Sunday, March 23
Nurse Moan-eek and I made an appearance at the Lone Wolf Body Art Full Moon Tattoo and Horror convention this past weekend. Had a great time, and met a ton of friendly fans, like the one in this photo, Twiggy. Thanks for sending the photo, Twiggy, and great meeting all the fine folks at the horror show. Was especially nice seeing Ken and Pam Kish and getting a chance to spend a bit more time than usual talking. Looking forward to Wonderfest now!!
Tuesday, March 18
I finally got the chance to sit and listen to the soundtrack for a new independent horror film called The Rage. This soundtrack was scored by Midnight Syndicate, who have been making horror soundtracks for the past 11 years. The Rage is an independent film produced by Precinct 13 Entertainment starring Andrew Divoff, from the TV show Lost. It is a classic mad scientist tale complete with Franksteinien creature that runs amok, causing havok for his creator (as all good monsters should). It is distributed by Screen Media Films and Universal Home Entertainment.
This is the first actual movie soundtrack that Midnight Syndicate has scored, and it really has a different feel from previous Midnight Syndicate work. Their previous releases were a collection of individual songs all based around a central theme. This time, however, the music was written specifically to follow the action on the screen. That isn't to say it's any less enjoyable... matter of fact, it is every bit as atmospheric, dark and suspensful as previous Midnight Syndicate releases.
I haven't seen the Rage yet, but the soundtrack is really first rate. If the production values of the film are up to par with this soundtrack this will be one to see. Midnight Syndicate should have a successful soundtrack future ahead of them, as they're a natural to score horror movies.
Monday, March 17
This year is the second consecutive win for my buddy Frank Dietz as Artist of the Year in the Rondo Awards! I'd like to congratulate Frank, and thought this the perfect time to share a drawing of myself that Frank did and presented to me as a surprise gift at Wonderfest 2007. He and Nurse Moan-eek gave it to me during the Monster on the Campus live show. As usual, Frank did a terrific job with this piece. Thanks again Frank - you're the best!!
Saturday, March 15
Friday, March 14
I also wanted to mention one other very special award that was given to the late Ben Chapman - he was nominated into the Rondo Hall of Fame. Over the past few years Ben Chapman has become a staple of conventions, appearing all over the country, meeting adoring fans everywhere. Ben was a great guy and was an overwhelmingly popular choice for the Rondo Hall of Fame.
Thursday, March 13
The winner of Best Horror Host was Penny Dreadful, who hosts in the New England area. Our congratulations to Penny.
In the Best Fan Event, the other category we were nominated for, the winner was the Monroeville Mall Zombie walk. We finished in second in this category - with any luck we'll win this one one of these days. We've come in second almost every year (3rd by one vote last year!)
Cult Radio a Go-Go won best Audio Site - I was very happy about this one, as that is the station that played the Dr. Gangrene Audio program a few weeks back, so in some small way I was a part of that one.
Our good friend Tim Lucas won Best Writer for the second straight year, which is richly deserved. He also won Best Book for his Mario Bava book, which is a massive work of research lovingly written over years of Tim's life.
My pal Frank Dietz won artist of the year for the second straight year, and I'm thrilled for him. Frank is an amazing artist and one of the best guys you could ever hope to meet.
I am really looking forward to Wonderfest this year, and hanging out with both Frank and Tim - and speaking of Wonderfest, it came in second in the Best Convention category by a mere 11 votes! The gap is closing, and I think next year will be Wonderfest's year to take Best Convention.
The Hall of Fame was especially cool this year, with both Ed Big Daddy Roth and Ghoulardi getting in, as well as Bernie Wrightson. Too cool!!
So all in all another terror-ific Rondo season. Some surprises, upsets, and thrilling results. AND more participation than ever before. Here's to David Colton, Rondo organizer, and all the Rondo staff for a job well done!!
ROB ZOMBIE'S HALLOWEEN (553 votes)
Runner-up: GRINDHOUSE (293 votes)
Honorable mentions: SWEENEY TODD, 300
BEST TV PRESENTATION
DOCTOR WHO: 'Blink' (293 votes)
Runner-up: LOST: 'Through the Looking Glass' (275)
Honorable mention: HEROES: 'Five Years Gone';
TIN MAN (Sci Fi Channel)
BEST CLASSIC DVD
NOSFERATU: THE ULTIMATE EDITION (340 votes)
Runners-up: THE MONSTER SQUAD (327)
Honorable mention: BBC's COUNT DRACULA
BEST CLASSIC HORROR COLLECTION
UNIVERSAL HORROR CLASSIC MOVIE ARCHIVE (285 votes)
Runner-up: GODZILLA COLLECTION (280)
Honorable mention: MARIO BAVA COLLECTION (Vol. 1 and 2);
THE FLY COLLECTION; ICONS OF HORROR: THE SAM KATZMAN COLLECTION
NOSFERATU: THE ULTIMATE EDITION (413 votes)
Runner-up: WITCHFINDER GENERAL
Honorable mention: POPEYE THE SAILOR (1933-1938);
HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME; BBC's COUNT DRACULA; SPIDER BABY
BEST DVD EXTRA
HALLOWEEN: THE HAPPY HAUNTING OF AMERICA bonus disc (424 votes)
Runner-up: BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA deleted scenes (271)
Honorable mention: VINCENT PRICE SCREEN LEGENDS, Art of Fear
BEST DVD COMMENTARY
Malcolm McDowell, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (525 votes)
Runner-up: Jack Hill, Sid Haig, SPIDER BABY (159)
Honorable mention: Tim Lucas, MARIO BAVA COLLECTION;
Tom Weaver with Richard, Alex Gordon, Yvonne Romain, MONSTERS AND MADMEN
BEST INDEPENDENT FILM
VAMPIRA THE MOVIE (422 votes)
Runner-up: CHAINSAW SALLY (197)
Honorable mention: H.P. LOVECRAFT: PICKMAN'S MODEL;
PENNY DREADFUL'S SHILLING SHOCKERS;
LOST ON ADVENTURE ISLAND
MARIO BAVA: ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK,
by Tim Lucas (255 votes)
Runner-up: BELA LUGOSI: DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES, by Gary Don Rhodes and Richard Sheffield (226)
Honorable mention: UNIVERSAL HORRORS (revised), by Tom Weaver, Michael and John Brunas
RUE MORGUE (336 votes)
Runner-up: FANGORIA (256)
Honorable mentions: VIDEO WATCHDOG,
MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT,
SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE
'Adult Fairy Tales & Frustrated Love Stories: The Cinematic Legacy of Terence Fisher,' by Neal Barrow, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #19 (204 votes)
Runner-up: 'Honoring Horror at the Oscars,' by Tall Paul Davis, HORROR HOUND #6 (182 votes)
Honorable mentions: 'Kids vs. Monsters,' (Monster Squad retrospective),
by Chris Alexander and Jovanka Vuckovic, RUE MORGUE #69;
'Personal Appearances of Karloff and Lugosi,' by Greg Mank,
MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #23;
'I Was a Teenage Werewolf: Still Fab and Furry After All These Years,'
by Don Vaughan, FILMFAX #116;
'The Tingler,' by Christopher Schaefer, MONDO CULT #2
SCARY MONSTERS #64 by Terry Beatty (305 votes)
Runner-up: AMAZING FIGURE MODELER #39 (211)
Honorable mentions: MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #23 by Joe Schovitz;
TRAILERS FROM HELL (137 votes)
Runner-up: Video Watchblog (116)
Honorable mentions: Universal Monster Army;
horrorhosts.com; E-Gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts;
Creepyclassics; The Drunken Severed Head
BEST CONVENTION OF 2007
MONSTER BASH (136 votes)
Runner-up: Wonderfest (125)
Honorable mention: Screamfest; Fangoria Weekend of Horrors
BEST FAN EVENT
MONROEVILLE MALL ZOMBIE WALK (345 votes)
Photo by Shawn Wall, shawnwall.com
Runner-up: Dr. Gangrene's Chiller Theatre Live at WonderFest (168)
Honorable mention: Monster Squad reunion (Monster-Mania);
Witches' Dungeon Classic Movie Museum (Bristol, CT.)
