Saturday, November 26, 2011


It didn't take long after the publication of the first issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND before its editor-in-chief, Forrest J Ackerman, became a bit of celebrity. Hailing from where he called "Horrorwood, Karloffornia", he lorded over a massive collection of monster, science fiction, fantasy, and other genre memorabilia that included books, magazines, posters, stills, props, models . . . well, you get the idea.

In what was surely a natural progression, FJA found himself in front of the movie camera on numerous occasions. Most of the time they were bit parts, but us Monster Kids waited in rapt anticipation for our Uncle Forry to appear in the movie as much as any cinephile did waiting for director Alfred Hitchcock to make his trademark appearances in his own films.

We usually found out which films Forry was going to be in from the pages of FAMOUS MONSTERS. In 1972, it was no different. The March issue of FM (#89) announced his cameo in yet another movie. And, by the title, it sounded like a doozy.

Well, DRACULA vs. FRANKENSTEIN, one of many Al Adamson fringe fests, was a bit more like a dozer. Kitschy and vaguely charming as a B-movie relic, the rather roughly produced DvF couldn't find any traction with theater-going audiences, even with the likes of appearances by Lon Chaney, Jr., J. Carrol Naish, Russ Tamblyn, Regina Carrol, Angelo Rossitto, and the aforementioned Forry.

Nevertheless, Ackerman promoted the film in FM with his usual enthusiasm as the next big thing in monster movies. Included was a full-page spread with the "horrifying" sequence that depicted FJ's scene as a victim at the hands of the doughy-faced Frankenstein monster. Other pics showed exotic newcomer Zandor Vorkov as the immortal Dracula, this incarnation of the Count hep with the times and sporting a 'fro. Insert shivers . . . or chuckles, here.

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