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PCR #159. (Vol. 4, No. 15) This edition is for the week of April 6--13, 2003.
Matt's Rail

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As I was doing my daily search for info regarding the Famous Monsters/Forry/Ferry debacle, I came across a new link for FM and naturally just had to click.

Taken from that point to the Filmland Classics site, there's a bold announcement above the GraveKeeper stating "The OFFICIAL home of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine". This is rather odd, I thought, as the trademark scenario talked about recently on these pages could have just been resolved within the past few weeks, at best. The urge to continue was just too strong, so I clicked on the GraveKeeper and almost immediately wished I hadn't.

At the top of the page, there's a block logo that says "Spread the word, monster lover. Ray Ferry's "Famous Monsters of Filmland" is back!". It also shows the cover of the next issue which they say is due in August, and if you scroll down you'll find a page about some pretty interesting stuff.

You'll learn, for instance, that Forry's judgement is now a non-issue because Dr.Ack and his lawyers worked behind the scenes, making illegal deals in exchange for a favorable turnout in the lawsuit. Worse yet, you'll find out that the criminal activity reaches far into the depths of the legal system itself.

I won't argue that there are people in the legal system who suck and are unworthy, because people that suck turn up pretty much everywhere, unfortunately. But, by his account, Ferry has turned over papers to the feds accusing Forry and his lawyers of being associated with organized crime with ties to....hold on to your buttcheeks.... drug-trafficking, money-laundering and real estate swindles. He further accuses Forry of possibly having ties to terrorist activities and being unAmerican!!! What!?!?!

Supposedly, several key players in government have already received copies of the "evidence" including U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI director Robert Mueller, CIA director George Tenet and...drum roll please........the President of the United States, George W. Bush (classic monster music here "dum, dum, dum"). Better yet, Bush rifled off a personal letter to RF and it's been confirmed from the White House. Confirmed from who and to who, of course, isn't stated. Because of this evidence, the site says, they can go forward with the magazine.

Oh, and I almost forgot...Ferry is at an "undisclosed location" in fear for his life because of everything that he says is coming down.

Certainly anyone who reads my column or has visited my Masters of Horror website knows several things about me. I LOVE Famous Monsters magazine, I have no love for Ray Ferry, and I think Forry is the bomb. My dislike of Ray is based soley on the evidence that found him guilty of trying repeatedly to screw over Forry Ackerman. That said, I have to admit to liking ferry's version of FM. I always thought it was a very well-polished effort worthy of carrying the torch. This in spite of the fact that I side completely with Forry in terms of the lawsuit, given the information that's available regarding the suit, and Forry winning the appeal.

And lest anyone think I'm biased on this (because I certainly am not), I'll state for the record that if the perceived insane, ramblings of Ferry's maniacal diatribe turn out to be true ...cough...cough...I will be the first to say, on my site and here, that I was wrong, and Forry was a fraud who doesn't deserve my respect. For if the former was true, the latter would be as well.

HOWEVER...I have to also state that Ferry admitted "under oath" in court, which is documented, to lying to his public on his site regarding the lawsuit. "Impossible" is the only word I can come up with to state what I think the odds are that any of this garbage has any basis in fact.

So...if Famous Monsters has indeed returned, and Ferry is again in the FM fold, it could be that the trademark was bought, and they're letting Ferry continue his work. Or perhaps Ferry found backers to purchase the trademark, and now he simply wants to continue to discredit and harass an aging old man who couldn't hurt a flea.

I must confess, that when I first saw the post about Forry being linked to organized crime, I stared at the screen in utter disbelief. Then I thought about it and put it in its proper context of coming from Ray Ferry....and it fits him just like a glove.

At any rate....it appears that FM is back and will be hitting the store shelves again sometime in August. Which is great news for those FM fans who don't allow themselves to get caught up in all this mess. If it wasn't for what Forry meant to me as a kid, I'd probably be the first in line to grab it, but alas, he'll always be a family relative known as Uncle Ack. Well, to me anyway.

Till next time, take care and God bless,

Tell you what, let's do a little character-witnessing here. "Ray Harryhausen, have you now or at any time since childhood known Forry Ackerman to be associated with organized crime and, if so, why would you openly associate with him? How about you Mister Bradbury? Forry was your agent for a while wan't he? Oh, that's right, you've already testified on Forry's behalf. Or did you forget you got famous off the favors Forry arranged with mobsters? How about A.E Van Vogt, Robert Heinlein, Bela Lugosi, James Warren, or any of a thousand writers, actors, historians and filmmakers Forry helped out over the years. Bet you wish you hadn't even met him under these circumstances now, huh?"
   Matthew, I'm with you on one thing for sure: if this breaks and there's ANY credibility to this wild story it will be the fan story of the century. Rather, I think you hit it on the head near the end of the Rail suggesting a sour-grapes smear campaign: If Ferry can't have Famous Monsters, he wants to ruin Forry so he can't have it either.
   I was a fan and supporter of the Ferry FM for a short while. While it was still printed on pulp paper and Forry Ackerman was the editor. After it went glossy and Forry resigned, I couldn't help but see it as a pale imitation, and I doubt if I'll ever see it otherwise.
   Any fans wishing to do some reading on this weird affair, go ahead and read Ferry's accusations on his site, then go over to Forry's site and read the rebuttles. Ferry not only accuses Ackerman of under-handed doings, but THE ENTIRE LEGAL SYSTEM OF CALIFORNIA as well.
   In my opinion, his decision to go ahead with publishing Famous Monsters this summer, and establishing a website to support it, is a DARE to Forry and his lawyers to make him stop. (As far as "going into hiding", Forry would probably say Ferry has to move since he lost his home in the bankruptcy.) ---Nolan

"Matt's Rail" is ©2003 by Matthew Drinnenberg. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.