Thursday, January 05, 2006

King Kong Cameo: It wasn't Forrest J. Ackerman

When Kong bursts out of the theatre, a man looks up aghast who looks an awful lot (I thought) like Forrest J. Ackerman, the uber-fan and collector whose magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland (linked here, but I'm not sure Forrest is involved in the new version, tho' it seems to be keeping to his spirit; cool, but small, scans of original covers here) did more than any other to fire my imagination and stoke my love for horror and science fiction cinema back when I was a child. Forry often does do cameos in horror cinema (and appeared in Peter Jackson's much earlier horror/comedy, Dead Alive, also known as Braindead; there are photos of him online with Peter Jackson during the time of Lord of the Rings). Given his fondness for Kong, it's just the sort of thing he'd likely love to do. I wanted it to be him! After a fruitless week on IMDB, bumping a message on the boards asking anyone who could to confirm or deny it, at the prompting of IMDB member Yojimboy, I simply wrote Forry and asked him. Bad news: it wasn't him. He replies:

Sadly, while Peter Jackson intended me to be in a cameo in his new Kong, I had an injury that prevented me from flying during the shooting. I'm all better now. The fellow that looks like me is great collector, fan and dear friend Bob Burns.

Beast Witches,

A Forrest J. Ackerman bio appears here, with a current photo; he just turned 89 and intends to make it to 100 and be the "George Burns of science fiction." Note that he is fluent in Esperanto, too! Cheers, Mr. Ackerman, and have a happy New Year!

No comments: