Friday, March 26, 2010

A Rondo rondo II: Night of the Nominees

You meet the most interesting people in this bloggin' hobby. Last week, in "A Rondo rondo! Nattering With Nominees!" I asked some questions of some of the people vying for the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award, and the feedback was fun. (See also my Q & A with past winner and current nominee Joe Moe.) Enjoyable enough to send a new set of queries to all the other "Best Blog" nominees! All but a couple responded.

This go 'round features these e-endorsed, enthusiastic explorers of the eerie:

Tim Lucas of Video Watchblog, (left) and Paul Castiglia of Scared Silly (right). I've got 2 pics of Paul because both of these photos that I found of him made him look like a severed head. I like that. I wonder if we're related...?

(Left) Rhonda Kachur "Rhonny Reaper" of Dollar Bin Horror.

(Right) Kirk Demarais of Secret Fun Blog.

(Left) Kerry Kate of
Obscure Hollow. (Right) Tenebrous Kate of Love Train For the Tenebrous Empire.

(Left) Stacie Ponder's stand-in at Final Girl.

(Right) "Karswell"-- Steve Banes of

(Below, center) Pierre Fournier of

Now on with the gabfest and convivial drinking... minus the drinking. (Sigh.) Getting together virtually sure can be enjoyable, but I couldn't even offer skittles and beers!

1.) Which would rather have-- a place in the Guinness Book or a Rondo? If the former, what category would you appear in?

Tim Lucas: I should already be in the Guinness Book for having the most Rondo Awards received by one person to date (11). One more Rondo would give me a stronger foothold in the Guinness Book, which I can't say for the Guinness Book, so you see where I'm going with this.

Paul Castiglia: Ron-do! Ron-Do! Ron-Do!

Rhonny Kachur: Although a Rondo is a HUGE honor, being in the Guinness book would be so cool. If I keep going at the pace I am, I could be in the category of largest creepy doll collection :)

Kirk Demarais: I would like to hold the world record for receiving the most Rondos. Hmmm, is that joke too obvious? What the heck, I'm sticking with it.

[Hey Kirk-- Stick with the obvious. It always works for me here!]

Kerry Kate: A Rondo for Best Horror Blog.

Tenebrous Kate: Good question! While the allure of stomping all over a schoolgirl's record of Most Slugs On The Face *is* pretty tempting, I think the Rondo would probably be more meaningful for me. Also, a lot less slimy. I hope.

Stacie Ponder: I'd rather have a Rondo, as it's specific to horror. I used to love Guinness Book when I was a kid and it was mostly full of freaks (I'm allowed to say that, because my great uncle was in it for a time- World's Strongest Teeth!). Now the records seem so arbitrary- like, if I make a huge pie or if I get a zillion people to wear cowboys hats I'll win a record. Then someone can break my record by having a zillion and ONE people wear cowboy hats. Anyone can get some kind of Guinness Record...Rondo all the way. Plus, the Rondo bust is sweet.

Steve Banes: It's too bad you didn't include Ripley's, because believe it or not I still have a lot of blogging left in these old bones. (Guinness... I guessness.)

Pierre Fournier: A Rondo, of course. Besides, I am already in the Guinness Book of Records, but we need not discuss my sexual prowess here.

2.) You got nominated. What do you think your blog avoids doing that annoys people at other blogs?

Tim Lucas: By and large, this year my blog avoided blogging.

Paul Castiglia: Scared Silly avoids covering films made past the year 1966 (most of the time)...

Rhonny Reaper: I think my blog avoids trashing every movie I see. Yes when I see a bad film, I let you know, but I also try to find the positives in every movie I watch and review. I still give my honest opinion, but without being disrespectful and harsh.

Kirk Demarais: Actually I think my blog is pretty annoying. I rarely update, my posts are often ridiculously long, I keep way too many posts on the first page, there's a ton of pictures that take forever to load, I talk about myself too much, etc.

Kerry Kate: There is not much writing involved. It's mainly a visual blog.

Tenebrous Kate: I'm sensing a real IT'S A TRAP moment here...! I'm hopeful that I don't annoy people too much, but if I had to pick a thing that might frustrate other fans, it's my blissful ignorance of he 80s Slasher Genre. I feel like I have to get that right out into the open so as to avoid accusations of being a Horror Traitor!

