Fun With Forrest J. Ackerman, Part 6


Continued Banana Monster:
I said, 'Problem? Why, isn't it evident? I mean, look at this suit! I've been down on the floor laughing, rolling! Who's going to pay for this?' So he got the message, and he said, 'Gee, then you really liked my picture?' And I said, 'I sure did.' He said, 'Well, while I was making it I often thought I'd like to pick up the phone and ask you if you'd do a little cameo. But I thought you'd say, 'Oh, go away, boy, don't bother me. Come back when you're famous.' I said, 'No, no. I'd be happy to be in it.' Well, on the basis of the success of the preview he was given an extra $10,000 to add some footage. So I indeed did a cameo for it. I was sitting in the movie theater eating popcorn, with a real red shirt. And I'm so engrossed in that horror film that I don't notice when the Schlock Monster comes and sits down next to me - helping himself to my popcorn and pouring it on my head, and doing anything he can to distract me....

"Thirteen years later, John Landis got me out of bed and told me to come downtown and introduced me to Michael Jackson - and put me in Michael Jackson's Thriller. I was sitting directly behind Michael and the girl who was playing his girlfriend. They get frightened at the film and leave the theater. That leaves the camera directly on me. And there I am in that red shirt and that bottomless popcorn....In his next film I graduated from eating popcorn - from eight in the evening 'til four in the morning I was eating cheesecake. So when he said, 'Now, Forry, in my next film I'm gonna give you a really juicy part,' I thought, 'Well, I suppose I'll be sitting, eating watermelon in this picture.'

"But instead of that I became a future president of the United States. I don't know if any of you saw Amazon Women On the Moon (many in the audience answer 'Yeah.') Well, I guess I'd better leave (starts to walk out and many laugh). Would anybody vote for me for a second term?"
(note: for a little bio of director John Landis on another site, go here)
The Garage Mahal (Forry's incredible collections):
"....I think some of the photos I have may be the only time that Bela Lugosi ever actually signed "Count Dracula" rather than "Bela Lugosi." And Boris Karloff signed "Frankenstein" for me. (inaudible) I have about 250 different editions of Frankenstein, and about 250 different Draculas. I have the very first edition of Dracula, signed by Bram Stoker, the author. And later on Bela Lugosi signed it, and Frank Langella, and Vincent Price, and Lon Cheney, Jr. - just about everybody who ever played the part.
At left: Forry (left) laughs at joke of con chairman Fred Eichelman at RoVaCon (now Starz 2000) in Salem, Virginia, 1991. I saw 4E at several RoVaCons, and he invariably enlivened the proceedings with his wit and charisma. It's not unusual to see him at cons surrounded by fans wherever he goes.
"Any of you know the name of John Hall? He was an actor who played a kind of poor man's Tarzan called Raymar of the Jungle. I live in his home nowadays. It's an eighteen-room home with an adjunct of three garages - what I call the "Garage Mahal." It's a triplex garage in which you couldn't park a pogo stick.
"Speaking of the Garage Mahal, in 1953 I started a guest book. Bela Lugosi wrote just one comment, just one word: 'Amazed.' Well, as you look at all these guest books from 1953 to now, over and over again you see 'Astounded,' 'Incredible,' 'Wonderful,' 'Died and gone to heaven,' 'I want to live here.' (inaudible) "But one kid really stopped me in my tracks. He wrote from 3000 miles away, and six months in advance. And when school vacation came along, he came up to "Karloffornia," "Horrorwood." And he came, saw, and was conquered, I guess; he went around in a state of shock. He didn't even say (inaudible), he didn't say 'Good-bye,' and I thought, 'Well, I recognize myself in him. I was a shy, introverted, tongue-tied kid (inaudible).

"I thought, 'Well, probably he'll go home and write me a sixteen-page, single-spaced, type-written story. In the meantime, I'll look under "Comments" and see how he liked it. And it said, 'Fair.' (I said) 'Fair?! Where was that kid last week, at the Taj Mahal?!' I often wondered if he grew up to be Don Rickles."