Wednesday, March 31

Last Days for the Rondo awards

The Rondo Awards officially end Saturday, so I hope you've all taken the time to vote. It is easy and fun - vote in as many or as few categories as you like. Simply place your choices in an email and send to: taraco@aol.com. The ballot is below for your convenience - I am nominated for Best website, Best Fan event, and best horror host if you are so inclined - but vote! Make your monster voice heard regardless of who you vote for. And long live the Rondos!!




HOW TO VOTE: All voting is by e-mail only. Simply copy this ballot and
send an e-mail with your picks to me (David Colton), at taraco@aol.com
by midnight, April 3, 2010. Please include your name (and not to worry,
no votes are ever disclosed and this will not generate spam).


Hope you can take the time to participate again in fandom's biggest horror
survey. More details at rondoaward.com. And thanks for putting up with
me again! (If you've already voted, sorry if I included you here. But feel free to send this to a monstrous friend!)

-- OFFICIAL BALLOT FOR THE 8TH ANNUAL RONDO HATTON CLASSIC HORROR AWARDS --

1. Best Movie of 2009 (Pick one)

-- 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
-- ORPHAN
-- PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
-- SHERLOCK HOLMES
-- STAR TREK
-- TERMINATOR: SALVATION
-- TRICK 'R TREAT
-- TWILIGHT NEW MOON
-- WATCHMEN
-- ZOMBIELAND
-- Or write in another choice:

2. Best Television Presentation

-- 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 DVD TV Collection

-- 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.
-- 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, aka Count Gore DeVol..
-- 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 WOLF MAN, Eben McGarr 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. Woodward. 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 CREEPERS: THE HORROR HOST TRADITION OF THE OLD DOMINION,
Sean Kotz' and Chris Valluzzo documentary about Virginia horror hosts.
-- 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.

-- 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 David and Scott T. 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 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 Art of Linda Miller,' by Max Cheney, SCARLET #3. A tribute to
the late fan artist, richly illustrated.

-- '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.

-- '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.

-- ''How Do You Solve a Problem Like 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 Shadrak, 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 (Find images at rondoaward.com)

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 Von Sholly

MONSTER BASH #9
By Lorraine Bush

MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #26
By Daniel Horne

MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT
SPECIAL EDITION #1
By Kerry Gammill, Joe Schovitz

RUE MORGUE #90
By Gary Pullin

SCARLET #4
By Michael Wilks

SCARY MONSTERS #72
By Terry Beatty

SCREEM #18
By Bill Chancellor

VIDEOSCOPE #70
By Kevin Hein

VIDEO WATCHDOG #147
By Charles Largent

Or write in another choice:

14. Best Website (Online magazine, message board or tribute site)
Classic Horror Film Board, sponsor of 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 Horror Blog

-- 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)

-- The Horrors of it All (Horror in the comics and more)
-- Love Train for the Tenebrous Empire (mondo, Euro and fantastique)
-- Monsterama.blogspot.com (Friendly creeps from Jay Stevens)
-- Monstermoviemusic.blogspot.com (Music is just the start)

-- Obscure Hollow (The look of horror)

-- Scared Silly (classic horror comedies)
-- 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 (Parsippany, N.J.)
-- 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)

-- 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

-- 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.

-- Dario Argento's INFERNO screened; Q&A hosted by Tim Lucas with star
Irene Miracle and composer Keith Emerson. Los Angeles.

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

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

-- Boris Karloff blog-a-thon, organized online by Frankensteinia.

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

-- Thriller re-enactment with original dancer Sheryl Sington; guest
John Landis at Spooky Empire, Orlando.

-- 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: It's Alive Zombie Fest included zombie walks for
World Zombie Day, Monroeville, Pa.

