Friday, December 5, 2008

The Sci-Fi Boys

If you have any nerd in you at all, this is a great movie. It's about, sort of, how sci-fi movies came to be. It starts with Forrest J Ackerman and "Famous Monsters of Filmland" and then has a lot of famous directors like John Landis and Peter Jackson talk about how they wouldn't have become filmmakers without that magazine. And then all the special effects guys like Stan Winston and Rick Baker come in and talk about how they learned about Ray Harryhausen (and how to make monsters) from it. It's a lot of fun and has very entertaining clips of amateur movies made by young boys who would go on to become professionals. There's a lot of stop-motion animation shot with cameras ill-suited to the task, which is always fun.

I mention this movie for two reasons. First, I watched it last night and loved it. Second, Forrest J Ackerman died last night, and he was Important. He practically invented sci-fi fandom. He did invent the term "sci-fi", but then he was always inventing words. "Scientifiction" didn't quite take off. I've got a fanzine he made in 1936, and I wish I'd gotten him to sign it when I got to go to his house a few years ago. It was a great house, packed with amazing stuff. Like "the medallion Bela Lugosi wore in Dracula" amazing. He used to have a lot more stuff (when he lived in a huge house called "the Ackermansion"), but had to sell a lot of it. Much of it is here in Seattle at the Science Fiction Museum, and I hope something similar happens to the rest of his stuff.

I'm sad that Forry is gone, but I'm happy to enjoy a world he affected. Oh, and that 1936 zine I have is awesome, by the way. It's got a piece written for Robert E. Howard's death, and that piece is written by H.P. Lovecraft.

1 comment:

Blair said...

Farewell Uncle Forry