Here's the press release for this year's Rondo winners --
ARLINGTON, VA. -- District 9, the gritty Oscar-nominated science fiction film, Rue Morgue magazine, a bloody yet reverent compendium of horrors old and new, and Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, a revised history of the rivalry between two of Hollywood's greatest hissables, all shared top honors in the 8th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards announced Monday night.
The fan-based Rondo awards, named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s, celebrate the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation. This year's e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, a 15-year old online community, drew a record 2,973 votes, the biggest in genre history.
Among other winners for work in 2009:
A deluxe version of 1981's An American Werewolf in London won as Best Classic DVD; the BBC import Doctor Who took Best TV Presentation, and an eight-film set by cult director William Castle, including The Tingler and 13 Ghosts, was voted the Best Classic Collection. The fourth season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents grabbed the prize for Best TV Collection.
The futuristic allegory, District 9, was the choice for Best Film honors, beating out Zombieland and greatly outpacing Avatar, which surprised some observers by coming in fifth among Rondo voters.
The classic-oriented electorate honored the 84-year old silent German film, Faust, by director F. W. Murnau, in the Best Restoration category. The 1926 film was extensively restored by the Murnau Foundation and released by Kino Films.
The year's best documentary award went to American Scary, a loving tribute to horror hosts past and present in a very tight contest with very strong independent films and documentaries.
And Rondo voters for the fifth year urged that Island of Lost Souls, the 1932 thriller starring Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi, be released on DVD, hopefully in a restored version.
Longtime horror researcher Gregory William Mank was voted Best Writer of 2009. Mank's book, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, was voted Best Book in a tough field that also included works by fan favorites Bill Warren, Mike Malloy and David Skal.
Many of the awards signaled a turn to more modern horrors.
Rue Morgue, a Canada-based magazine that often features grue and terror along with looks at horrors past, continued to take home Rondos: It was again named Best Magazine and Best Audio Horror Site. And its former editor, Jovanka Vuckovic and Jason Lapeyre won Best Article for their piece on John Landis' An American Werewolf in London. In addition, Rue Morgue Art Director Gary Pullin was voted Artist of the Year.
The combination of Rue Morgue and HorrorHound, another more modern-based magazine, increasingly dominated the voting, although a very classic portrait of Karloff from his 1936 The Walking Dead garnered the Best Cover prize (and second Rondo), for artist Daniel Horne and Monsters from the Vault magazine.
An additional fan artist award was added this year, and has been named in honor of Linda Miller, a painter of classic horror icons who died suddenly last year. The first Linda Miller Award for Best Fan Artist went to Robert Scott, whose black and white portraits of fiends new and old capture menace and whimsy in stark presentations.
Among other winners:
-- Beware the Moon, a documentary about the Landis Werewolf film, took Best DVD Extra.
"To win is beyond amazing,'' said Paul Davis, director of the documentary. "Not only did it take us nearly three-years to make, but my father also, very unexpectedly, passed away in February and he was my biggest supporter. So the win is for him.''
-- Director Fred Dekker was cited for his Commentary on the newly restored Night of the Creeps.
-- Dread Central, a daily roundup of horror news, was named Best Website, and the absurdist yet earnest Drunken Severed Head was voted Best Blog.
-- Pittsburgh's Monster Bash was named Best Convention for the sixth time in eight annual Rondo votes.
-- And an all-star tribute to the late Forrest J Ackerman, organized by his friend and caregiver Joe Moe in March 2009 at Grauman's Egyptian Theater, was voted Best Fan Event.
In a statement, Joe Moe said the tribute marked "the fulfillment of my final promise to Forry, to hold a tribute so we could all come together to laugh, cry, celebrate and say goodbye. Forrest J Ackerman shall never die!''
-- Longtime horror host Count Gore De Vol was voted Favorite Horror Host, the third winner in a new category that has in the past honored Penny Dreadful and Svengoolie.
-- Two well-known comic book creators, Steve Niles and Kelley Jones, won Best Horror Comic for DC's Batman: Gotham After Midnight. And Talking Tina, a replica of the sinister doll in a Twilight Zone episode, won Best Toy, Model or Action Figure. James Horner's score for Star Trek II won the Best CD category.
-- Favorite DVD Reviewer went to Kim Newman, a frequent contributor to Video Watchdog.
Finally, the honorary categories, based on suggestions from Rondo voters, included:
-- Eliot Brodsky, a California fan and convention organizer, was named Monster Kid of the Year for his creation of the Monsterpalooza convention in Los Angeles.
-- Hall of Fame Inductees were also named. They are the late Bill Lemon and Ray Meyer, sculptors of the Aurora monster model kits of the 1960s; Dennis Druktenis, editor and publisher of Scary Monsters Magazine (The Only 'Real' Monster Magazine!); longtime scifi fan Bill Warren, author of the definitive 1950s film study, Keep Watching the Skies; Midwest horror hosting legend Sammy Terry; and the late Frederick S. Clarke, whose Cinefantastique revolutionized the magazine world with its in-depth coverage
Many of the Rondo winners will receive Rondo busts, sculpted by Kerry Gammill, at the Wonderfest convention in Louisville in May..
Further information, including runners-up and all the nominees, can be found at rondoaward.com.