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On Thanksgiving Day in this 2016th year of our reckoning, Forrest J Ackerman would have celebrated his 100th Birthday. He's gone now though, so it's left to us to celebrate for him. Brad and I were ruminating about our very different, though sometimes strikingly similar, memories of Forry and decided we should do something for 100 years. And of course, it wouldn't be a Mondo Special without an original piece of art from the eerily-talented L.J. Dopp.

So please, join us in wishing The Ackermonster a Happy Century Mark.

"Up, up and away, with Forry J!"

Merely A Century

(Forry is 100)

by Brad Linaweaver

"He was a dear man."

Deborah Painter: Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman

Exclusive to Mondo Cult, artwork by L.J. Dopp and © 2016. No reproduction without permission.

The first time was in Dallas, Texas, the summer of 1971. A childhood dream came true. Not an adolescent dream, confused with inchoate ambitions and ill defined lusts for an imaginary adulthood. Childhood fantasies come before all that. They are about the Sense of Wonder.

Suddenly, I was more than an undergraduate at Florida State University, attending Dallascon, my first science fiction convention. Finally, I was meeting Forrest J (no period for some arcane reason) Ackerman. Seeing a letter of mine published in Famous Monsters of Filmland the previous year had been a thrill, but it didn't compare to an actual encounter.

As we shook hands, I was transported back in time to the stark fears and desperate hopes of a crazily imaginative childhood. I could hear the music again. Science was magic. The future, whether good or bad, was going to be wildly different than the present. It just had to be.

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Living A Dream

by Jessie Lilley

A hundred years ago, when I was quite young, I used to save my nickels and dimes so I could buy my favorite magazines. They were MAD Magazine and Famous Monsters of Filmland. I would stop at Lazzaras at 11 West Railroad Avenue in Tenafly, NJ on my way home from school and pick up the new issues. Then I would hide them in my book bag, because my mother didn’t think I should be reading either of them.

What did she know, anyway? She thought The Ink Spots were a “pretty hip group” and didn’t grok the magic of The Beatles.

But I did. And I knew in my deepest soul that these two books were my lifeline out of the hell of the NYC suburbs of the 60s. Grasping at the straws of imagination and humor, I devoured them from 1966 on into my teens. It was then that I fell amongst theatricals…

Of all the people I met during those years, one of the larger influences was Richard Valley, with whom I eventually created Scarlet Street: The Magazine of Mystery and Horror. It was Richard who sent me off to the Son of Horror-Thon convention (now known to those in the know simply as Chiller) in NJ, to get an autograph for him from Forrest J Ackerman. Off I went and met one of my idols and quite simply, it changed my life.

Forry and I got on splendidly from the git go. He liked women and I liked brainy punsters so it was a win-win.

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Trick and Treat

(Some candy from our publisher)

by Brad Linaweaver

In the near decade of Mondo Cult's existence (magazines and the site), I have never been happier to make a Halloween announcement than in 2016.

My old pal, Fred Olen Ray, has always said that I'm a lucky bastard. In keeping with that grand tradition, allow me to report that I'm executive producer on one of the best haunted house movies ever made.

Chris Ray (Son of Fred) is the director of A House is not a Home. The film had an official premiere in Philadelphia, on September first. That happens to be my birthday. Also, it was an auspicious way to enter the Fall, after a long, hot summer.

A few years earlier, A House is not a Home received acclaim as Best Horror Film at Jeff Rector's Burbank Film Festival. Everyone involved knew that was only the beginning.

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Mondo Cult Online Proudly Presents

Check Back Often for a New Column

November 2016

Gore, But Not Forgotten

I miss gore—specifically R rated gore. Movie gore. I mention that because, now, I can get all the gore I want or need on TV. The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and especially Ash vs Evil Dead and Stan Against Evil, are chockfull of the gooey stuff. Great for television, bad for moviemakers. Weird, because the R rating was designed with sex and gore in mind… Okay, mostly sex. Because it’s okay that little Billy see a woman eviscerated, as long as he can’t see her nipples. (That’s another battle. Back to our topic.) The R rating was invented to keep our virgin ears and eyes from hearing and seeing something that we shouldn’t and, in many cases, I agree with it. I mean, I’m not ready to show Lazaro, my ten-year-old grandson, Bernard Rose’s Candyman. Not because I think it will scar him for life, because it will probably scare the creamy nougat center out of him while, at the same time, messing up a few nights attempting to fall asleep in the dark. He’s not of that age yet. But when he is, oh, it’s on!

I was brought up on movies from the 30s, 40s and 50s. As filmed, they could be shown on TV. So, I got to see all the classics (with the very rare exception of the monster movies that were shot widescreen, at the tail end of that run) as they were intended to be seen. Most of the very best of them were made 10 to 25 years before I was born but they are as much a part of what makes me, me, as my dreamy but intense blue eyes. That said, I love horror movies from every decade. Yes, even the gory ones.

Read The Full Article by Richard J. Schellbach...

Gary Rhodes

2 Biggest Hits

by Michael Copner

Liz Renay used to claim that good things come in pairs. And in her magnificent body of work they truly did!