-- 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

-- Or write in another choice:

20. Best Horror Audio or Video Podcast

-- Cult Radio A-Go-Go!
-- Deadpit.com
-- Fangoria Radio
-- Fearshop.com
-- The Graveyard Show
-- Mail Order Zombie

-- Midnight Podcast
-- TheMonsterclub.com old time radio
-- Rotting Flesh Radio
-- Rue Morgue Radio
-- Without Your Head
-- Or dial in another choice:

21. Best Horror Comic Book

-- 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)

-- ROBOT 13 by Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford (Blacklist)
-- VICTORIAN UNDEAD Ian Edginton and Davide Fabbri (Wildstorm)
-- VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS, anthology (Blue Water)
-- Or write in another choice:

22. Best Toy, Model or Collectible (Find images at rondoaward.com)
Nominees developed with help from the Universal Monster Army!

Classic Monsters (Funko)

Creature (Ultratumba)

Dracula ornament (Carlton)

Horror Host trading cards (Horror Host Graveyard)

Karloff (Executive Replicas)

Monster Scenes (Moebius)

Twilight Zone Talking Tina (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.

-- 'You know 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 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 (for 2009)

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),was your
favorite in 2009?

27. Artist of the Year (Fan)

Which amateur or fan artist (designer, illustrator, sculptor), was your
favorite in 2009?

28. Favorite DVD reviewer

Which reviewer in print or online was your favorite 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
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; Bernie Wrightson, Ben Chapman,
Cortlandt Hull and Dennis Vincent, Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, Archie Goodwin
and Ghoulardi; 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!!!

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

Thanks to all who have voted for Rondo this year!

david 

Tuesday, March 30

Killer Whale the comic Book

Thought I'd share some more of the comics I drew before starting my gig as a horror host. This is a superhero character I created called Killer Whale. Obviously this is a spoof type book, and I really had fun with it. This is the first of a two part mini series. The second part will be online shortly. I also published several Killer Whale short stories in various books we published. I recently had a guy approach me on the internet to get these online where he could spotlight them as one of the great undiscovered characters. Wow! I was honored...

Synopsis - Frycook Willie Finn accidentally eats a radioactive fish sandwich and gains strange powers.He runs off with the fish restaurant's mascot costume, a whale, and begins a life as a costumed crime fighter.

So here without further adieu, I present Willie Finn, frycook, a.k.a. KILLER WHALE:



Monday, March 29

Spookhand live video

Thought I'd share a live video from Sat. Night- this was shot by Brandon Lunday.Thanks Brandon. This is the first song we did for the night, Rock n Roll Zombi.


Sunday, March 28

Impaler/Cruds/Spookhand Show

The Impaler show Sat. night went terror-ificly! For our set we lit the entire stage with black lights and had black light makeup on that glowed... Had a great time, rocked out and really enjoyed seeing Impaler again. Herea pic from the show - more to come soon... Thanks to everyone who made it out!

Thursday, March 25

The Creeping Cruds

Creeping Cruds video for their song Come Out Neville... based on the movie The Omega Man...
edited by me... I used clips from Last Man on Earth cause I like it better and Vincent Price rules! Live video footage is from Dr. Gangrene's  Horror Hootenanny 4 at The End in Nashville...


Wednesday, March 24

My own Vampira tribute

I'm gettin geared up for the big Impaler/Creeping Cruds/Spookhand show this Saturday night at The Basement in Nashville.

We had practice Monday night, and it's amazing how much more energy there is on a show week. I can't wait to play this thing. We are doing mostly originals and a couple of covers - two Misfits tunes, specifically 138 and VAMPIRA - I insisted on that one because that same evening the big Vampira tribute show is taking place at the Horrorhound convention. This is my own way of paying tribute.

"2 inch nails... micro waist... with a pale white feline face..."






Tuesday, March 23

The Men Behind the Naschycast

My good friends Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn have been doing a podcast for a couple of months now called the Naschycast. This podcast is an offshoot of Rod's blog, The Bloody Pit of Rod. I thought I'd interview the guys and let you readers get to know them a little, see just what this podcast is all about, and what makes the films of Paul Naschy so intriguing for them.


How would you describe the Naschycast for those who have never heard it? 



Rod - It’s a deep plunge into a world most are unaware of! It’s a trip into dark, dank places where monsters dwell, villains plot and tragic events happen at a rapid pace. It’s a land of unknown wonders and beautiful women with danger lurking around every corner.
That- or it’s a Podcast in which two Nashville monster movie fans discuss one film from Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy’s long list of credits in detail each month. It’s an in-depth look into what makes each film work and why with our thoughts on where it fits in both Naschy’s career and the genre itself. Complete with sex jokes.