Stacie Ponder: I'm sure I annoy plenty of people! You'd probably have to ask people who read Final Girl why they seem to like it to get a good answer for this. One thing that annoys ME about websites, something I try to avoid, is a bunch of clutter. I like a simple layout without garish colors that make my eyes want to shrivel up and fall out.

Steve Banes: People come to THOIA for horror comics so that's what I give them. After a bit of trial and error I now stick to one thing that works and that's what keeps 'em coming back. I make up for the minimized variety by including occasional news that is relative to comics and art. Consistency, frequent updates, keeping things interesting with ORIGINAL material (the world certainly does not need another horror blog reviewing or making fun of Twilight.)

Pierre Fournier: These stupid Q&A with bloggers.

3.) What is your super power? How can you use it to improve your chances of winning?

Tim Lucas: I could only improve my chances of winning by blogging, which -- in this category anyway -- is my super power.

Paul Castiglia: My superpower is my ability to name-drop notorious Jerry Lewis impersonator Sammy Petrillo's name at any given moment. Sammy passed away in 2009, so maybe I'll get sympathy votes (although that's not my motive - I simply loved Sammy and his audacity - super nice guy, too)!

Rhonny Reaper: I don't have any super powers (yet....), but if I could have one I think it would be mind reading. Then I could see what everyone likes and dislikes about my blog, make improvements, and increase my chances of winning by giving the readers what they want to read!

Kirk Demarais: I have the power of "not throwing stuff away" combined with "super ability to locate my old stuff" plus "ultra living in the past." They're good for retro-blogging but not for winning.

Kerry Kate: I have no super power sadly. I will be happy for who ever wins. When I started this blog I never foresaw it being nominated for anything but to have fun and have a chance to study closely the design of the films that I enjoy so much and share with others.

Tenebrous Kate: My mutant super-power is an infinite capacity for grainy, third-generation, ripped-from-VHS prints. It's a little like X-ray vision, but way less useful in day-to-day life.

Steve Banes: I have the uncanny ability to not only pet a cat from a thousand miles away, but also simultaneously piss it off. Not sure how that will help me win a Rondo though.

Pierre Fournier: I am actually able to communicate telepathically with cats. No kidding. Now if I could get all the cats to work computers and vote for me, I’d win by a landslide.

[Pierre, are you and Banes related? You got similar superpowers! Or maybe we three all are-- have you read the 3rd paragraph of this post here at TDSH? ]

4.) Is appearing at TDSH the the lowest point in your virtual life? If not, what was?

Tim Lucas: I had a lower point, but why drag up old memories?

Paul Castiglia: No - the lowest point in my virtual life was writing a blog reviewing movies I didn't even like. But at least I used an assumed name.

Rhonny Reaper: Absolutely not! I LOVE TDSH! The lowest point for me would be way back before I started blogging, I had a horror review MySpace because I didn't know about the blogosphere yet. MySpace apparently hated me and shut my site down for the images on it. It really sucked lol.

Kirk Demarais: I've had links to my site pop up in some very unsavory places; places that make this look like the breakfast nook in my grandma's house.

Kerry Kate: We are honored to be on your blog Max!

Tenebrous Kate: Wow--it would take some thinking to identify the lowest point of my virtual life. Is this the part where a single tear trickles down my cheek and I whimper that I was young and I needed the money...?

Stacie Ponder: It's hard to say. I'd say it is, yes, but SURELY there's incriminating evidence out there somewhere...probably in my Google history. Hmm...oh, I've read video game fan fiction online. That's pretty low.

Steve Banes: Yes. It can't get much lower than this. And then suddenly---!!!

Pierre Fournier: Well, I fell for that Nigerian scam thing. Cost me an arm and a leg, but at least I’m still penpals with Dr. Mugu Mgbada.

5.) Name one change that you think would improve the Rondo Awards.

Tim Lucas: A tie between fewer nominations and easier balloting.

Paul Castiglia: A multi-colored mohawk on top of (the statue of) Rondo's head. You know, like Stripe the Gremlin from Joe Dante's brilliantly funny "Gremlins 2: the Next Batch."

Kirk Demarais: A crew of volunteer assistants would definitely improve David Colton's life expectancy. In fact, I'd like to volunteer to count the votes for "Best Blog."

Tenebrous Kate: I figure as long as I am NOT in charge of it, I'm happy to let better minds than mine take care of bid'ness. Rah-rah-Rondo!

