Your handpicked headlines from the fanboy universe …
This is the 50th anniversary of the founding of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" by Forrest J. Ackerman, a man who almost single-handedly shaped the very essence of horror and science-fiction fandom. Uncle Forry, as he was affectionately known, was not only a fan, he has been an inspiring figure and friend to several generations of creators (he was Ed Wood’s literary agent, which is just wonderful to consider). Ackerman is now 91 and a beloved figure, and hailed by far-reaching and disparate creators that include Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, Stephen King, Tim Burton and Gene Simmons. Right now, according to Harry Knowles, a lot of those people are reaching out to the Los Angeles native because he is ailing. Knowles writes: "I spoke briefly with Forrest J. Ackerman earlier today, he wasn’t sounding very strong, it hurt to hear his voice knowing that it wouldn’t be here with us much longer. But at the same time, it was nice to say goodbye to one another. Ackerman is one of the founders of my love of cinema. My father is the geek he is, because of his magazine — and I’m the geek I am because of his magazine as well as the influence it had on my father. That magazine was, of course, ‘Famous Monsters of Filmland’. In speaking with Uncle Forry’s caretaker, an amazing gentleman named Joe Moe, I was told that Forry was lucid, peaceful and not even on pain medication, but that he was progressively getting worse — and was ready to move on … Many friends of Forry have visited his bedside, hearing one last story, one last pun and to say one last goodbye. Ray Bradbury even flew to his bedside. We here at AICN are preparing a fitting memorial — and something, most likely, permanent to AICN."
‘Fanboys’ for life: I ran into filmmaker Kyle Newman at the Spike TV Scream 2008 Awards a few weeks ago and he gave a weary shrug when I asked about his movie "Fanboys," the small-budget, oft-delayed comedy about a group of geeks breaking into Skywalker Ranch. He shot the film in 2006 and so far the only positive thing to come out of it was he fell in love with one of his stars, Jamie King ("Sin City," "The Spirit"), who is now his wife. The movie features a cast that looks like a Comic-Con autograph hall: William Shatner, the ubiquitous Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, Jason Mewes, Ray Park and Sam Huntington. All delays will create an uphill struggle for the movie but the new trailer does have some fun moments. You can see the brand-new, high-quality version of the trailer at Yahoo.
James Bond on Horseback: When I was a kid I was fascinated with reruns of "The Wild Wild West" starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin as domestic spies in Reconstruction-era America. Susan King has an interview with the 73-year-old Conrad to discuss the release today of a 27-disc DVD set collecting the entire 1965-1969 show. King writes: "Another hallmark of the show was its villains, none more infamous than the brilliant, demonic Miguelito Loveless — played by Michael Dunn, who was less than 4 feet tall. ‘He stayed at my house when he came to town,’ said Conrad. ‘He came from New York and we were personal friends. On Saturday we had a touch football game. We played different studios and he was the referee. He refereed on a golf cart.’ Dunn even had a drink named after him at a watering hole across the street from the studio. ‘It was real powerful drink,’ said Conrad. ‘He was real proud of it.’ Conrad also remembered Boris Karloff guest-starring. ‘He was an icon. I watched him when I was a little boy and here he was playing one of the bad guys.’ The show also attracted Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis Jr. — ‘nobody turned down the show because they all liked it,’ added Conrad." [Los Angeles Times]
— Geoff Boucher
Forrest J. Ackerman at his home in 1969, photographed by Jack Carrick/Los Angeles Times. "The Wild, Wild West" image from the Los Angeles Times archives.