Troy - An American perspective on a Spanish phenomenon...basically an informal look at the films of Paul Naschy in an attempt to make people aware of how much variety and texture there is in his work. I think some people have a preconceived notion towards Naschy that his films are dull, childish, or derivative. I hope that we can challenge that opinion and get people to give Naschy more credit for the creative spirit and artist he was. Ultimately, the goal is similiar to most any program of this nature...to make people want to see the films! If we can provoke that response here and there, we've done our job.




You both are obviously fans of Paul Naschy. What was the first Naschy film you ever saw and where did you see it?





Rod - The first one I ever saw was NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST. I had read about Naschy for years but this was the first time I got to see what all the fuss was about. It was so much fun I had to have more.


Troy - HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB, on local television, on an old portable black-and-white TV. I was pretty young, and it would be years before I learned of who Naschy was and his place as a Spanish Horror icon. Even in an edited version for television, though, the film made an impression on me with its creepy, weird atmosphere.









What is there about Paul Naschy in particular that interested you enough to devote an entire podcast to his work?

Rod - There are many things. The breadth of his career, his use of a reoccurring werewolf character; the fact that he wrote most of his best films; his enthusiasm for fantastic cinema in all its forms; the harsh nature of the often tragic stories he tells and his desire to entertain film-goers at all times. It’s rare to find such a talented man able to work in the horror genre for so long and produce so many great movies. He was a writer, director, producer and actor which speaks volumes about his skills as an artist.
But there is also the fact that I wished there was something like this podcast out there for me to listen to. I realized that if I wanted to hear something like this maybe others would like to as well. There is so much to talk about in Naschy’s movies that it could always be interesting and maybe we could introduce others to his work. That’s what I hope we manage to do.

Troy
- First and foremost, that he was an actor and screenwriter for many of his films, and also a director on some of them as well, so one can really look at his films as reflecting his own vision. You can't really say that about any other classic horror actor. Plus, as a Monster Kid, I've always respected and appreciated him for almost single-handedly being the torch-bearer for the classic monsters (Dracula, Wolf Man, Mummy, etc.) after the Hammer and Universal films had run their course.




Favorite Naschy film?


Rod - That is a very hard question. I have enjoyed almost every one I’ve seen but the three I like the most are probably HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB, BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL and THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK. Or WEREWOLF SHADOW a.k.a. THE WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN. Yeah! That’s the one!


Troy - Again, HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB. I just think it's a great piece of barely-controlled madness and a major work of 70's horror.










What has surprised you during the production of this podcast that you didn’t see coming beforehand?
Rod - I had no idea how much hard work it would be! Seriously. I thought it would be a simple case of just recording the two of us talking about each movie and throwing it out there for others to hear. Boy, was I wrong. It takes hours over a couple of days to get each one into shape and then I’m never really happy with it. I’m currently obsessing over better mics and wondering if I can rig something new before we record the next one.


Troy -  Honestly...how many people have actually listened to it! That's probably a common worry for anyone starting a podcast, especially one such as ours that has a singular subject, you find yourself wondering if anyone will even give it the time of day. The response has been really great!










Which Naschy films in particular would you recommend as family friendly, or at least as family friendly as Naschy films get?


Rod - That’s a tough one as one of the draws of his movies is the more adult nature of them. Of his monster movies I would say FRANKENSTIEN'S BLOODY TERROR a.k.a. THE MARK OF THE WOLFMAN as the most family friendly. There is no sex and the violence is of the less bloody type.

Troy - Right now, I can only say MARK OF THE WOLFMAN a.k.a. FRANKENSTEIN'S BLOODY TERROR. There is no nudity, and the gore is about the level of a Hammer film. If you define "family friendly" as not having gore and nudity, the usual Naschy film has both in considerable supply.