Stacie Ponder: I have no idea how the nominating process works but I'd like to. The info is probably in some giant-sized type somewhere, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now. I also think the voting period should be much shorter.

Steve Banes: The annoying copy/paste/delete way of voting has got to go...

Pierre Fournier: Ban Tim Lucas. That would free up a dozen Rondos every year for the rest of us.

6.) Name any one food item-- and how many of that item do you think you could stuff in your mouth?

Tim Lucas: Jelly Belly Juicy Pear jelly beans. 11, which is the official serving size and my limit.

Paul Castiglia: I write a blog about classic horror-COMEDIES so I'll choose one double-sized slice of a whipped cream pie. But I'd have to hit myself in the face with it first.

Rhonny Reaper: Well I know for a fact I can fit 13 Warheads in my mouth (unfortunately, I also know why there's a warning label on the package...I couldn't taste anything for 2 days.)

Kirk Demarais: Candy corn. I haven't stopped stuffing pieces into my mouth since I was a kid so it seems that my mouth has an infinite capacity.

Kerry Kate: Donut holes and I have no idea how many I could fit. I will give it a try and let you know ;)

Tenebrous Kate: Fourteen marshmallows (but they have to be the small, store-brand kind--none of that Stay Puft shite for me!). I may or may not know this for a fact due to some tremendously misspent time in art skool.

Steve Banes: An entire gooey butter cake. No wait, Sushi Pizza... I'm sure I could easily shove the whole thing into my mouth at one time, and then some.

Pierre Fournier: I can actually stuff my mouth full of crackers and whistle “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. If we meet, just ask, and I’ll demonstrate.

7.) Would you do that on-camera if it would get you a Rondo?

Tim Lucas: If you provide the jelly beans. And they have to look clean!

Paul Castiglia
: Maybe in honor of the late great Soupy Sales. The key word being "Maybe"...

Rhonny Reaper: You know what, yes, yes I would if I won!

Kirk Demarais: Sure I'd eat some candy corn on camera. Brach's brand is my favorite.

Kerry Kate: Hell no! I'm camera shy.

Tenebrous Kate: I may or may not have it on camera even as we speak (this is the "young and needed the money" thing).

Steve Banes: Max, I'd do ANYTHING right now for a sushi pizza... haven't had anything as delicious since last summer in Toronto.

Pierre Fournier: Heck, I’d stuff my pants full of crackers and tap dance to “Zip a Dee Doo Dah” if it would help my chances.

8.) What is something you'd say in your acceptance speech?

Tim Lucas: "And remember, if you can award me, you can hire me."

Paul Castiglia
: "But seriously..."

Rhonny Reaper: Well first, I would thank everyone who has ever supported me and Dollar Bin Horror (especially B-Sol of the Vault of Horror and Patrick of Stabbing Stabbing Stabbing), all the readers, all the haters (because they need love too), and Wes Craven for showing that not everything that comes outta Cleveland is horrible :)

Kirk Demarais: "I'd like to thank... oh no, why am I completely naked?" and then I would wake up, because that's the only way I'd ever receive the little guy for Secret Fun Blog. This is rightfully so since my blog is merely seasoned with spooky as opposed to the other full blown horror blogs. But this fact only makes me more honored to have been listed among the nominees year after year. I'm extremely thankful to whomever is responsible for this!

Kerry Kate: Thanks folks!

Tenebrous Kate: "I'm dreadfully sorry about the computer glitch that resulted in my winning this award, but I'm running as fast as I can, clutching this Rondo bust, before you sort stuff out....!"

Stacie Ponder: "Thank you". That's it. Short and sweet and sincere- say thank you and get off the damn stage.

Steve Banes: "...and most of all I'd like to thank The League of Tana Tea Drinkers for making this possible."

Pierre Fournier: Should hell freeze over and I got a Rondo, I would step up to the podium and demand a recount!

9.) How might you improve your blog in the coming year?

Tim Lucas: I might actually blog on it, but no promises.

Paul Castiglia: Post more reviews... and in a more timely fashion!

Rhonny Reaper: I think organization is my biggest opposition. I need to get something like a schedule so that my posts don't feel as sporadic and crazy. Also, I write them quickly and sometimes ignore my grammar, so I may work on that as well.

Kirk Demarais: Clone myself so that I'd have time to write in it as much as I wish I could.