Universal Monster Army traveling toy exhibit
FAVORITE HORROR HOST (Active)
Penny Dreadful (309 votes)
Runner-up: Svengoolie (249)
Honorable mention: Count Gore De Vol; Dr. Gangrene
BEST AUDIO SITE OR PODCAST
CULT RADIO A GO-GO (207 votes)
Runner-up: RUE MORGUE RADIO (170)
Honorable mention: VOICES IN THE DARK;
ROTTING FLESH RADIO;
OLD TIME RADIO NETWORK AT PODSHOW
MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (288 votes)
Runnerup: THE GHASTLY ONES
Honorable mention: LURKING CORPSES, Lust for Blood;
BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER Season 8, by Joss Whedon (295 votes)
Runner up: DC ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN (183)
Honorable mention: THE GOON; THE TRAP-DOOR MAKER; GRAPHIC CLASSICS: BRAM STOKER
BEST TOY, MODEL OR COLLECTIBLE
UNIVERSAL MONSTERS ACTION FIGURES by Toy Island (297 votes)
Photo by Michael Crawford, Captain Toy
Runners-up (224 votes each): FRANKENSTEIN GIANT PEZ;
KING KONG WORKING ARMATURE (Sideshow)
COUNT ALUCARD'S CONTROVERSY OF THE YEAR
DO I HAVE TO BUY THAT ONE TOO? (440 votes)
Runner-up: New special effects in old films (285)
Honorable mention: Who owns online art?
BEST DVD COMPANY
ANCHOR BAY (303 votes)
Photo by Donna Lucas
Runner-up: MGM (172)
Honorable mention: Universal
CLASSIC MOST IN NEED OF DVD RELEASE OR RESTORATION
ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (84 votes)
Runner up: DRACULA
Honorable mention: BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Writer of the Year (write-in category)
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
SPECIAL RONDO AWARDS
Monster Kid of the Year
For working behind the scenes at Sony on behalf of monster fans everywhere. He directed
the English dubbing of GODZILLA 2000; helped bring LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA
to theatres; convinced Sony that the Sam Katzman collection, including The Giant Claw and
The Werewolf, was worthy; and remains every monster fan's man on the inside. A true Monster Kid in every way, he is Rondo's choice for Monster Kid of 2007.
MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME
Six new inductees are:
Cortlandt Hull and Dennis Vincent, the
geniuses behind the Witch's Dungeon movie
Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, who brought dragsters
and fun to the world of monsters.
Bernie Wrightson, who helped invent Swamp Thing,
a patchwork Frankenstein monster and the modern horror comic.
Archie Goodwin, the firm editing pen behind
Warren Publication's creepiest monsters.
Ghoulardi, whose wink and nod made the airwaves of
Cleveland just a little bit spookier.
Ben Chapman, who was gentler than the Creature he
portrayed, and far bigger, too. His warmth, grace and
love of his fans will never be forgotten.
Monday, March 10
I just watched the Ventures get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and all I can say is HELL YEAH! I was just listening to Hawaii Five-O on the drive home today, matter of fact. I had actually forgotten that the induction ceremony was on TV tonight but happened to stumble across it just in time to catch the Ventures. They played two songs live - Walk, Don't Run and Hawaii Five-O.
I think I'll break out my Ventures CDs tomorrow - I've had enough of this winter weather, anyway, some good surf tunes will help blast the cold away. And none of that "The Ventures aren't a surf band" crap - they are, and they rock!
So speaketh Gangrene!!