What are the future plans for the podcast?
Rod - To keep getting one recorded and out to folks each month. Also we hope to expand the discussion of Naschy a bit by occasionally looking at his work outside the horror genre. His crime movies are worthy of discussion and can often be as entertaining as his more famous monster work. I think BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL is a certainty for a future podcast topic. We’ll always come back to the werewolf stories but spicing things up with other flavors will keep things from getting dull or obvious. We hope!

Troy - To keep doing it as long as it feels fresh to us and people keep listening, or, let's face it, until there are no more Naschy films that we can track down. As far as format goes, we'll always be open to ways to tweak the formula and keep things interesting. Naturally, finding new ways to make Eurohorror-philes aware of us and getting more exposure for our show is part of the plan as well.

Saturday, March 20

Haunt of Fear #11

In a previous post I mentioned Haunt of Fear #11, Ghastly Graham Ingels first cover art. This is a terrific cover - not as gruesome as many EC covers, but very creepy.

Recommended Movie of the Week - Tales from the Crypt


Continuing the EC theme, this week I recommend the 1972 Amicus anthology film, Tales From the Crypt starring Peter Cushing. Each of these stories is taken from an EC comic, although not all are actually from Tales from the Crypt: two were originally Tales from the Crypt, one Vault of Horror, and two Haunt of Fear.

Thursday, March 18

The Ghoulunatics

EC Comics weren’t the only company publishing horror comics in the 1950’s, they were just the best, which is why they are remembered to this very day so fondly. Their books featured great stories and terrific art, plus one other major factor -  the hosts of their three books, The Ghoulunatics. They brought a macabre sense of humor to the books; their graveyard gags and putrid puns poked fun at the horrible subject matter within. They were comic book versions of the old radio hosts from such shows as Lights Out and Suspense.

Let me take a minute now to introduce you to our horrid hosts:

The Crypt Keeper – Host of Tales from the Crypt, the flagship book of EC Comics. 

Primary artist for the Crypt Keeper was the one and only Jack Davis, probably the best known and most popular artist of the entire EC stable. The Crypt Keeper looked like an old man with long, unkempt hair, bad skin and bad teeth. He dressed in blue robes, and like all the Ghoulunatics, specialized in bad puns.





The Vault Keeper – Host of The Vault of horror. 

Primary artist for The Vault Keeper was Johnny Craig, a terrific comic book artist who worked in a clean style that really emphasized action. Johnny did the covers for a huge number of EC books, and those covers were another factor that really added to EC’s success. Vault Keeper looked, honestly, a lot like The Crypt Keeper except he wore a green hooded robe. He always kind of looks happier than The Crypt Keeper, who often seems to have a bit of a scowl on his face. In my mind I always sort of wondered if maybe the two were brothers who separated and took up residence in different spooky locales (a crypt and a vault).


The Old Witch – Host of The Haunt of Fear. 

Primary artist for The Old Witch was Ghastly Graham Ingels, the master of drawing undead, rotting creatures. The Old Witch wore red hooded robes, had one squinting eye and one huge vulture eye, snaggle teeth, and of course warts on her face like all the hosts. Skin care wasn’t big on these guys to-do list. She always seemed to fight with the boys, who often teamed up to tease and provoke her in the letter columns of her book.

All three hosts appeared in each other’s books, which was a great way of building familiarity with all the horror books and hosts among readers. They all mocked one another and bragged that their stories were the best, and all the others mere child’s play.

EC offered a set of actual photographs of the Ghoulunatics to readers in the letters pages of the books. For a mere ten cents per photo (or 25 cents for the entire set) readers could get these putrid photos mailed to them. The photos were actually artist Johnny Craig made up as each host. The makeup was done by Al Feldstein, proving yet another skill this jack of all trades possessed. The pictures were taken by a friend of Bill Gaines named Paul Kast, who also handled the mailing and said around 10,000 sets of the pictures were sold!




This wouldn’t be the final time a Ghoulunatic would appear in the rotting flesh – at least not where the most famous of the three was concerned. In 1972 Amicus films released a movie version of Tales from the Crypt. It was an anthology film starring Sir Ralph Richardson as The Crypt Keeper introducing the evening’s spooky offerings, five stories and a wrap-around segment. Richardson actually looked more like the Vault Keeper; He wore robes and a hood that covered his head. Missing, however, were the scraggly long hair and gruesome appearance.