Kerry Kate: More films and would like to incorporate research articles on set designers, prop artists, shooting locations, perhaps costume designs, etc.. of these films. Perhaps even getting shirts made to sell...

Tenebrous Kate: This sounds suspiciously like one of those workplace self-assessments! In which case, this is the part where I say "I could be more consistent." I mean, I'm not *going* to be more consistent, but I *could* be. Our world is not a perfect one, alas.

Stacie Ponder: I just need to keep doing what I'm doing, I think- keep reviewing, keep coming up with new, silly things to post. The more you do it, the better you get. This is also true for other things. So I've been told.

Steve Banes: More animated gifs: flying fiery skulls, dancing devil babies, spinning pentagrams, Jesus crying. People love that shit.

Pierre Fournier: What are you saying? It needs improving? Seriously, I wish I had more time. I have tons of material on the back burner, and I’m always itching to get it out there. I wish I could spend all the time I wanted on research and writing, but I’m hampered by things like eating and sleeping, and making a living. Until I get that Nigerian fortune I’ve been promised, I don’t see the blog changing or “improving” significantly. Just expect the same old crap!

Really, truly, totally optional question:

10.) If not you, who in your category do you hope will win?

Tim Lucas: I came out officially in support of Pierre Fournier's Frankensteinia for Best Blog.

Paul Castiglia: It's a toss-up between John Cozzoli's Zombos' Closet of Horror or Pierre Fournier's Frankensteinia. Hopefully they'll both win because Pierre is also nominated in the "Best Event" category for his fantastic Boris Karloff Blogathon that so many of us participated in.

Rhonny Reaper: I would LOVE to see Vault of Horror, Frankensteinia, or of course TDSH win :) I'm just honored to be nominated and would be in total shock just to be an honorable mention!

Kirk Demarais: Many deserve a rondo, but as a designer/artist who is often influenced by spooky visuals I'm very especially grateful for Obscure Hollow. I've seen nothing like it on the web and I think it will prove to be an invaluable resource for decades to come.

Tenebrous Kate: There are so many amazing writers, but I'm voting for Pierre Fournier of Frankensteinia. There's nobody better to represent the spirit of Classic Horror!

Steve Banes: If Tim Lucas wins again this year I'm mailing my Bava book back (minus the Barbara Steele photos.) But seriously, is it too late to congratulate him on the 2010 "Best Blogger" win?

Pierre Fournier: I hope that The Drunken Severed Head wins a posthumous Rondo.

I'm grateful to the participants. This post wrote itself!


Paul Castiglia said...

Nice job one and all!

By the way, I'm assuming when people read that "the lowest point in my virtual life was writing a blog reviewing movies I didn't even like. But at least I used an assumed name" they'll realize I WASN'T referring to "Scared Silly" - because I do use my REAL name on that blog... and by and large I LOVE the movies I review on "Scared Silly!"

But Felix Unger taught me never to assume, so I'm underscoring that fact. As to the name of the blog for which I reviewed films I didn't like under an assumed name, well, I'll never tell! :)

John Rozum said...

Thanks for that entertaining and insightful Q & A with people whose blogs I enjoy immensely and are all deserving of a Rondo if you ask me.

Of course, the transparency of surrounding yourself with such class acts of the blogosphere in order to make your own blog seem more respectable and deserving of the Rondo itself was not lost on me, or I would guess anyone else.

I'm sure in the final stretch you will move away from the Q & A and on to the T & A in a final effort to sway last minute voters. May I remind you that I have not yet voted, so my vote can still be swayed.

Max the drunken severed head said...

Paul-- Thank you for participating. And I'm perfectly serious. (I just look silly.)

John-- Yer welcome. And yeah, a little class around this jernt couldn't hurt me any. But I do like seeing how people can come up with good answers to my sometimes less than wonderful questions.

I'll try to buy yer vote later with a post on midget lesbian vampires, a subject that I know is close to your heart. (Well, if they stand on a footstool that is.)

Kitty LeClaw said...

I dreamed of summer in Toronto; eating my fill of sushi pizza, and happily getting lost amid the labyrinth of towering skyscrapers. The whole of the scene was so gorgeous, it is both a tragedy and a shame I couldn't stay asleep indefinitely.


Ha! Fun interwiews!
Good luck to everyone, especially the winner...


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