Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ackermonster Chronicles Review

Some time back Jason and Sunni Brock wrote and produced a wonderful documentary about the writer Charles Beaumont. It was a freshman work that remains one of my favorite documentaries.

So I have been eager to see their follow-up work, THE ACKERMONSTER CHRONICLES, a film about Forrest J Ackerman.

To just about everyone in science-fiction fandom and the related fields, Forrest J Ackerman is one of the most famous personalities the genre produced. He was a classic huckster with a powerful ego who was as instrumental in the promotion of genre literature as Stan Lee has been to the comic book industry.

Lifelong pals: Harryhausen, Bradbury, Ackerman.

"Uncle Forry" as he was commonly known was a true character. He was often generous, always friendly, and a natural born promoter.

This documentary--as the name implies--chronicles Forry's life. Unlike the Beaumont film, this one contains interviews with Mr. Ackerman, the project having been initiated a couple of years before his death. So we have Ackerman himself dictating a part of the proceedings.

John Landis, Jason Brock.
Added to this we are treated to conversations with many of the people with whom he lived, worked, and influenced. And Forry was one hell of an influence to several generations of artists who went on to create much in the world of fantasy, horror, science-fiction, and films. Brock was good enough to give us interviews with many of these people--some well known to most of us, and some more obscure.

If you were a long-time fan of Mr. Ackerman, this documentary will  be a pleasure. If you're unfamiliar with his life and works, then you should see the film. As David Schow once said, "All of us are Forrest Ackerman's mutant children."

It couldn't be better said.

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