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A Entries
Forrest J Ackerman
Nick Adams
John Agar
Philson Ahn
William Alland
Irwin Allen
Woody Allen
Kirstie Alley
Gerry Anderson
Michael Anderson
Sylvia Anderson
Jack Arnold
 
ACKERMAN, FORREST J
(1916–2008). American science fiction fan and actor.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in: The Time Travelers (Ib MELCHIOR 1964); Queen of Blood (Curtis HARRINGTON 1966); The Power (uncredited) (Byron HASKIN 1968); Equinox (voice) (Mark McGee and Jack Woods 1970); Dracula vs. Frankenstein (and technical advisor) (Al ADAMSON 1971); Schlock (John LANDIS 1972); Hollywood Boulevard (Joe DANTE and Allan Arkush 1976); King Kong (uncredited) (John GUILLERMIN 1976); Kentucky Fried Movie (Landis 1977); The Howling (Dante 1981); Scalps (Fred Olen Ray 1983); Thriller (music video) (uncredited) (Landis 1983); The Aftermath (Steve Barkett 1985); Attack of the B Movie Monsters (1985); Evil Spawn [The Alien Within] (Kenneth J. Hall, Ted Newsom, and Ray, uncredited 1987); Amazon Women on the Moon (Joe DANTE, Earl Gottlieb, Peter Horton, Landis, and Robert K. Weiss 1987); Mr. Science Fiction's Fantastic Universe (documentary) (1988); Curse of the Queerwolf (Mike Pirro 1988); Return of the Living Dead Part II (Ken Wiederhorn 1988); The Wizard of Speed and Time (Mike Jittloy 1989); The Laughing Dead (S. P. SOMTOW 1989); My Mom's a Werewolf (uncredited) (Michael Fischa 1989); Transylvania Twist (Jim WYNORSKI 1990); My Lovely Monster (and additional dialogue) (Michael Bergmann 1990); Hard to Die (Wynorski 1990); Nudist Colony of the Dead (Pirro 1991); Braindead (Peter JACKSON 1992); Innocent Blood (Landis 1992); Ceremony (Joe Castro 1994); That Little Monster (Paul Bunnell 1994); Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds (Ray 1995); Vampirella (video) (uncredited) (and based on his comic book, and associate producer) (Wynorski 1996); Dinosaur Valley Girls (Donald F. Glut 1996); Letter to an Angel (and based on his story) (short) (Ron Ford 1996); Future War (video) (Anthony Doublin 1997); SadoMannequin (short) (Jim Torres 2001); The Vampire Hunters Club (video; short) (Glut 2001); The Double-D Avenger (video) (William Winckler 2001); The Creep (Mark Del Rio 2001); Skinned Deep (Gabriel Bartalos 2004); The Naked Monster (Wayen Berwick and Ted Newsom 2005); The Scorned (tv movie) (uncredited) (Robert Kubilos 2005); The Boneyard Collection (Edward L. Plumb 2006); Scarlet Moon (Warren F. Disbrow 2006); The Dead Undead (Matthew R. Anderson and Edward Conna 2007); Red Velvet (Bruce Dickson 2009).

Appeared in documentaries: The History of the SF Film (Thys Ockersen 1982); Lugosi: The Forgotten King (Mark S. Gilman, Jr., and Dave Stuckey 1985); Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors (Mike Hadley and Kerry O'Quinn 1986); Drive-In Madness (Tim Ferrante 1987); Hollywood Dinosaur Chronicles (1987); Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Family Portrait (Brad Shellady 1988); Mr. Science Fiction's Fantastic Universe (1988); The Horror Hall of Fame (Ron de Moraes 1990); Amazing Worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy (and hosted and co-wrote) (Ray Ferry 1991); Shock Cinema Volume 2 (1991); Flying Saucers at the Movies: The Plan 9 Companion (Mark Patrick Carducci 1992); Heartstoppers; Horror at the Movies (Steve Purcell and Neil Steinberg 1992); Dinosaur Movies (and provided original models) (Donald F. Glut 1993); Hollywood Goes Ape (Glut 1994); Hollywood Rated "R" (Dominique Cazenave and Doug Headline 1997); Hollywood Aliens and Monsters (Kevin Burns 1997);  Secret Lives: L. Ron Hubbard (Jill Robinson 1997); Universal Horror (Kevin Brownlow 1998); Attack of the 50 Foot Monster Mania (1999); Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (Brownlow 2000); "Lon Chaney Sr. and Jr." (2001), episode of E! Mysteries and Scandals; Polish Vampire: Behind the Fangs (short) (Pirro 2001); "The King of Badi Movies" (2001), episode of Chiller Cinema; Big, Fat, and Tacky: A Trip to Karloffornia (short) (Fred Anderson 2003); Frazetta: Painting with Fire (Lance Laspina 2003); Jules VERNE and Walt Disney: Two Explorers of the Imagination (short) David J. Skal 2003);  My Life with Count Dracula (Dustin Lance Black 2003); Monserama: Basil Gogos (Daniel Roebuck 2004); Monsterama: The Ackermonster (Roebuck 2004); The Making of the Double-D Avenger (Winckler 2004); Finding the Future: A Science Fiction Conversation (Casey Moore 2004); interview included in Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years Collection (2005); Ringers: Lord of the Fans (Carlene Cordova 2005); H. G. Wells: The Father of Science Fiction (short) (2005); Visions from the Edge: The Art of Science Fiction (Michael MacDonald 2006); The Witch's Dungeon: Forty Years of Thrills (Dennis Vincent 2006); Sci-Fi Boys (Paul Davids 2006); Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman (Burns 2006);  Working with a Master: John Landis (short) (Frank H. Woodward 2006); American Scary (John E. Hudgens 2006); Goolians (short) (Roebuck, Deverill Weekes, and Wally Wingert 2006); Vampira; The Movie (Kevin Sean Michaels 2006); Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story (Jeffrey Schwarz 2007); Famous Monster: Forrest J Ackerman (MacDonald 2007).

