Sunday, February 26, 2017

Latest Rondo Award Nominations Announced

This year's Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award nominations were announced today, and I'm very pleased to report that VIDEO WATCHDOG - in its last turn at the prize - was nominated in the following categories:

  • Best Magazine
  • Best Cover - Mark Maddox's CARMILLA, VIDEO WATCHDOG #183 (pictured)
  • Best Columnist - Larry Blamire's "Star Turn"
  • Best Article - "BALDPATE: The Long Road to the HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS" by Kim Newman, VIDEO WATCHDOG #181
  • Best Article - "NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE: Variations and Version Blood" by Tim Lucas, VIDEO WATCHDOG #182
And the good news in the Best Article category is, you can vote for two!

In addition to my Best Article nomination, I received 4 additional nominations myself: 
  • Best Blog - Video WatchBlog (you're looking at it!)
  • Best Audio Commentary - Fritz Lang's DESTINY (Kino Lorber)
  • Best DVD Extra - BLOOD BATH's "The Trouble With Titian Revisited" video essay (Arrow Video)
and - last but certainly not least - a nomination that doesn't actually bear my or anyone's name:

Photos: Entertainment Weekly/Mitchell Haddad

  • Best Live Event - Cinefamily/SpectreVision's live table reading of THE MAN WITH KALEIDOSCOPE EYES - an original script by Tim Lucas & Charlie Largent, with Michael Almereyda and James Robison - last October 12 at L.A.'s Vista Theater, hosted and narrated by  Joe Dante and featuring a cast including Bill Hader, Jason Ritter and special guest Roger Corman, who left his handprints in cement outside the theater!  
Please be aware that the ballot also includes various write-in categories where VW and its contributors are eligible, including Best Writer, Best Artist, and Monster Kid of the Year. To refresh your memory, VIDEO WATCHDOG's contributors for the past year included Michael Barrett, Larry Blamire, Ramsey Campbell, John Charles, John-Paul Checkett, Bill Cooke, Shane M. Dallmann, Lloyd Haynes, Chris Herzog, Charlie Largent, Tim Lucas, Mark Maddox (artist), Kim Newman, Eric Somer, Brad Stevens, Brett Taylor, Budd Wilkins and Douglas E. Winter.

I would personally love to see Donna Lucas' 27 years of publishing VIDEO WATCHDOG honored with a Monster Kid of the Year Award, too. This year is VW's last grab for Rondo's golden ring and it would be wonderful to see her mammoth contribution to horror and fantasy publishing recognized with a tribute that is all hers.

Donna and I are so very pleased and proud of these nominations, and for the high quality of the overall ballot itself. The state of film and film-related publishing may be ailing, magazines may be dropping like flies, but you would never know it from the robust health of the high quality work being done in these areas.

I hope you'll all FOLLOW THIS LINK, look over the large cast of worthy nominees, and cast your email votes for your favorites!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Those Who Deserve to Make Films

One of my greatest regrets about not being able to print the last issue of VIDEO WATCHDOG (184), which remains in-progress, is that it contained the concluding half of John-Paul Checkett's two-part essay on CARMILLA in the cinema. After John-Paul turned in his article, already quite lengthy, I happened to see Bret Wood's latest film THE UNWANTED on Netflix - and I immediately wrote to JP (as I call him) to tell him his article wasn't finished; there was something he needed to add, because Bret's film had turned out to be a contemporary treatment of J. Sheridan Le Fanu's classic 19th century novella. And when I read the extra pages JP turned in, I was gratified to read his assessment because THE UNWANTED became the capstone of the entire assignment.

In the eloquent words of Mr Checkett:

"It is a shame that Wood’s film has not been embraced by a larger audience, especially given that it is, without exaggeration, the best-acted adaptation of the novella ever committed to film. Although the three principal leads are all outstanding, Hannah Fierman’s performance as Laura merits special consideration, and should have served as the springboard for a bigger career. The film is entirely unique as the sole adaptation to present Carmilla in an unambiguously positive light, and the only one that is (quite arguably) completely devoid of supernatural content. Although the film depicts both bloodletting and blood drinking, neither are necessarily indicative of supernatural vampirism, reflecting instead the sexual dynamics explored in Theodore Sturgeon’s SOME OF YOUR BLOOD. Perhaps even more remarkably, the two female leads never acquiesce to the demands of male fantasy, and their love story is as beautiful as it is tragic."

Simply put, Bret Wood (PSYCHOPATHIA SEXUALIS, THE LITTLE DEATH) is one of the most important independent filmmakers specializing in dark subjects working today. He's trying to complete his current work-in-progress, THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE and is trying to raise essential completion funds at Kickstarter. If you've read this far, please read the following promotional text, visit the links, and consider making a contribution to what has every hope of becoming another outstanding film.

* * *

The director of the 2014 alterna-vampire film THE UNWANTED is midway through production of a new feature, a brutal revenge film entitled THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE.

Joe Sykes (V/H/S) stars as a veteran who returns to his hometown and, guided by the malevolent spirit of his dead sister (newcomer Alice Lewis) carries out a cruel vengeance upon those who destroyed his family. Flavored with a dark and distinctive visual style reminiscent of 1960s gialli, THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE continues the exploration of violence and perverse eroticism for which Wood has become known. The film is being produced by Adam K. Thompson, with special makeup effects by Shane Morton (TV’s YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL and the biker shocker DEAR GOD NO!).

Teaser Trailer A:

The Atlanta-based crew expects to complete production in late Spring 2017, and is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to complete principal photography (ends February 25). While visiting their campaign page, be sure to explore the behind-the-scenes videos, photos, and giveaway items.

Kickstarter Link:

Alice Lewis in custody, in TWDTD.

One of the most fascinating stories within the production is that of 12-year-old horror-obsessed actress Alice Lewis, who has used photography and cosplay to redefine herself after being adopted at age seven. To celebrate Alice’s inspirational story, the filmmakers crafted this brief profile piece:

Main text (c) 2017 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved.