The Horror Movie Magazine You Can
Really Sink Your Teeth Into
Issue #1

Dr. Acula’s Diary  

Forrest J Ackerman

Forrest J Ackerman

I’ve just done my 93d imagi-movie cameo, this time opposite John (Tarantuala) Agar, the movie star to whom, like Edgar Allan Poe, I inadvertently gave a Premature Burial about 25 years ago upon misinformation that he had died. But he is alive and gave a lively performance with me in The Dracula Hunters Club. Also acting in the film, which the producers hope will become a cult classic and spawn a sequel, are Bob Burns, Will Smith (a child in Ghost of Frankenstein), award-winning sci-fi novelist Brad Linaweaver (author of the short story dedicated to the Man of 1,000 Faces, “The Lon Chaney Factory”) and Scream Queen Brinke Stevens. I am seen wearing the futuristicostume I did as a future President of the United States in Amazon Women on the Moon. Director is Don Glut, the scripter/director of Dinosaur Valley Girls and the best-selling author of The Empire Strikes Back.

I was flown first class over to Berlin and put up at a 5-star hotel to participate in the inauguration of the great German Film Museum, a squareblock Sony building 7 storeys tall. The museum is a modern marvel full of all sorts of filmic wonders but of particular interest to imagi-movie fans are my 25 props including the pterandodon that was trying to fly away with Fay Wray, the gas bomb that brought down King Kong, Vincent Price’s Jules Verne aerial vehicle the Albatross from Master of the World, a set of miniature 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, a Don post Studios limited edition bust of Nosferatu, the heads of Capt. Kirk and other principal players of Star Trek, the Star Child from 2010...there is a 2-storey tall blowup of the City of Metropolis, a three-quarter size reproduction of the Metropolis robotrix, a wall of TV screens with a score of constantly changing scenes from Metropolis...a loop of Ray Harryhausen making his Academy Award speech and gloriously displayed windows behind which are numerous of his dinosaurs, the Medusa, the living skeleton fighters and more props than you could shake a stop-motion stick at. For the standing room only auditoriumful of a thousand spectators the ceremony started with actress Senta Berger as mediator introducing Roman Polanski (The Fearless Vampire Killers), Maria Riva, daughter of Marlene Dietrich, the son of Erich von Stroheim (The Crime of Dr. Crespi, The Lady and the Monster, Sunset Boulevard), Ray (Master Animator) Harryhausen and Lupita Tovar, female star of the 1931 Spanish-language version of Dracula.

Two showings with live orchestra of my favorite scientifilm were given in conjunction with the Hollywood Cult Movies Convention, bringing my total viewing of Metropolis to 93 to date. As part of the con his son celebrated the birthday of his father Bela Lugosi with a banquet. Lifetime achievement awards were given, among others, to Ray Bradbury, William Shatner, Curtis (Queen of Blood) Harrington, Russ Meyer (pioneer of nudie films), Ed Wood (via Ouiji board) and, er, someone named Forrest Ackerman for some obscure reason. Yvette (Attack of the 50 Foot Woman) Vickers entertained with a song of “Why Don’t You Do Right” and I(!) sang Al Jolson’s “April Showers” and, to a female fan from the audience, “Baby Face”. The editors of Scarlet Street were among the uncounted individuals participating in the wonderful convention. Just the week before at Hollywood’s 75-year-old movie theater the Vista, operated by imagi-movie fan lance Alspaugh, a Friday the 13th celebration of the TV series Dark Shadows was screened with myself as Master of Scarymonies wearing Bela Lugosi’s Dracula cape. In the front of the theater in sidewalk squares members of the cast added their claw prints and autographs to those already there of Martin Landau, Ray Harryhausen and Your Sinc-eeriely.

A new publisher, Sense of Wonder Press, is publishing a number of new projects of mine, one a Curt Siodmak Memorial volume of his scientifilm F.P.I. Does Not Answer with numerous stills from the movie, a lavishly “stillustrated” edition of Thea von Harbou’s Metropolis with many new fotos by her brother, a Forry Foto Folio with over 200 pictures of me from Birth to 2000 (including poses with Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi, Barbara Steele, Boris Karloff, A.E. van Vogt, Curt Siodmak and scores of other celebrities), a reprint with additional fotos of my long out-of-print Lon of 1000 Faces!, new Ackermanthologies Sci-Fi Womanthology, Martianthology, What Hath Capek Wrought (robotology), Germanthology, Brave Nude World, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Lesbianthology, Sci-Ants Fiction: Insects Extraordinary and new works emerging from me in a volcano of creativity. Did I overlook a reissue of sold-out Science Fiction Worlds of Forrest J Ackerman and brand new spectrumatic Rainbow Fantasy Anthology and Dr. Acula’s Exciting Eerie Tales? Approaching my 85th brrrrrrthday next year I have never been so active. I’m invited to be the Guest of Honor in England of next year’s Fantasy Film Festival and to come to Baltimore to receive the Laemmle Award in honor of the founding father of the company that gave us Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Old Dark House and other classics.

And now, to cap the climax, I have been invited to kongtribute a column to Pam Keesey’s m(on)(ster)-line eerie etherzine!

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Forrest J Ackerman is a regular on the Sci-Fi channel, edited and published Ray Bradbury’s first story in 1938, edited the seminal Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine for years, and has helped to inspire countless professional careers and garnered his fans’ lifelong admiration.

Copyright © 2000 by the author. All rights reserved.