Also: spaceship string puller, The Beast with a Million Eyes (David Kramarsky, Lou Place, and Roger CORMAN, uncredited 1955); technical advisor, The Wizard of Mars (David Hewitt 1964); contributed to script, Mad Monster Party? (animated) (Jules Bass 1966); co-wrote with Ken Dixon, Filmgore (documentary) (Dixon 1983); creative consultant, CreepTales (video) (Tim Boxell, Stephen Hegyes, Steve Hegyi, Ken Mandel, Greg Middleton, Roger Nygard, James Salisbury, and Rod Slane 2004).

 
In his occasional and usually brief film appearances, Forrest J Ackerman always seemed like an amiable amateur, content to do exactly what the director told him to do while otherwise striving to be unobtrusive. Clearly, this is not an acting career that demands much analysis; rather, it is the reason why Ackerman was offered all those parts that makes him a figure of critical importance to science fiction film. Of critical importance, because Ackerman was the first and most enthusiastic science fiction film critic.

At a time when their creators regarded horror and science fiction movies as ephemeral junk to be rushed to theaters for a quick profit and then thrown away, Forrest J Ackerman loved all of those movies; and, since other science fiction fans of his time were mostly devoted to the written literature, Ackerman made the celebration of those films his special mission. His activities on their behalf took many forms: he collected science fiction film props and memorabilia that might otherwise have been discarded; he sought out and talked to the actors, directors, and technicians who made those films, obtaining invaluable information and insights; he launched a magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, featuring articles about old and new genre films; and he wrote and edited books about those films, including an evocative tribute to Boris KARLOFF, The Frankenscience Monster (1969). Having become a regular and well-received visitor to film sets, Ackerman was often invited to play the aforementioned small roles in science fiction films; but his public activities on behalf of the genre were more influential, as his proselytizing encouraged many other people to acknowledge, or discover, that they loved those films too.

Witness, therefore, the curious rewriting of film history that has now occurred in the public imagination. The cheap old films with Karloff and Bela LUGOSI, the movies about mad scientists and zombies and giant dinosaurs, are the ones that are regularly shown on television, rented or sold as videos, and remade by modern directors who vainly attempt with bigger budgets and better special effects to recapture their charm and energy; while the expensive old films which had lavish budgets, big stars, and Oscar nominations are, with a few conspicuous exceptions, ignored and forgotten. To a large extent, then, the world has come to see film history the way that Ackerman saw it; and it surely provided consolation to Ackerman in his declining years to witness the world adapting his point of view and seeking him out more than ever to make cameo appearances in nostalgic films and to provide documentaries with expert testimony about the early years of science fiction film. Indeed, with involvement in some 30 films and documentaries during the last five years of his life, making it the most active phase of his film career, it is possible to speculate that all of this attention had a draining effect on this elderly man, contributing to his death at the advanced age of 92. True, there were a few controversies involving some of his decisions in later years that led to some criticism of the man, but none of this really diminished the affection that everyone in the science fiction community felt for him; as one piece of evidence, I was present at the 2006 World Science Fiction Convention where its coveted "Big Heart Award" was officially renamed in his honor.

In The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, Michael Weldon asks, "Aren't you tired of movie books beginning with Abbott and Costello?" Yes, which is exactly why I omit them to begin with Ackerman, a lesser-known but more significant contributor to science fiction film. The fact that I am writing this book with a reasonable expectation of reaching a wide audience is due in large part to Ackerman's herculean efforts on behalf of this field, so it is only appropriate that he will always enjoy the honor of being its very first entry.

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