Friday, May 22, 2009

Donna Lucas Accepts David J. Schow's "Donndo" Award

At the very end of last Saturday's Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award ceremony at WonderFest, David J. Schow -- the Brown Jenkin of Horror Fandom -- once again disrupted the proceedings to present his own awards. Rondo founder David Colton, who two years ago was recognized with Schow's "Nondo" Award, was this year presented with the "Coltondo" Award, while VIDEO WATCHDOG publisher/art director/shipper/receiver/receptionist/heart and soul Donna Lucas was feted with the "Donndo" Award. Schow explained the award by saying that Donna was required to share all of her Rondo Awards for Best Magazine with me, while I was winning Rondos independently of her.

My camera was running low on battery juice by the time this surprise event came about, so I missed David's introduction, but as Donna took the stage to receive her much-deserved solo recognition, I said "Damn the torpedoes" and recorded her short but ever-so-charming acceptance speech. You can see it on YouTube, here.

My Rondo Acceptance Speeches

Your erratic blogger receives not only the Best Blog Rondo but a red-hot smoocheroonie from Nurse Moan-eek. Photo (c) and courtesy of Eileen Colton, CHFB News.

This year's WonderFest played host to David Colton's presentation of the 2008 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, where I was honored to receive the awards for Best Writer and Best Blog (Video WatchBlog, natch). Jennifer Sorrels has kindly posted camcorded footage of much of the ceremony at YouTube, including footage of my two pre-scripted acceptance speeches, which you can see and hear by following these links...

Rondo recipients Cameron McCasland, Gary L. Prange, Linda "Nurse Moan-eek" Wylie, Michael Schlesinger (2007 Monster Kid of the Year), Tim Lucas and 2008 Hall of Famers Jim & Marian Clatterbaugh.

Best Blog

Best Writer

Raymond "Coffin Ray" Castile, Cameron McCasland, Gary L. Prange, Linda Wylie, Michael Schlesinger, Tim Lucas, Jim & Marian Clatterbaugh, Larry Blamire, Donnie Waddell, RUE MORGUE editor Jovanka Vuckovic, and 2008 Monster Kid of the Year Joe Moe. Blocked from view at extreme left are Best Artist Ken Kelly and Coffin Ray's fetching translator, Sara "Saramonster" Lattis.

More camcorded Rondo clips and terrific WonderFest photos by Eileen Colton can be enjoyed at this thread on the Classic Horror Film Boards. I would especially recommend Coffin Ray's "Best Article" speech -- as always, a show stealer, and this year augmented by Sara Lattis' hilarious deadpan translations.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


One of the great pleasures of attending this year's WonderFest was getting to know better writer-director-actor-author-cartoonist-aw-c'mon-I'm-tired Larry Blamire and his lovely wife, actress and STICKY MAE GREY author Jennifer "Animala" Blaire, and I should know better. (Sorry, but I am easily infected by Blamirisms. I should be back to Normal sometime later this week... that is, if I go anywhere near Illinois.) This picture shows me with both sides of the equation AND their better halves, under the extraordinarily powerful lighting at Louisville's Crowne Plaza hotel, which was strong enough to make my hair photograph orange and Larry's to actually photograph white!!!!

Another great treat was attending the Kentucky premiere of their latest Bantam Street production THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN, which was immediately clutched to the collective bosom of the WonderFest crowd -- a disgusting yet heartwarming sight. When this as-yet-without-distribution meisterwerk comes to your town, do what the WonderFesters did and sing the "Fleming" song over the end credits. This moving ritual deserves to catch on like the toast your grandma and grandpa used to throw at the screenings of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, back before the turn of the century.

I make no bones about it: THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN is a prodigal return for Blamire and his gleefully mad repertory company. It manages to improve on the original LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA in every respect while also making the original more wonderful as the modest starting point for all this divine insanity. Anybody who thinks this guy is merely spoofing bad movies is missing the point. Movie clich├ęs have never been sent up so unmercifully yet lovingly. Also, in my opinion, Blamire is the only genuine Surrealist working in the cinema today. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a celery.

Monsters Attack WonderFest 2009

As we all know, monsters are generally very benign critters, such as this Saucer-Man who kindly posed with VIDEO WATCHDOG publisher Donna Lucas at WonderFest 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky this past weekend. Saucer-Man pitches in to help at the Ultratumba Productions table on weekends. During the weeks, he works at a nearby restaurant as -- what else? -- a saucier.

Friendliness and good will initially seemed to be the case with this imposing, larger-than-life-sized, 3-D embodiment of Jack Davis' 6 ft. tall Frankenstein Monster, one of the many wondrous trappings of this year's Old Dark Clubhouse constructed by ODCH innkeeper Gary L. Prange. He was perfectly well-mannered during the day, as seen here with THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN writer-director-star Larry Blamire... but then, as night fell...

THE MONSTER RAN AMOK! He started by strangling me!

Then he grabbed LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN producer Michael Schlesinger! He attacked so quickly, so lethally, that Schlesinger had literally no time for one last pun! And (imagine this in a Huckleberry Hound voice) that's fast, man!

Then he moved on to MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT publishers Jim & Marian Clatterbaugh! He squeezed them together so tightly, their ampersand was no longer necessary!

And finally he grabbed Rondo Award-winner Linda "Nurse Moan-eek" Wylie, who tried to get away Scot free, but to no avail!

Unfortunately the attacks were not limited to the Frankenstein Monster. Donna later had the misfortune of an encounter with TV horror host Count Gore DeVol, who lured her into a false sense of security with pleasantries and saturdays and sundries until...

... he sank his fangs into her neck!
Fangs for the memories to the Rondo Award-winning WonderFest!