There are only a few days left to vote for your favorites in the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. As I’ve heard several people say, the list of nominees acts as a checklist for movies, books, podcasts, etc. that you may want to give a try during the coming year. But if you haven’t already experienced the nominees, how do you know for which ones to vote?
I have by no means seen every movie, read every book, listened to every podcast, etc. However, I am making a last-minute stretch to absorb all that I can. And I thought I’d use this forum to share a little more information that might help you decide… if you, like me, haven’t already voted. If you have already voted, I hope you’ll enjoy my opinions anyway…
Remember, these are my personal preferences. Every one of the websites, blogs and podcasts below is terrific! I have favorites, though, and they are the ones that get my vote. Oftentimes, my favorites are determined simply by the specificity of subject.
Category 17: Best Website or Blog
I almost have to do a Final Four type bracket to determine my vote here! I’m at least going to categorize them into “type,” then narrow down the finalists from my favorite of each type. They’re ranked below (with links) with my favorite at the top of each list.
Universal Monster Army: “Universal monsters and vintage monster toys unite in the Universal Monster Army!”
All Sci-Fi: “Nothin’ but pure science fiction!”
Eddie Parker Gallery: Part of “The Men Behind the Monsters” on the Classic Horror Film Board
Latarnia: Fantastique International: “International horror, fantasy, mystery, beauty”
Monster Magazine World: “A blog for monster kids, monsterologists and even humans who love monster magazines”
Frankensteinia: “Tracking Frankenstein and all things related in the arts, media and popular culture”
The Horrors Of It All: “A celebration and appreciation of 50’s pre-code comic book horror & more!”
Scared Silly: “Classic Hollywood Horror-Comedies”
Sin Street Sleaze: “The Lurid Pulp and Pop Culture Writings of John Harrison”
Vampire Over London: “The Bela Lugosi Blog”
Better Days, Benner Nights ((last post June 2016: Careening Spaceships and Thundering Hooves: The Magic, Majesty (And Friendship) of Buster Crabbe… and an Era”))
As a write-in, I’d include Richard Chamberlain’s Monster Movie Kid blog. Now an offshoot of Kansas City Cinephile, everything horror-related (of which there is still plenty) filters to Monster Movie Kid. I admire Richard’s dedication to tackling long series of articles that are about one subject. On Kansas City Cinephile, he’s currently reviewing every Hitchcock film, starting early in his career. In the past, he’s done series on Karloff and Lugosi, the former of which were collected last year in The Basement Sublet of Horror Special Edition #2 and the latter of which will be collected later this year.
Collecting Classic Monsters: “The digital clubhouse for monster kids & collectors of classic monster, retro science fiction and vintage fantasy memorabilia”
Dr. Gangrene’s Mad Blog “Dissecting the best and worst horror movies and more!”
Zombos Closet: “A horror fan with a blog. Scary.”
Classic Movie Monsters Blog: “Your resource for all things monsters”
Ravenous Monster: “Devouring horror one bloody chunk at a time”
Bloody Pit of Rod: “My meandering thoughts on movies old and new”
Ringstone Round: “The premier Quatermass Fansite. Not for those of a Nervous Disposition.”
Graveyard Shift Sisters: “purging the black female horror fan from the margins”
Scifi Japan: “The new home of Monster Zero News!”
Mondo Cult: “Cinema, Literatura, Quadrinhos e Artes Diversas”
News & Reviews (alphabetical; unless it’s Downright Creepy, I won’t vote for one of these)
Bloody Disgusting: “Horror movie news, reviews, interviews, videos, and more.”
Blumhouse: “The Celebration of All Things Scary”
Dread Central: “Horror Movies, News, Reviews, Podcasts”
Fangoria: “The First in Fright Since 1979”
Icons Of Fright: “Horror News | Horror Interviews | Horror Reviews”
Shock Til You Drop (comingsoon.net/horror): “Your portal to Horror”
Kaijumatic: “Giant Monster Encyclopedia”
Witch’s Dungeon (preservehollywood.org): “Classic Movie Museum Celebrating over 50 years!”
Film Noir Foundation: “Dedicated to rescuing and restoring America’s noir heritage”
Other (or, I don’t know how to categorize)
Terror From Beyond the Daves: “The Best Daves of Your Lives. Horror Hosts! Movie Monsters & Prehistoric Terrors! Cryptozoology & Unexplained Phenomena!
Kaiju Battle: “Kaiju Battle, the fastest growing Kaiju site on the net!”
Serial Squadron: “The Serial Squadron Cinema Cliffhanger Archive”
Spanish Fear: “Your Spanish horror feed”
That really helped me decide, and I’ve got to vote for Collinsport Historical Society. Yes, it’s Dark Shadows specific, but it’s updated almost daily and does amazingly creative things. You’ve also got to follow the Instagram page for regular Dark Shadows-related treats. Love, love, love this blog!
Category 18: Best Multi-Media Horror Site
This category confuses me a little. Most of the nominees are podcasts. Do we vote for those or the websites with which they’re associated? My favorites of each aren’t necessarily the same.
