Rondo And Bob

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

This is a documentary for the freaks out there as it highlights two outsiders in the movie industry: Bob Burns, known for his work in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, Re-Animator, The Howling, and Poltergeist and character actor Rondo Hatton (The Brute Man, House of Horrors, The Night Prowler) who contracted acromegaly, a condition that caused his face, hands and feet to grow out of proportion to the rest of his body. 

"This is a documentary for the freaks out there"

If you are a horror fanatic, then you’ve seen both of their work, separately, but thanks to an unexpected connection at the University of Texas - where Burns edited the Texas Ranger humor magazine and discovered Rondo Hatton, a former Tampa, Florida, sports reporter, and found beauty in Hutton’s real face - the two lives are intertwined to create something both brilliant and weird.

While one artist found his expression through props, the other closed himself off from the outside world until he went to Hollywood and became the Creeper in a series of films starting with the Sherlock Holmes story The Pearl of Death. While he was far too smart to just act, he definitely looked the part so kept with his appearances, replacing Boris Karloff and others.

Rondo and Bob magnificently weaves together the stories of Burns and Hatton and delves into their horror filmographies and personal life stories. In fact, The Creeper becomes a metaphor for Burns' lifelong belief in his inner ugliness, a lack that left him unable to feel true love.Rondo And Bob

Whether working on shoestring budgets to bring to life the minute details of his horror work, the film mixes interviews with archival film footage and rare video of Burns and the people he tried desperately to love. Along the way it examines vital touchstone films of the horror genre and tells the true stories of two of its important players who, unfortunately, don’t get a lot of attention thanks to their withdrawal into the shadows.

To bring the characters of Rondo and Bob fully to life, scenes from Burns' and Hatton's lives have been recreated using actors and it works to bring humor and heart to the narrative as the hunt for what happened to Hatton intensifies.  He was a former athlete, handsome and humble; all-American, if you will.  Yet his disease drove him into the darkness until he met his second wife, Mae.  Together, they packed up and went to Hollywood. 

The film, written and directed by Joe O’Connell, features veteran stuntman Gary Kent (Bubba Ho-Tep, “The Green Hornet), actress Dee Wallace (Cujo, The Howling), Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon, Joseph Middleton, Joe Bob Briggs, Hills Have Eyes producer Peter Locke, Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Edwin Neal, filmmaker Fred Olen Ray, and many more.

Rondo and Bob begins streaming on digital platforms on June 7th thanks to Electric Entertainment.

4/5 stars


Film Details

Rondo And Bob

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
104 mins
: Joe O'Connell
Joe O'Connell
Ryan Williams; Kelsey Pribilski; Joseph Middleton
: Documentary
Two faces of fear.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Electric Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 14, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: 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 later utilized in films including Confessions of a Serial Killer.


Rondo And Bob