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Rondo and Bob has screened at more than 20 film festivals and in the U.S. (Texas Frightmare, Cinema Wasteland, Horrible Fantasies); Mexico (Morbido); UK (Cine-Excess); Spain (Sitges, TerrorMolins); and South Africa (Horrorfest).  The award-winning doc is available streaming.



Robert A. "Bob" Burns is a significant name in horror film art direction for his work in the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, Re-Animator, The Howling. His props also appear in Poltergeist. From a young age he showed signs of being a genius and could create complex designs all in his head, draw detailed cartoons and create outrageous puns. In high school and college he studied drama, which he latter utilized in films including Confessions of a Serial Killer.

While attending the University of Texas he edited the Texas Ranger humor magazine and discovered Rondo Hatton, a former Tampa, Florida, sports reporter, who contracted acromegaly, a condition that caused his face, hands and feet to grow out of proportion to the rest of his body. It caused the former athlete and All-American kid to close himself off from the outside world until he met his second wife Mae. Together they went to Hollywood where Hatton became the Creeper in a series of films starting with the Sherlock Holmes story The Pearl of Death. He died of a heart attack brought on by his medical condition.

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Best documentary: Atlanta Horror Film Festival

Best feature: Midwest Monster Film Festival

Best documentary: Tabloid Witch Awards

Best of fest: Saints and Sinners Film Festival

Best horror documentary: Pittsburgh Moving Picture Festival--Thriller Picture Show

Best documentary: Indie Suspense Horror Sci-Fi Film Fest

Best documentary: Tucson Terrorfest

Best documentary on an extraordinary individual:

Berlin New Wave Film Festival

Honorable mention: Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards


The film is highly ambitious. Rondo and Bob is an important historical work, and an engrossing viewing experience for fans of horror and filmmaking in general.-- Hollywood Investigator in awarding the Tabloid Witch Award

Rondo and Bob is a heartfelt, infinitely watchable documentary about love and passion for filmmaking and the magic of the genre. --Morbidly Beautiful


Rondo and Bob looks at the unique mind of a horror fan favorite and the hero he worshipped.--Dallas Observer

What triggers a cinematic obsession? Is it seeing something of yourself in what's on the silver screen, or is it finding something alien, something other? That's the implicit question in double biographical documentary Rondo and Bob, the story of one filmmaker's fascination with the life of a horror icon.--Austin Chronicle


To put it plainly, Rondo and Bob is a true gem that cult film enthusiasts will surely appreciate!--Reel Reviews

O'Connell frames the two men's stories as two sides of the same coin. Each had a special connection to the world of horror. And each had a private life you wouldn't expect given their outward appearance.--San Antonio Express-News

Rondo and Bob is a documentary that blurs the line between journalism and fiction, but it is also very much a love story.--Dallas Morning News

Though Burns was two when Hatton died, the art director lived vicariously through the actor, whose marriage he considered to be one of Hollywood’s great romantic tales.--Tampa Bay Times


The film puts on full display not only the importance of pursuing your passions with whatever tools you can manage, but just how much of an impact the things we love have on us.--Killer Horror Critic

O’Connell’s documentary Rondo and Bob succeeds in honoring two men whose impacts in horror will not be forgotten.--1428 Elm

Rondo and Bob is an earnest, at times humorous and moving tribute to two individuals whose integral achievements in the horror canon should not and, thanks to O’Connell’s efforts, will not soon fade from the collective pop cultural memory.--Critical Blast

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