In this case, it doesn’t really matter, because Monster Kid Radio wins in whatever category it’s placed! Derek M. Koch is the perfect host for a podcast about “the classic, and sometimes not-so-classic, genre films of yesteryear.” He treats each and every topic with appreciation and respect. It’s a positive, “feel good” show with great guests and features. I’m guessing that I don’t have to tell this to anyone who’s reading this.
Other Podcasts (favorite episodes at top, with comments here and there)
Between Light & Shadow: A Twilight Zone Podcast. Part episode recap, part commentary, and part re-enactment (?) this sounds like a labor of love. On the Christmas episode, Craig Beam lamented the fact that he didn’t know if anyone was listening. Craig! I listened and I loved it. I’m happy to see you didn’t give up and continue to produce episodes.
Kaijucast. Surprise! I listened to the episode because Derek M. Koch was a guest. Derek talks about this podcast a lot and he had a thing or two to share with host Kyle Yount that he didn’t already know about giant monster movies from the United States.
Damn Dirty Geeks. “The geek-driven podcast where a group of film industry pros and Special Guests discuss all aspects of genre entertainment.” I listened to their Planet of the Apes day episode and, man, I thought I was a PotA fan! It was a conversation in which I would love to have participated.
Doctor of the Dead. These guys sold me on the merits of the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead. It’s hosted by Scott Woodard on the west coasts and features an actual doctor, Arnold T. Blumberg, who teaches “Zombies in Popular Madia” at the University of Baltimore, on the east coast.
The Flicks That Church Forgot. “Christian pastor reviews horror movies.” I listened to an audio podcast about Ghost Story (1981). It was fascinating to hear how the host finds religious context in the movie and, in this case, the holiday season as it relates to horror.
Shock Waves Horror. This is the Blumhouse podcast, but it’s not specific to the production company. Very well-done, but I kept looking at my iPhone to see if I was listening at an advanced speed. It’s fast-talking and several people talk over each other. I’m just saying… this does not mean I didn’t enjoy the 2-hour+ episode about Clive Barker.
From Dusk Til Con Radio (East Coast Horror Group)
Bordello of Horror: “Bordello of Horror is in the vein of the classic late night horror show, hosted by Freakshow bringing you the best and worst in PD and Indie Films.”
Count Gore De Vol’s Creature Features: “Vampire horror host Count Gore De Vol brings you Creature Feature, a weekly program of horror movies, stories and films about vampires, monsters, witches, ghouls, goblins, gargoyles, zombies and horrors of all sorts!”
The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price (vincentpricefilm.blogspot.com)
Cult Radio A Go-Go!: “Drive-In Movie Radio: Horror, Sci-Fi, B-Movies, Vintage TV”
Poe Forevermore Radio Theater: “tales of mystery & imagination”
The Slaughtered Bird: “Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red… and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!”
There are several other podcasts that I’d like to see brought into the Rondo consciousness for next year’s awards. In no particular order, here are some podcasts to which I subscribe and listed every time:
The Super Mates Podcast. “The podcast where a certified comic/sci-fi/fantasy geek actually gets his wife to co-host a show with him!” Every October, hosts Chris and Cindy Franklin do a weekly series called, “The House of Franklinstein,” and it’s terrific. Throughout the year, the focus is comic books, so during October, they talk about a classic horror movie and then somehow creatively connect it to a comic book. Fun rapport and entertainment.
Faculty of Horror. “Podcasting from the horrored halls with Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West” Scholarly look at a pair of movies each month, usually with a connecting theme and always from a woman’s point of view. The talk digs deep and makes you think. I love the themes they pull from these movies.
Horror Scouts. The hosts, three “fearless troop leaders” Mike, Brian and Nick review new and old horror films and have genre specific “campfire talks.” I love the concept of this podcast! Instead of ratings, they award merit badges for various aspects of the movies they discuss. Well-produced and fun.
The Modern Horrors Podcast. This is the one news and review podcast to which I listen every week for… well, news and reviews. Luke Rodriguez and Jacob Hopkins are hilarious, dividing the show into three or four parts: news, in-depth review, questions form listeners (sometimes) and a “game.” It sometimes gets personal, but it makes me feel like I know the guys. And I’ve got to get them to open their minds to a little classic horror!
Nightmare Junkhead. Greg D. and Jenius McGee share an infectious enthusiasm for horror new and old. Well, oldish… they focus on movies from their formative years, which are about a decade behind mine. Nevertheless, if you want to get excited about whatever they’re discussing, their podcast will do it.
Full disclosure: the last three on my list are all found on the Phantom Podcast Network at Downright Creepy, to which I am affiliated. That makes no difference, though, with the quality of the podcasts!
That’s it for multimedia! Watch for a final post as I share my thoughts on the remaining nominees, including Monster Kid of the Year and The Monster Kid Hall of Fame.
Rondo Award ballots are due April 16, 2017. Simply send your votes in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You do not have to vote in every category. For more information, visit www.rondoaward.com.