1989 saw the Crypt Keeper make the transition to the small screen with the HBO series TALES FROM THE CRYPT.

With the full blessing of Bill Gaines the Crypt Keeper was again brought to life, this time in animatronic form. And THIS time the producers didn’t make the same mistake as the Amicus folks before them – they designed ole CK to be gruesome, more so even than the comic version. The voice was provided masterfully by John Kassir, the music by Danny Elfman. Actors and directors lined up to work on the series, and it was wildly successful!


The Crypt Keeper wasn’t done, however. In 1993 he returned in cartoon form on the series TALES FROM THE CRYPT KEEPER.


This ran for two years, and this time the other two Ghoulunatics came along with him. In season two the Vault Guard (not exactly sure why the slight name change) and the Old Witch were repeatedly trying to steal the show from CK. The show returned again in 1999 for 13 more episodes under the title NEW TALES FROM THE CRYPT KEEPER.




In 1995 the Crypt Keeper again made the jump from the small screen back to the silver screen in the movie DEMON KNIGHT. Crypt Keeper hosts this film, and appears in the beginning sequence in Hollywood trying his hand at directing. He then tells the story of Demon Knight. After the film we return to CK as he’s at the film premiere.



The following year saw the debut of Bordello of Blood on the big screens. Crypt Keeper again hosts this movie, this time in a wrap around segment with a mummy playing a deadly game of Rock , paper, scissors.



In 1996 a Saturday morning game show premiered called Secrets of the Cryptkeeper’s Haunted House. It featured the Crypt Keeper as the announcer, complete with Crypt Keeper puppet and John Kassir’s voice. It ran for one year until it was cancelled. It featured pairs of kids answering questions and running an obstacle-course in the Crypt Keeper’s house.




So there you have the many incarnations of the Ghoulunatics - something tells me there are many more to come, cause you know what they say... You can't keep a good ghoul down!

Wednesday, March 17

You can own the EC Comics Headquarters

Or at least a part of it!

 I thought I'd look and see whatever happened to the old EC Comics Building. Entertaining Comics was run out of 225 Lafayette Street (on the corner of Lafayette and Spring), NY NY Room 706.

Well turns out it has been turned into condos called The Spring - and you can own a 2 Bedroom, 2 bth place there for the mere price of $1,735,000!

Wonder if the inhabitants know this was the former site of the EC Grue Factory? If you buy a place there, (and I know you all have that kind of dough just lying around), tell em' Doc Gangrene sent ya' and ask for Room 706 - just be sure to let me come visit and see if the ghosts of comics past perhaps lurk in the building somewhere!






Realtor Info:

This building is two blocks north of the grandiose former Police Headquarters Building and was erected in 1927 for the East River Savings Bank and was designed by Cass Gilbert, the architect of the famous Woolworth Building facing City Hall Park.

The 14-story building has a three-story limestone base with very tall colonnades on both Lafayette and Spring Streets. Its corner is chamfered. The beige-brick building has a nice deep cornice and stringcourses at the third, fourth and 12th floors. A rooftop penthouse with a wrap-around terrace has been added. The building has 40 condominium apartments and 12,000-square feet of retail space.

The conversion was completed in 2004 and was undertaken by Africa Israel Investments, which is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and is involved in several ventures in New York City including the River Lofts facing the Hudson River at 92 Laight Street, 15 Broad Street, and 88 Leonard Street in Manhattan and the Empire Stores between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges in Brooklyn facing the East River, 85 Adams Street, which is three blocks north from the Empire Stores, and 84 Front Street, also in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn.

This elegant building is convenient to the many restaurants and boutiques of SoHo and NoHo as well as Little Italy and Chinatown. It has no garage and no sidewalk landscaping.

