Monday, March 9, 2009

Forry's Farewell

The Forrest J Ackerman tribute at the Egyptian on Sunday was overwhelming. From the sheer volume of Forry fans and friends (over 630!) bustling into the Egyptian Theatre to caterers' "melons in orbit," to the display of an atom-sized amount of Forry's once enormous collection of movie memorabilia courtesy of auction house Profiles in History, to Guillermo Del Toro's journey from New Zealand straight from the airport to attend the tribute (he quipped, "I have not always made it to events for blood family, but I had to come to this"), to the tears of Ray Bradbury and others at the loss of a friend and inspiration to legions of genre fans who were part of the Ackermonster's community - to the song Joe Moe and company sang at the end and finally the message from Forry that Joe taped in the last weeks of his life, that ended the evening. But wait, there was more at a second program puncuated by a Theremin performance (by Michael Gough) in the courtyard. Then we all filed back into the theatre for a double feature of THE TIME TRAVELERS (featuring a Forry cameo) and Candian Filmmakers Michael Macdonald and Ian Johnston shared their documentary FAMOUS MONSTER: FORREST J ACKERMAN at the film's US Premiere screening (it was made for Canadian Television), so we all got to spend a little more time with Uncle Forry, telling stories about former client L. Ron Hubbard and director Ed Wood (who John Landis recalled, came with Forry to his industry screening of his first film SCHLOCK!) and his early days with pals Ray Harryhausen and Ray Bradbury. The filmmakers told a wild story about coming home from visiting Forry's grave at Forest Lawn Glendale and logging onto Facebook back in the hotel, only to find that the cryptic code they were given for authentication was "Ackerman0." A voice from beyond the grave? Perhaps. Forry will live on forever was afterall, the cry of the evening.

The inner Forry circle left the Egyptian for more reminiscences of Dr. Ackula and a David Marchant photo cake. No one could bear to eat Forry's face, but the cake did disappear from underneath the frosted photo likeness of a dear man who Joe Dante said, "Taught film history through the pages of Famous Monsters Magazine."

When we get more photos we will post them!