Dave Fuentes, Blogger for Terror from beyond the Daves has decided to stand up and deliver true journalism in a world of fan-ish blogging. Tell the truth and shame the devil. We stand behind him and in doing so are forced to come clean.
When Vampira was honored in 2010, two years after her death, Mr. Lobo did not attend mainly because the convention did not secure him for the event–even though they invited him repeatedly. Mr. Lobo is usually compensated for appearances or at the very least has his expenses offset.Â Mr. Lobo had written an obituary for Malia Numi, AKA Vampira 2 years prior that was published in a Northern California paper and syndicated to 4 other publications, he had also made a small donation for her burial — Mr. Lobo felt that he had already paid his tribute to her.
The next year the organizer of the horror host gathering and a trusted colleague who attended the Vampira tribute constantly called and Emailed Mr. Lobo, ultimately offering a free table and a hotel room for the weekend and a “Celebration of a Decade of Cinema Insomnia” to be a part of the event. They told Mr. Lobo that he would help present Zacherley a lifetime achievement award and assured him that John Zacherley would also attend the Cinema Insomnia Celebration in person.Â Since Mr. Lobo had just acquired funding from his Kickstarter efforts and had deeper pockets than usual he agreed to travel 10 and a half hours in a rented van on his own dime to be at the show. As it turns out this would be the first of many times Mr. Lobo would feel taken advantage of after his Kickstarter victory. To be honest, HorrorHound was hands down Mr. Lobo’s worst convention appearance ever. It cost him well over $1000 to attend HorrorHound only to find out that there was no Hotel room or even a free table. Thankfully Joe Bob Briggs, disgusted with what seemed like a “Horror Host Ghetto” in a side room at the convention, asked to be moved to where “The Real Celebrities are” or else Mr. Lobo wouldn’t have ever been able to set up his booth — and Luckily Artist Brian Maze had an extra bed in his hotel room. Mr. Lobo would not have budgeted to attend had there not been the fabled “Celebration of a Decade of Cinema Insomnia” which devolved into a so-called “roast” honoring him. Mr. Lobo watched them literally drag a chair on stage from the Lobby at the last minute after the event was moved from the evening to the early afternoon causing confusion among many of the other hosts and attendees. Mr. Lobo appreciated the heart felt comments from his peers and was thrilled to see a video of Zacherley presented by Karlos Borloff.
However the disappointment of the broken promise that Zacherley would be there in person and the overall poor planing caused Mr. Lobo to feel tricked and totally embarrassed at the lack of any effort on the part of organizing. That was not a roast by anyone’s standard. Mr. Lobo believes it was a ruse to get him there and also felt as though that year’s horror host hall of fame was a sham as well — That is the reason why he hasn’t attended any other HorrorHound conventions since.
Our Friend Dave Fuentes has blown the lid off of this, so Mr. Lobo feels that he can finally tell the truth. Below is Dave‘s account of the 2013 Horror Host Hall of Fame from his website TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES. It is truly a sad state of affairs for both Horror Hosts and the fans that love them.
2013 Horror Host Hall of Fameâ€¦a DownrightÂ Shame!
Unlike the last few years, 2013â€²s March Horrorhound WeekendÂ featured only a sparse number of horror hosts which, in many ways, seemedÂ like a â€œlast stand.â€ After the Vampira Tribute in 2010, Jason Hignite continued the Horrorhound Weekend/Horror Host tradition with a Zacherley Tribute in 2011 along with â€œinductingâ€ at least ten horror hosts into the Ripleyâ€™s Believe it or Not, Horror Host Hall of Fame. The tradition of choosing ten random hosts for induction would continue in 2012 and, despite the lower turn-out, took place again this year.
While the Vampira Tribute (covered HERE) was a fantastic experience that not onlyÂ energized interest in horrorÂ hostingÂ in general but also helped inspire the creation of this blog, things seemed to go downhill soon afterâ€¦.and this year I think itâ€™s finally hit the bottom!
The majority of classic horror hosts were professional broadcasters who proved their versatility toÂ TV stations by adopting their own characters and presenting packages of films. They often stole the show by beingÂ more entertaining than the movies themselves and amusing their young viewers via macabre humor and skits. Growing up at a time when monster movies werenâ€™t so readily avaialble, this made them nothing short of gods and goddesses in our horror fanâ€™s eyes. Iâ€™m not sure how to explain this phenomenonÂ to those who didnâ€™t grow up with one asÂ you either understand this devotion or you donâ€™tâ€¦though that doesnâ€™t make it any less real for those of us who do.
People often tease me regarding my enthusiastic fandom of Svengoolie but my fervor is not unique amongst his norÂ any otherÂ classic horror host fan.Â I just happen to be more visible and have my own soapboxâ€¦not to mentionÂ the rare honor of having my host still operating onÂ commercial TV today.
