Universal monster movies, Horror, Sci-Fi 1900-1970's and more.
A few months ago I undertook the task of watching all fourteen of the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies. I am very glad to say that I was successful in my little quest. Like most classic film fans, my feelings about the series are mixed. I feel that the majority of the films are highly enjoyable and very competently done for such a large amount of entries being made in a relatively brief period. And I feel that the combination of Rathbone and Bruce is an absolute delight, with it being abundantly clear that these two fine actors really held each other in very high esteem. But some of the films are bogged down in too much war propaganda, sluggish plots, and not utilising the often wonderful supporting cast to full effect. And let’s not even talk about Rathbone’s weird windswept do in a few of the…
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Today marks the 18th year that the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror award has been bestowed upon many of the writers, producers, artists, podcasters and bloggers who work within the classic horror genre.
Having myself been involved for over ten years as a writer and editor in the genre. And having spent many hours reading, watching and writing about classic horror and monsters. It’s a fun profession where I’d made almost no money. Though I’ve found my fortune in making some great friends in the way of writers, podcasters and artists. Some of who have become life long friends.
These fellow monster kids have been generous to a fault. They have shared content with me for my blog freely. They have openly given me their own work in the way of art, photos and words, both written and audio. All of these gifts adorn pages of this blog. And the fact is that my monster kid contributors are “in my opinion”, the backbone of the genre. They are the people who when they were kids, rushed home to the TV set to watch their favorite horror hosts in the evening, and they spent their Saturdays reading monster magazines. And they grew up to be talented people.
I kinda felt like a kid waiting for the news of the 2020 Rondo winners to come out this year. I was extra excited to see the news, because this blog had been nominated for a Rondo. I also knew quite a few people who were also nominated this year. I had great hopes that one of us would win a Rondo, or at least be a runner up in the classic horror genre award.
Upon waking up at 4:30 AM, I immediately jumped on my cell phone to check out the results. Shockingly, the two first winners, both in movie categories (movie and made for TV) were the Joker and Star Wars The Mandalorian. This shook me up a bit, because, for one thing, neither production had anything to do with the classic horror genre.
As I looked down the long list of winners and honorable mentions, it became clear to me that many of the winners were from segments of the genre that were on a higher tier or cast, than many of the other nominees. This trend however, was not new news to me whatsoever. And was in fact the catalyst for the creation of our own Monsters After Midnight Classic Monsters Awards in October of 2019, which we hope to continue with in 2020. As I observed the Rondos over the last few years, I noticed a trend towards awarding well funded productions, highly popular websites, more recognized writers and popular artists.
The Rondo Hatton award on the left, portrays a stern face proud man, the Picture of Rondo Hatton on the right reminds me that some bold and brave figures are often forgotten. I’m pleased that he was granted the honor of being the face of such a coveted award.
While there’s nothing wrong with these practices, and the awards are given out based upon votes received from fans, I cant but help feel that many of the monster kids who dedicate their life to the genre are out gunned in a big way by others such as horror host Svengoolie, or movies like the Joker who are well paid, at the top of their game and have hundreds of thousands of followers. For instance, Svengoolie has been the only winner in the Horror host category for many years now. That leaves other lesser horror hosts, (and there are quite a few in other cities and online) artists, writers, producers and podcasters without a chance to ever see a Rondo sitting on the fireplace mantle in their own castle. Considering this trend, I can’t but help wonder if the Rondos should add additional tiers to their awards lineup to include the worker-bees of the classic horror genre.
Gene Stevens -Editor Monsters After Midnight
Imagine this… One morning You wake up. As you walk down street, and get to your job and start your day. You begin to notice this nagging, unexplainable change in your loved ones, friends and co-workers. You see things going on around you that just don’t make sense. You’re just not sure if it’s your overactive imagination, or if something is afoot?
Then one day you walk into your own basement to find a tool or do your laundry. There in the subdued light, you find this weird gigantic seed pod. You’re totally perplexed by this strange thing. As you’re standing there staring at it, the pod begins to shake and boil. It starts to open up and foam like a pot of pasta boiling over on a hot stove… suddenly… it pops opens to reveal a humanoid figure inside of it. A figure which looks like an incomplete being with vague, yet familiar features. It looks familiar because it has your own face on it! No… It’s not a day at the spa…
Living the BODY SNATCHERS…
As time passes, you find out that these strange seed pods have been turning up all over. Even your best friends have found them in their house, and they are experiencing the same types of feelings about things around them.
Soon thereafter, trucks begin to roll into town packed full of the giant pods to be distributed to your friends.. Or at least people who you thought were your friends.. Because now your not sure of anything. Then suddenly one of your close friends turns on you and tells you that this whole thing is part of a bigger plan. A program.. That includes you too. He explains that the pods are absorbing everything that we are. And reproducing into a new being that becomes us, and we are absorbed by the pods. And this whole process happens to you while you are sleeping. And that’s the only time the whole process can complete itself.
Immediately, and understandably, you freak out. You try to run and escape from your home town. But now you realize that the whole town has been over run by these pods, and the new beings that they have created.
The one thing you know for sure is, that if you fall asleep, you will be absorbed by the pods. So you run as fast as you can. Then suddenly, you are spotted by a group of people who have lost their souls to this unholy alliance of alien and human. They pursue you through the hills around your town for hours. Not one or two, but hundreds of them are trying desperately to find you, to silence you, to stop you from leaking your secret of the pods to the rest of world.
You are so exhausted, you can’t think straight. But you have now made it to the main highway of the larger city that you live near. Its rush hour and the highway is packed full of cars. You try to stop them and warn them. But your mental state from the ordeal has left in barely coherent and your screaming and crying for help. Surely the people in the cars just assume that your just another crazy person, like so many others that they have seen before.
Eventually, the police arrive and take you into custody. You try to tell them too. You do your best to tell them what happened to you. And was happening to the world you knew just down the road. But they think you need to see a psychiatrist. So they transport you to a local hospital for an evaluation. You speak to several doctors there, they are skeptical, but educated enough to see that your not completely crazy and try to sort through what’s happening. Suddenly an ambulance arrives with the victims of a car wreck. One of the doctors asks about how the victims were injured, and the paramedic tells them that they were injured in an accident with a truck. A semi truck, that was carrying a strange cargo of large seed pods that no one had ever seen before.. It’s now clear to them, that you told them the truth and they place a call to the state police for further assistance in the matter.
Let’s face it the 1956 version of the Body Snatchers was way ahead of its time. Perhaps it was Hollywood playing on our post World War ll cold war fears, or maybe it was just pure sci fi mixed in with a pinch if serious spice that turned it into a great thriller.
Invasion of the Body Snatched cast
A big Thank You to Ron Adams of Creepy Classics for allowing us to use Creepy Classics Content!