It is said that as one door slams shut, another creaks eerily ajar, and (yes, Ludwig, they do say that…), and last week we saw the ballot close on this year’s Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, whilst over at the Classic Horror Film Board, the Burgomeisters announced their nominees for the XII Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.
It was very pleasing to see both Berberian Sound Studio and Byzantium getting a few nominations each in the Chainsaws, if a little disappointing to note the absence of Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England, and I have to admit to struggling to pick a favourite between Best Actress nominees Saoirse Ronan and Katherine Isabelle. Well, we wait with bated breath. What fun though, to wade through the Rondos’ category list! Even the most died-in-the-wall horror afficionado should find some novel diversion or other amongst the lists of books, short films, blogs and podcasts. Looking through the nominees, I thought Paul Davis’ Him Indoors should easily take Best Short Film, but then I stumbled across Head Redux, from Chris Falko, and I had to have a lie-down and reconsider. Both shorts are worth your time, dear reader; track them down at Fear.net and YouTube, respectively.
I might argue, however, that the Rondo ballot is, beyond the multimedia nominees and the short films – which can mostly be sourced online – a bit US-centric. Those of us languishing in the forgotten provinces of darkest Europe might hope to have had a chance to catch most of the Best Film nominees, but after that we’re left face down in the mud. In the UK, we can rely on the BBC for Doctor Who, and we also had the dubious pleasure that was NBC’s Dracula, but to catch up with The Walking Dead, American Horror Story or True Blood, non-Fox subscribers will be waiting for the DVD box sets. Furthermore, there isn’t access to a multi-region BluRay player in this part of the sanitorium, so we’re unable to comment on the various Synapse and Scream Factory releases of the past twelve months. Of course, the UK has had a brace of excellent releases of Hammer classics, in the form of Dracula and The Mummy, so one mustn’t grumble, I suppose. In fairness, this is all a natural consequence of the CHFB hosts being based in the colonies, and celebrating the best of what has been set at their particular tables, but this limey’s eyeball is straining at the keyhole and coveting the banquet.
It seems to be on a more even keel once we head into books and magazines. Ludwig was overjoyed to see Wayne Kinsey’s excellent The Peter Cushing Scrapbook included in the nominations, we do hope that this labour of love receives the recognition it deserves. We are also quite excited to see We Belong Dead breaking into the Best Magazine category; it’s no mean feat jostling for position at that table. To see the ballot in full, shuffle over to monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com, where nanotech space robots will inject all the necessary reading words into your eyes, and prepare the tips of your typing fingers. You have until midnight, May 5 – do let us know how you get on.
© RMRenfield and Blackwood Article, 2014