For More InformationFor more information about buying an apartment in The Spring, please call us at 212-755-5544, or contact us by email  ยช 

Building Summary Features Amenities Building Features
> Condominium
> Built in 1927
> Located in SOHO
> 40 Apartments
> 14 Floors   
> Full-time Doorman
> Hi Rise
> Pre War
> Video Intercom
> Washer/Dryer in building
 > Very handsome building designed by Cass Gilbert
> Taller than most of its neighbors
> One block from great former Police Headquarters building
> Very close to Little Italy, SoHo and NoHo
> Near important architecture center
> Former East River Savings bank building
> Convenient to numerous restaurants
> Subway nearby
> Upper floors have excellent views

Tuesday, March 16

Ghastly Graham Ingels

One of the great things about EC comics was that they didn’t force artists work in a “house” style. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Gaines insisted each artist develop his own signature style of art. He even ran bios on the individual artists in the books so fans would get to know them better.

One of the most popular artists of the EC stable was Ghastly Graham Ingels. Graham was born June 7, 1915 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  His father was a commercial artist, and Graham inherited his talent and interest in the arts. Graham was just a teen when his father died unexpectedly. This was something Graham shared in common with EC head honcho Bill Gaines, whose father also suffered an untimely death. I believe this common bond helped keep Ingels onboard during tough times, both in the early days before the horror comics took off and again later when personal problems developed.

According to Feldstein the earliest work of Ingels was a bit disappointing – but they knew the talent was there. Once they began the horror line of comics they quickly discovered Ingels was a master of composition specializing in decomposition – NO ONE could draw rotting corpses like good ole Graham, prompting them to nickname him Ghastly. This moniker stuck, and he began signing his art “Ghastly” with issue #10 of The Haunt of Fear in the story “Grave Business.”

The Haunt of Fear was Ghastly’s signature book – he drew the lead character, The Old Witch, and the feature story in each issue. He also took over the cover duties starting with issue #11. This cover is, to me, one of the creepiest of all the EC covers. There are much more graphic and gory covers, but there is just something disturbing about this old man burying his wife in the dirt cellar of the basement. It’s the face of the old lady, perfectly placed as the focal point of the picture, that is so creepy – killed by her own husband, he is standing there with a shovelful of dirt about to toss it over the face of his wife of decades. Morbid, creepy, and effective – pure EC.

Ghastly Graham Ingel’s work drips off the page. You can always tell his style immediately – it oozes across the page. It doesn’t need any color to emphasize his work – in fact, the black and white reprints of his work actually enhance the impact of the stories. He wasn’t afraid to use darks and shadows and spotted the blacks on his page perfectly. The line quality had a painterly feel to it, and it was a natural progression for him to begin cover chores as well as interior art.

Ghastly was raised a devout Catholic, and apparently struggled internally with his work in horror comics. He began drinking heavily. According to the Digby Diehl book “Tales from the Crypt” (a fantastic resource, by the way), Ingels began having trouble meeting deadlines because of his drinking, so Gaines and Feldstein gave him early deadlines to ensure he’d have his work in on time.

After EC stopped publication Ghastly found himself out of work. Like many folks who are so successful they become associated with their line of work, Ingels became associated with horror comics and it was difficult for him to find work in other fields. He eventually stopped drinking and moved to Florida, where he took up teaching art to students in the area. He focused on teaching art and had nothing to do with EC comics, turning his back on that part of his life completely. Feldstein even had to track him down and force him to accept royalty payments for his previous work.

Graham died on April 4, 1991. Shortly before he passed away he made peace with his past and did a series of commissioned paintings of his old pal, the old witch. Ghastly was one of the most influential artists of the entire EC stable - his style just screamed horror. Take a look at any Bernie Wrightson work and you can definitely see Ghastly's dripping influence.



Here's to you, Ghastly - you were the best.

Monday, March 15

EC Comics Week

I’m proclaiming it EC comics week here at my blog.

As I mentioned last week, Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein headed up this “New Trend” in comics. They had previously been publishing, ironically enough, wholesome family comics such as “Picture Stories from the Bible” and “Picture Stories from History” under the company banner Educational Comics. They had also been losing money. When Bill took over he changed the company name to ENTERTAINING Comics – thus emphasizing the shift in subject matter while retaining the EC logo.

