Forrest J Ackerman

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Postby AJM » 04/30/09 04:29 PM

Fans of Forrest J Ackerman may be interested to know that he is featured in an article in this month's Empire film magazine.

The magazine is celebrating it's 20 anniversary in the UK and, to mark the occasion, this month's issue is guest-edited by Steven Speilberg (who he?).

Apparently Mr Speilberg's favourite magazine from his younger days was Famous Monsters of Filmland, hence the decision to include a piece on Mr Ackerman.

Cheers

Andrew
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/30/09 06:18 PM

Empire is an amazing magazine. I just discovered it thanks to Richard Kaufman and I've subscribed.

Famous Monsters was a great magazine. I started reading it again when I was in law school -- where, one night, high on a full tank of gasoline and a clean windshield, I replaced all the pictures on the law school walls with photos from Famous Monsters.
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Postby David Alexander » 04/30/09 09:39 PM

Forry was a wonderful person. I spent many pleasant hours in his company. He knew everyone, was a great story teller, and inspired untold thousands of kids. He once showed me a framed two or three page story that some 14-year-old had written and sent to him in the early days of Famous Monsters. The kid signed it: Stephen King.

He would hold tours of the Ackermansion on Saturdays, doning his Dracula cape that had been worn by Lugosi. Sometimes he'd slip on the ring Boris Karlof wore in The Mummy. His pride and joy was a life-sized model of Maria, the robotrix from his favorite film, Metropolis. He saw it nearly 90 times. He loved showing off his stuff and never tired of his ability to throw a pun.

He let me call him "Uncle Forry" and welcomed me into his home and into the private area that was not open to the tour. It was always a pleasure to visit him. The visits would be hours long, but always seemed short.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 05/02/09 07:28 PM

Which month is "this month's" issue? The issue currently on the stands in Indiana is the May 2009 issue, containing a good story on William Castle. It contains an ad for the next issue, a 20th anniversary issue co-edited by Stephen Spielberg, to have gone on sale April 23. Is the Ackerman article therefore in the June issue?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/02/09 07:51 PM

Yes, it's in the Spielberg issue I believe.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 05/02/09 09:04 PM

Ah-William Castle! Another genius. Several years ago, Max Maven sent me his biography. As I kid I saw all his movies -- WITH the gimmicks. For "House On Haunted Hill" he had a skeleton coming out of the screen. For another one (name escapes me--could be "Macabre") there was a clock on the screen at the beginning and an insurance policy on your life in case you died of fright.

Eventually some of the fans of these low-budget movies grew up, became directors and converted the low-budget vibe to big, budget blockbusters.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/02/09 09:16 PM

One of William Castle's gimmicks which translated well to home viewing on a DVD is the Ghost Viewer for 13 Ghosts. While it looks superficially like an anaglyph set of 3D glasses (one lense red, the other blue), it actually enables you to see the movie with the ghosts visible or not visible. Reproductions of the original cardboard "ghost viewers" were included with the DVD.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 05/02/09 09:34 PM

I love how guys can so easily relate to this stuff. I've been trying to market a novel that is set against this background (one of the characters, for example, ends up working at FMoF for Ackerman), but my otherwise wonderful agent is female, and every editor she has contacted is female. I keep thinking we would have a better chance if one of the editors had at some point been a little boy.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/02/09 09:36 PM

according to amazon.com there might be one with the DVD.
This DVD does not provide a working replica of the Illusion-O viewer (earlier copies did), but it offers both a straight, black-and-white version of the feature (no viewer necessary) and a version with the film's original tinted scenes requiring the viewer for extra fun.
from: http://www.amazon.com/13-Ghosts-Rosemar ... B00005N5RQ

and on ebaY... one available for $250.00
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/02/09 10:31 PM

That's weird: what the hell is the use of the version of the film with the tinted scenes without the viewers?
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Postby Jeff Pierce Magic » 05/05/09 08:54 AM

I was first published in Famous Monsters so it holds a special place in my heart.

Jeff Pierce
visit my website at:
www.jeffpiercemagic.com
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/05/09 12:57 PM

There is at least one article about The Magic Castle in Famous Monsters of Filmland.
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Postby David Alexander » 05/05/09 02:30 PM

Good to see that Forry's name was spelled properly - without a period after the "J".

He liked to tell a story about how someone sued him. When the process server showed up and handed him the summons and complaint Forry looked at it, saw that the J had a period after it and handed it back to the slightly confused process server saying, "Sorry...not me."
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Postby Steve Bryant » 05/25/09 05:41 PM

The issue of Empire previously discussed (June 2009, the issue with Spielberg on Ackerman) has finally appeared on the shelves here in Indiana.

Re the Magic Castle in Famous Monsters, I was able to find an article in issue 46 titled "Boris Karloff in the Magic Castle." Nice story, great puns. The story on Karloff was scheduled to be continued in issue 47, but I was unable to confirm if it was.

If anyone knows of any additional pieces on the Magic Castle in Famous Monsters, I'd be happy to hear of them.
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