Sunday, March 9
Thursday, March 6
On a completely separate note, there are less than 48 hours left to vote in the Rondo awards - if you haven't voted yet, make your voice heard! Go to www.rondoaward.com and cast your vote today! And remember, Dr. Gangrene is nominated for Best Horror Host and Best Fan Event. Voting ends Saturday at midnight.
Wednesday, March 5
It was giant monster night at our house last night, as my oldest son suddenly decided he was in the mood to watch a Godzilla movie. Well, I wasn't going to argue with that! We got out all the Zilla films we own, and wound up watching Destroy All Monsters. Rob, (my 17 year old), Luke, (my 10 year old) and I all settled in for a night of giant monster mayhem! We laughed with and at that one, really enjoying it.
Then Rob further surprised me by telling me he wanted to watch a SECOND Godzilla movie! Even cooler! He chose Godzilla vs. Gigan – a really schlocky Godzilla film from 1972. Gotta love giant monster tag team wrestling! This one was obviously aimed straight for kids. By this point in the series Godzilla was being betrayed as a sort of Japanese superhero, really cartoonish in feel. Watching these two films back to back was especially interesting as there was footage from Destroy All Monsters reused in this movie. Guess you just can't use good monster fight footage often enough, can you?
My favorite moment from the two movies we watched was in Godzilla vs. Gigan. The aliens from the movie are explaining to the heroes what happened to their home planet. It seems a planet identical to Earth developed light years away, with similar climate and conditions. But the inhabitants of that planet didn't take care of it, and allowed it to become polluted thus forcing them to flee their home planet. In a shot of their world they showed a congested city street, with automobiles stuck in bumper to bumper in rush hour traffic. As if this wasn't funny enough, cutting across traffic is a truck with a coca-cola logo on the back! It was so funny!
This got me to thinking about the Godzilla franchise today. A quick check on IMDB showed a total of 29 Godzilla films, 28 if you don't list the American release of the original separately. Of these I've easily seen 20, perhaps more. They all sort of blend together if you haven't watched them recently. Guess I'll have to rewatch the ones I own, and hit up my buddy Troy, local Godzilla fanatic, for the rest.
BTW – I didn't realize until today that Godzilla has his own IMDB actor page ! Why not, I suppose - he also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!!
Godzilla Raids Again (Gigantis the Fire Monster) (1955)
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)
King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
Godzilla vs. Mothra (1964)
Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (1965)
Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster (1966)
Son of Godzilla (1967)
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
Godzilla's Revenge (1969)
Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971)
Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
Godzilla 1985 (1984)
Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1993)
Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994)
Godzilla vs. Destroyer (1995)
Godzilla 2000 (1999)
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
Godzilla X Mechagodzilla (2002)
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
Tuesday, March 4
In 1954 Congress, led by Dr. Fredrick Wortham in particular (author of the book Seduction of the Innocent), decided that horror comics were warping the minds of the nation's youth, and called special hearings to look into the matter. Publishers, artists, writers, politicians, doctors and more were called before the Senate in 1954 for the Senate Subcommittee Hearings into Juvenile Delinquency, with the special focus on Comic Books.
You can read the entire transcript at this website:
This is a 300+ page document that was posted on the internet by Jamie Coville. It's fascinating reading - There are links to the individual sections of the hearings, so you can, for instance, jump right to EC comics publisher William Gaines testimony. There are also color reproductions of the comic covers that were presented to the Senate.
As a result of all of this the comics industry was forced to adopt a comics code. Without it, no comics could be published. It's all pretty unbelievable nowadays, but they were serious with these restrictions, and for years the comics industry had its hands tied by this code.
Here's the part I found most interesting in the comics code, as it deals directly with horror in comics. There was of course much more to the code, dealing with religion, profanity, attire of characters, and marriage and sex. Note the part about no vampires, ghouls, cannibals, or werewolves. Guess they felt that encompassed the totality of monsterdom. General Standards - Part B
General Standards - Part B
No comic magazine shall use the word "horror" or "terror" in its title.
All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.
All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.
Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.
Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.
Monday, March 3
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