One of Bill’s first hires was an up and coming young writer/artist named Al Feldstein. One evening the two were discussing their common love of old horror radio dramas, programs such as “Lights Out”, “Suspense” and the “Inner Sanctum”.  They wondered what would happen if they tried the same thing in comics.


They decided to test the market... In issue #15 of their comic CRIME PATROL they slipped in a horror story among the crime fare, and the Crypt Keeper made his first appearance. The story he introduced was called “Return from the Grave” and was, appropriately enough, a shambling corpse story.
In Issue #10 of WAR AGAINST CRIME they inserted another horror story, and the Vault Keeper made HIS debut. He hosted a story called “Buried Alive.”


Sales increased immediately, and the characters were popular with readers. They ran another Crypt Keeper story in Crime Patrol #16, and another Vault Keeper story in War Against Crime #11. Again, sales jumped, and Gaines decided this was proof enough. They changed the name of both books but kept the numbering the same to avoid having to purchase new mailing permit fees for new titles. Crime Patrol became Crypt of Terror #17, and War Against Crime became Vault of Horror #12. Crypt of Terror would go on to change names again slightly to Tales from the Crypt.

 Along with this switch in names, which occurred in January 1950 (April/May cover date), they added a third comic, The Haunt of Fear, hosted by the Old Witch. And thus the EC unholy trinity of Ghoulunatics was born and their three horror titles shambled off into the night, to the delight of fans.

Painting of Bill Gaines, (later in his career with full beard)
and the Ghoulunatics, (left to right): TheCrypt Keeper, The Old Witch,
TheVault Keeper

Sunday, March 14

Recommended Movie of the Week - FROGS

This week's recommended movie is an oldie but a goodie - nature run amuk swingin 70s style with the cult classic, Frogs!


Friday, March 12

Midnight Movie - The Crazies 1973 at the Belcourt

Just found out the Belcourt theater, our arthouse theater in Nashville, is showing the original George Romero 1973 cult classic THE CRAZIES on:

Friday April 2nd and Sat. April 3rd at Midnight both nights! 

Now this is film, folks - none of that video projection crap - so if you are in the Nashville area April 2-3 make plans now to come to this midnight movie madness!!

Thursday, March 11

Dr. Gangrene's Mutant Killer Bats...

Another of my old cartoons that I thought I'd share. I thought it was especially appropriate this time of year. I dated this one, which I didn't often do - I drew it in 2000, which means I had been doing my show for about a year at this point.

Wednesday, March 10

Rondo Award Hall of Fame

One of my favorite categories in the Rondo Awards is the Hall of Fame. I really like the idea of saluting creative individuals for a lifetime achievement in building a better world of Gods and Monsters. This year I made 3 nominations for Hall of Fame. . .


First and Foremost was TV Horror Host Morgus the Magnificent. 




Morgus was based out of New Orleans, Louisana and was played by actor Sid Noel. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of Morgus as a host – 50 years! His show was syndicated in various cities across the U.S. throughout  the years, and returned to the scarewaves in 1996 for a limited 10 episode run in New Orleans. Sid is alive and well today and still resides in the New Orleans area - I love the thought of him accepting the award in person, if he’s able to make it.


My second nomination was one that I make every year. It is the dynamic duo of doom who worked together to make a huge horror impact on the world of comics – Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein.




Bill inherited EC comics when his father passed away and changed the course of the company, steering it head first into horror. He hired Al Feldstein as his right hand man and creative partner. Al wrote and drew many of the EC stories, and both served as editors. They virtually created their own brand of stories – their “New Trend comics” which were, in actuality, morality tales. Yes they were horror stories, true enough, and oftentimes dripping with gore. But deep down they were revenge fantasies, where not even death could stop those who had been wronged from wreaking vengeance on the unjust.






Upon seeing the wild success of EC’s horror line many competitors jumped on the bandwagon, putting out their own inferior versions of the EC standards: Vault of Horror, Haunt of Fear, Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Weird Science Fantasy, and Shock Suspenstories among others. To this day EC comics are still inspiring a generation of horror fans… who hasn’t heard of the Crypt Keeper?  Unfortunately Bill isn’t around any longer, but Al is, and again, I’d love to see him accept the award on both of their behalves.