In this Mondo Cult assignment there will be a lot of twos. Buddy Barnett and me: we’ll each write reviews about the two books to reach the market written by Gary Rhodes. They may as well be “book end” books about the final two films released while Bela Lugosi was alive, as these books are devoted to the works of Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi—two truly unique filmmakers in the horror field.

To continue the pattern of twos, I’d almost like to call this article “If Bedrooms Could Talk” or some such thing. For Cult Movies magazine was birthed in the front bedroom of an apartment I lived in for 15 years. The first two issues were collated and stapled by work parties in that room.

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Silicon Assassin

Lady Twilight and Friends

This is the one and only official Mondo Girl stopping by to say hello and sound off on working with the various directors in The Silicon Assassin project.

First, I would like to say, working in the Richard Hatch directed episode “Problem Child” was a blast. Mr. Hatch is an accomplished actor with a career in television that spans decades. He is best known for his recurring role as Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica and Tom Zarek in the SyFy Channel reboot. He directed the very first episode in our unique series. I didn't just enjoy working under Richard's direction but also I loved that he was open to allowing me to suggest some direction for the episode. The scene in which BubbleBlonde Girl and Lady Twilight appear to fight and then share a sweet onscreen almost kiss for the camera. I like to refer to myself as being one of the “ghost directors” for that episode since I helped guide that particular shot.

Edward L. Plumb directed “Dead Reckoning”, a multiple-award winning episode. His tasteful presentation of lingerie and ray guns helped to garner enough attention to take home awards for his efforts. The main characters of the series entire, portrayed by Richard Hatch, Paula Labaredas and myself as Lady Twilight, only appear briefly at the very end of this episode. We use our ray guns to fight the lingerie clad enemies. One could easily say our cameo was worth it given that this episode has some of the best special effects in the entire series.

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Boneyard Rising

by Jessie Lilley

In Mondo Cult 2, we featured a story on The Boneyard Collection. An amusing anthology of spine tinglers from our friends Edward Plumb and L.J. Dopp.

A host of luminaries appear in these vignettes, including Brad Dourif, Ken Foree, Tippi Hedren, George Clayton Johnson, Robert Loggia, Kevin McCarthy, Rod McKuen, William Smith, Barbara Steele, Brinke Stevens, Susan Tyrrell and countless others. The entire series is wrapped around your host, Dr. Acula as pertrayed by the inimitable Forrest J Ackerman.

One vignette, Her Morbid Desires, was adapted by Plumb from the short story by our own Brad Linaweaver and features both the author and Ray Harryhausen in cameo roles.

The film was great fun. Everyone in town got in on it, even your intrepid editor, as an Irish screenwriter pitching a script to a mummy, trying to make his mark in the business! But as with many of its ilk, it came and went like a summer breeze.

Read The Full Article by Jessie Lilley...

The Ides of March

by Brad Linaweaver

That time of year is on us again, when assassins emerge from the shadows, knives glinting in the cruel light. We remember the assassination of Julius Caesar. I once wrote an alternate history about Caesar for Harry Turtledove's Alternate Generals. In my story, Caesar changes his politics at the penultimate moment. Then he's murdered by Mark Antony. Just goes to show that when your time is up, your time is up.

Originally, Jessie and I were going to devote this space to an update article on Silicon Assassin. After all, there's a lot of assassinatin' going on in that epic. I'm halfway through the article, "Are We Free Yet?" What has put the article on hold is a timely piece by our own J. Kent Hastings that needs to be highlighted now.

Mondo Cult Readers and Writers comment on the magazine and website.
Check out the LETTERS page now!

Welcome to Mondo Heinlein. Something like this had to happen eventually. With a subject this fecund, and a wealth of contributions, Mondo Cult opens the Doors of Perception to imagination unafraid.

My only regret is that my friend, Bill Patterson, is not with us for the launch party. He finished his life's work of the Authorized Biography of Robert A. Heinlein in time for us; but not in time for him to reap the rewards of his splendid craft and dedication.

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Richard Hatch and Brad Linaweaver interviewed at MegaCon 2014

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Lest we forget, we honor the original cast that launched the Silicon Assassin series.
(L to R) Vicki Marie Taylor, Paula LaBaredas, Charles P. Hammill, Victoria Plumb,
and our star, Richard Hatch.

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Mondo Cult #3

Edited by Jessie Lilley

Published by Brad Linaweaver

2012, 1601 pages, $13

from the Prometheus newsletter

This brief review can in no way do justice to the third issue of Mondo Cult, which packs in several magazines' worth of material between full-cover pages. Although adhering to no solid publishing schedule, Mondo Cult, when it arrives, has become a critical vehicle for the review and study of classic film, music, books, and people of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. In this issue over 30 writers contribute articles. Photos of actors, writers, and other personalities fill virtually every page, along with images of classic movie posters, advertisements and cartoons, not to mention a Frank Frazetta picture on the back cover. One could spend hours reading and re-reading this magazine, and still discover or re-discover new aspects of what is covered.

Read The Full Article by Anders Monsen...

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