That being said, I am a staunch believer that the ONLY people who can properly â€œinductâ€ or pay tribute to ANY horror host is their fans. I first becameÂ alarmed with this event in 2011 when one host induction speech featured something along the lines of, â€œI didnâ€™t know who (the host) was, but I Googled him and he looked cool.â€ For the record, I wasnâ€™t familiar with that horror host either but, never the less, it made a lasting impression and from that moment on IÂ was mortified.
I started imagining a future induction ceremony where myÂ host, Rich Kozâ€™s Svengoolie, was being â€œhonoredâ€ by someÂ PA host from Schenectady who standsÂ up and says, â€œI never heard of Svengoolie, but his YouTube clips sure look amazing!â€ This frightening image is followed by my hurling a chair at him; thus turning the entire induction ceremony into an episode ofÂ the Jerry Springer Show complete with make-up. Iâ€™m sorry folks,Â you just donâ€™t go around messing with an adult monster kidâ€™s childhood host!
Aside from that wereÂ mounting questions being muttered behind the scenes such as where exactly is this Horror Host Hall of Fame,Â if itâ€™s part of â€œRipleyâ€™s Believe it or Notâ€ what exactly is their contribution, why havenâ€™t living hosts (unable to attend) inducted in past years STILL not been notified ofÂ their inductions, and when will those â€œtemporaryâ€Â Â plaques given in previous ceremonies (in some cases misspelling the honorees name) be converted intoÂ actual statues asÂ promised during the 2011 show? Of course, that last question would not be anÂ issue this year as the plaques were dropped entirely in favor of a PowerPoint presentation. This was considered an acceptable alternative in lieu of none of the inductees being present.
Despite these unanswered questions, along with the growing concern that this yearâ€™s ceremony was much more of an afterthought as opposed to an anticipated event,Â my entire purpose for attending the Horrorhound Weekend in Cincinnati was to participate in it. You see, this was the year that my host would finally be inducted and, in keeping with my self-imposed destiny,Â I successfully campaigned to give the speech.
Some participants were told that the ceremony would take place on Saturday at 10am which was the earliest it had ever been. This immediately caused stress among manyÂ hosts by hindering their plans to party Friday night and made even more frustrating by the follow-up announcement that thereâ€™d be a â€œrehearsalâ€ an hour before. All information at this point was spread via hosts and myself as weâ€™d randomly bump into each other on Friday. Unfortunately, our horror host â€œPony Expressâ€ was farÂ from perfect as Dr. David Lady and Dr.Gangrene were under the impression it was still in the afternoon (as in previous years) and missed it entirely.
The next morning I awoke at 7:30am and Brian went on-lineÂ and reported to meÂ theÂ negative comments he saw on FB regarding the lines at Horrorhound. I wasnâ€™t surprised. While full of costumed monsters, the event itself was comparable to Godzilla! After eating a quick breakfast (which the hotel IÂ stayed at provided), I headed over to the convention center. I wasnâ€™t sure how I was going to get in there early as a long line had already formed but, thankfully, I was to beÂ provided my own beacon via Halloween Jack and Halloween Jacqueline. Their customary bright orange costumes made finding horror host activities MUCH easier so Iâ€™d like to give a big THANKS to them.
We teamed up and confidently walked past the line, entering the event via the front door (basically strolling with â€œpurposeâ€Â prevented confused volunteers from stopping us) and found the ballroom where the induction was slated to take place. Inside was Jason Hignite along with Jamie Lee Cortese dressed in her signature Svengoolie attire. At least thereâ€™d be one person whoâ€™d appreciate my speech.
The other hosts arrived on time save Dr. Destruction who, amid a fury of angry texts, eventually trudgedÂ in around ten. As it turned out, he was smarter than the rest of us as technical issues prevented the rehearsal entirely and we all sat around yawning up until show-time.
At last the PowerPoint presentation was operating and we were finally ready to begin.Â Prior to this, Jason quickly sought out a few people toÂ induct hosts who didnâ€™t have presenters.Â This wasÂ to make up forÂ absent hosts (like the aforementioned ones who werenâ€™t updated on our start time) as well as others that simply werenâ€™t filled prior to the occasion. It didnâ€™t make much of a difference either way as, with the exception of Dr. Destruction (who was inducting ToLouse NoNeck), Halloween Jack/Jacqueline (Commander USA), A. Ghastlee Ghoul (I, Zombie), and myselfâ€¦NOBODY had any clue who the hosts were they were honoring anyway. Even the Emmy Award winning, Fritz the Nite Owl, had his assistant tossing him last minute facts regarding Australiaâ€™s Deadly Earnest prior to hitting the stage.
It begs yet another questionâ€¦who picked these inductees?Â Iâ€™m not suggesting that any of them didnâ€™t deserve the honor but wouldnâ€™tÂ it make sense to haveÂ a fan make the pitch for his/her host and then agree to give the speech or send a pre-taped presentation? This is something thatÂ couldÂ have beenÂ worked out months before the event with very little effort. Instead it seemed to be more about choosing a host last minute and then seeing what costumed host was available to do the speech. I do understand wanting the stage to be more â€œcolorfulâ€ but how about having knowledgeable fans pay tribute while having theÂ hosts entertain the audience withÂ skits in between?
As the show was about to begin, something seemed to be noticeably missingâ€¦like the audience! This wasnâ€™t too shocking since an empty theater would be the natural consequence of having a show slated for 10am at a convention that opens at 11. Itâ€™s like going to a department store and seeing a large sign that reads, â€œBIG ONE HOUR BLOW-OUT SALE AT 8am! Doors open at 9!â€ The only real spectators outside of myself and the hosts themselves was my friend Russ and Jamieâ€™s parentsâ€¦all of which had to literally be rescued from the crowd since the convention volunteers had no clue what they were talking about when they said they wanted to attend the Horror Host Hall of Fame.
Count Gore De Vol emceed the show and I was the first to go up there. Gore would later hurl a chicken at me which I should have stolen and had Svengoolie sign for me later. Actually, in lieu ofÂ the situation,Â Sven should be more compelled to stand up and whack me over the head with it. Other than standing in front of that aforementioned PowerPoint, I hope I did okay but, in the end,Â my fears were still realized as my host and his fellow inductees were far from given the proper ceremony they deserved.
With zero audience, most of us tired, along with the overall lack of knowledge creating uninspired presentations we may as well have all just gone out to breakfast and toasted our hosts with a glass of orange juice.Â There were a few warm moments that revolved around I, Zombie as well as a â€œbehind the scenesâ€ tribute to Uncle Lars (see my memories of him HERE) but despite these brief instances of integrity, its unlikely many felt a sense of satisfaction from this event nor that the newly inducted hosts should feel â€œhonoredâ€ by it.
If I appear overly negative, let me state that I get no pleasure from it. I literally wrestled for the past week on whether I should just write up a quickie/white-washÂ report or the truth as I see it. This is one of those times when I hate being the lone Terror Dave. Before Iâ€™d have sought Davidâ€™s advice on matters such as these and, in this instance,Â heâ€™d probably of told me to put a cork in it! At the end of the day, however, I decided it was better for me to beÂ authentic even if left standing alone.
Jason is a really nice guy and, personally, I really do like him. Contrary to what Iâ€™ve heard from others, I donâ€™t believe heâ€™s trying to create his own â€œhorror host brandâ€ nor does this for his own glorification. At the core, Jason isÂ an adult Dr. Creep kid who really just wanted to share his fervor of horror hosts and, in doing so, provided both Terror DavesÂ lots of fun & laughs over the years. I also know heâ€™s shelled out a lot of his own money for these events while enduring flack from hosts who didnâ€™t believe he was treating themÂ fairlyÂ nor like the superstars a few deemed themselves to be. I also realize that heâ€™s been ready to walk away from this event for months but wants someone else to take it over so it can continue.
So the purpose of my rant is not to chastise Jason but to say enough is enough. Just walk away quietly and please donâ€™t bother passing the torch. Unless the convention, Ripleyâ€™s, or some philanthropist is willing to provide the ceremony with an actual budget while assembling a small group of enthusiasts to provide proper planning (preferably more than two weeks before the event), then itâ€™s time to close the doors on this hypothetical Horror Host Hall of Fame once and for all. The inductees deserve better and the participating hosts could certainly come up with more entertaining things to do (plus get to sleep in!).
In fact, Iâ€™d like to see the hostsÂ that attend these events gather on their ownÂ accord,Â choosing an event for which they can all commune and party, alaâ€™ Cinema WastelandÂ from days of yore. As these are fun people and many are my friends, I reallyÂ hope they wonâ€™t mind inviting an un-costumed civilian like me along too; sort of like a decisively less attractive Marilyn Munster.
As for the classic, commercial hosts, theyâ€™ll have their own devoted fans and archivists to see to it theyâ€™re givenÂ proper tribute and respect. If any of these fans should be reading this, I also encourage you to share your tributes on this site. No, it ainâ€™t the Hall of Fame, but it will give outsiders a chance to learn what really made your host special to you (something a Google search can not provide) and why theyâ€™d belong in oneâ€¦a real one!
Special thanks to Joel Sanderson for sharing photos of the event.