My third nomination was a man who was another one of my biggest influences growing up – Alice Cooper. 



I first discovered Alice Cooper in a box of old cassettes my uncle had lying around. I am pretty sure the first album I heard was Billion Dollar Babies. I was instantly hooked – The makeup , costumes, stage show, and subject matter all came together along with some terrific music to make an impact that is still felt to this day. Just look at artists like Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and Wednesday Thirteen – all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Alice for paving the way. Alice is currently touring and will even be playing some gigs with Rob Zombie – man I’d love to be at those shows!!


Now, when it comes to music I also would love to see Screaming Jay Hawkins eventually get in as well as Screaming Lord Sutch, both early predecessors of Alice’s. But Alice was the one who brought horror into the mainstream music industry much like Bill and Al had the comics industry decades before. Appearances with horror legend Vincent Price only further cemented Alice’s spot as the unquestioned king of horror music.

Tuesday, March 9

Insane interview with Lloyd Kauffman!

Things go horribly awry during an interview with Troma's Lloyd Kauffman. Can Dr. Gangrene get him back to the lab, administer medical attention, and save Kauffman and Troma (not to mention finish the interview)?

This interview was from an episode we did back in 2003 called "The Life and Death of Troma" - anyone who has ever tried to interview Lloyd knows you can't get a standard interview out of him -  so we thought we'd have fun with it and improvise a bit.

Between the black segments of these videos we showed trailers and music videos from Troma Productions, and made the whole episode a Troma special. Funny thing is I sent a copy to them afterwards and forget all about it. Year or two later I hear from a guy who works there that they have a break room with videos and a TV, and they played our video all the time and loved it! Glad they approved!!












Monday, March 8

Random ramblings...

Few random thoughts today…
It is a beautiful, sunny, 70 degree day outside in Nashville today. I had lunch with my wife and youngest son in the park. Good times. I hope this weather will stick around for a while.

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I saw the Oscars last night, and was thrilled that this year’s award ceremony included a tribute to horror movies. It was pretty well done, despite the fact it was introduced by Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, two of the stars of Twilight. Yuch. The tribute covered a wide variety of movies than spanned the decades, from Frankenstein to Twilight (again, yuch). Kind of scratched my head at some of the films in the montage, like Edward Scissorhands (a fantasy movie at best), but apart from those gripes it was great seeing a salute to the genre so often ignored by the Academy.


So how much fun would it be to see Jason kill someone with one of these?
Hey, there's an idea for a future sequel!

I noticed in the end credits that this segment was credited to Jon Bloom. This is not to be confused with John Bloom, best known as TV Horror Host Joe Bob Briggs. I daresay good ole Joe Bob would have put together a MUCH better tribute, and I guaran-damn-tee there wouldn’t be any Twilight clips in it, either!

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I didn’t see the entire Oscars, just kind of caught it in bits and pieces. I didn’t see if they showed Roger Corman last night, or even announced his honorary Governor’s Award. I sure hope they did – no one is more deserving of this honor than Roger. Congratulations from a big fan down south here in Tennessee.

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To the a-hole who backed his car up in front of me as I was walking back to work (parked in a no parking zone, to boot), and then got out and tried to start a fight when I said something to him, you receive the jackass of the year award.

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I saw Rob Zombie’s CSI episode last week. I’m not really a fan of the show, and ordinarily don’t watch it. But I did catch Rob’s episode. I thought Rob handled the material well enough, and even managed to work in a classic horror clip (Nosferatu), a snippet of one of his songs from the new CD (Virgin Witch), and a cameo by his wife Sherri Moon, who was great, btw. But the plot was just so-so, and there was only so much they’d allow Rob to do within the confines of the show. I’d love to see him given free reigns to really cut loose with the characters and story, but that wasn’t going to happen. Overall, not bad, but nothing spectacular.

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I really need to pay closer attention to what I’m doing. I recently made a purchase on Amazon of what I thought was the CD soundtrack from the movie Trick or Treat – but instead what I got was the cassette. Doh! Oh well, got it transferred to CD and am listening to it right now. I have to laugh at myself over that one, though.

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