELDA. (Pennsylvania, West Virginia)
-- LATE DR. LADY
-- MR. LOBO (California)
-- ORMON GRIMSBY (North Carolina)
-- PENNY DREADFUL (New England)
-- PROFESSOR EMCEE SQUARE (Pittsburgh)
-- REMO D (California)
-- SINISTER MINISTER (Las Vegas)
-- SON OF GHOUL (Ohio)
-- SVENGOOLIE (Rich Koz; Chicago)
-- WOLFMAN MAC (Michigan)

-- There are plenty of others, so if your favorite isn't listed, write in another choice:


19. BEST SOUNDTRACK OR CD
-- CAPTAIN NEMO AND UNDERWATER CITY  (Angela Morley, Film Score Monthly)
-- DRACULA A.D. 72 (Mike Vickers, GDI/BSX Records
-- EMPIRE OF THE ANTS  (Dana Kaproff, Kritzerland)
-- ESCAPE FROM PLANET OF THE APES, (Jerry Goldsmith, Varese)
-- MASTER OF THE WORLD/GOLIATH AND BARBARIANS (Les Baxter, Intrada)
-- NIGHT OF THE CREEPS  (Barry DeVorzon, LaLaLand) 
-- PANIC IN YEAR ZERO (Les Baxter, LaLaLand)
-- 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (Bernard Herrmann, Prometheus)
-- SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (Gershon Kingsley, Howlin' Wolf)
-- STAR TREK II: WRATH OF KHAN, (James Horner, Film Score Monthly/Retrograde)
-- TIME AFTER TIME (Miklos Rozsa, Film Score Monthly)
-- VERNE LANGDON PIPE DREAMS (DejaVu)

20. BEST HORROR AUDIO OR PODCAST

-- Cult Radio a Go-Go
-- Deadpit.com
-- Fangoria Radio
-- Fearshop.com
-- The Graveyard Show
-- Midnight Podcast
-- TheMonsterclub.com old time radio
-- Rotting Flesh Radio
-- Rue Morgue Radio
-- Without Your Head

-- Or write in another choice:

21. BEST COMIC BOOK OR GRAPHIC NOVEL
-- ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN. Robert Kirkman (Image)
-- BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT by Steve Niles and Kelley Jones (DC)
-- BEASTS OF BURDEN by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
-- CARNIVAL OF SOULS, by Michael H. Price (Midnight Marquee)

-- THE COMPLETE DRACULA, by Leah Moore, John Reppion, Colton Worley (Dynamite)
-- THE GOON. Eric Powell (Dark Horse)

-- SCIENCE FICTION CLASSICS: War of the Worlds, A Martian Odyssey and more. (Graphic Classics)

-- HELLBOY: THE WILD HUNT by Mike Mignola and Fegredo (Dark Horse)
-- LENORE: The Cute Little Dead Girl, by Roman Dirges (Titan)
-- LOCKE AND KEY: HEAD GAMES by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
-- VICTORIAN UNDEAD Ian Edgington and Davide Fabbri (Wildstorm)
-- VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS, anthology (Blue Water)
-- Or write in another choice:

22. BEST TOY, MODEL OR COLLECTIBLE
Nominees developed with help from the Universal Monster Army!



Classic Universal Monsters (Funko)



Creature (Ultratumba)



Dracula ornament (Carlton)



Horror Host Trading Cards
(Horror Host Graveyard)


Karloff (Executive Replicas)



Monster scenes (Moebius)



Talking Tina from Twilight Zone
(BifBamPow)




New Wolfman (Mezco)
 
-- Or write in another choice:


23. COUNT ALUCARD'S CONTROVERSY OF THE YEAR
     Every year has its fair share of disputes and worrisome trends. What topped this year's list?
-- 'Copyright lawyer sold separately.'  Universal cracks down on unauthorized kits, images.


--
'I can't hear Bela when the ice is melting!'  Fans debate whether a snippet of Lugosi-as-the-Monster dialogue can be heard in Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.

-- 'No, but I can burn one for you.' Major studios offer DVD-Rs on demand rather than full-fledged classic DVD releases.

-- 'Hey kid? Want a DVD?' Turner Classic Movies joins Best Buy in offering exclusive DVD releases.

-- 'This ain't no online library!'  Genre magazines continue to struggle.

-- Or add your own matter of concern:


WRITE-IN CATEGORIES


24. CLASSIC MOST IN NEED OF RESTORATION

Which classic horror film, either released or unreleased, do you think most deserves a restoration?

25. WRITER OF THE YEAR

     Who do you think did the best published (or online) work in 2009 to advance the state of classic horror research?

26. ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Pro)
     Which professional artist (designer, illustrator, sculptor), did the best work in 2009?


27. ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Fan)
    
Which amateur or fan artist (designer, illustrator, sculptor), did the best work in 2009?



28. DVD REVIEWER OF THE YEAR
     Which reviewer in print or online did the best work in 2009?

29. 'MONSTER KID' OF THE YEAR
     Who deserves to be named 'Monster Kid of the Year' for efforts beyond the call of duty to build a better world of gods and monsters?

30. MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME

And finally, who should be this year's inductees into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame?
ALREADY INDUCTED ARE: Bob and Kathy Burns, Forrest J Ackerman and James Warren, Zacherley and Vampira, Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Alex and Richard Gordon, William K. Everson, Rick Baker, Basil Gogos, Roger Corman, Dick Klemensen, Gary and Sue Svehla, James Bama and Bobby 'Boris' Pickett, Paul and Jackie Blaisdell, Joe Dante, Don Glut, Jack Davis, German Robles and Frank Frazetta;Ken Kelly, Jim and Marion Clatterbaugh, Bob Wilkins, Calvin Beck, Paul Naschy and Lux Interior. Who should join them?

Tell us your suggestions. We'll pick six more.

Whew! That's it!!!

(Please remember to include your name so the ballot will be counted)


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Again, to vote: Type your picks on an email, or simply cut-and-paste the ballot onto an email and put an X by your choices, highlight your choices or leave a claw print!

E-mail your vote, with your name, to taraco@aol.com by April 3, 2010, and watch this space for the winners of this year's Rondo awards!

Thanx for taking the time. Folks work hard to bring you the best in horror and scifi. This is our chance to let them know we appreciate it.



Find out more at rondoaward.com.

And remember, no one can stop Rondo!





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