At Long Last, Forrest Ackerman Wins The Final Victory Over Ray Ferry!!!
Hey folks, Harry here... "Ding Dong the merrio, clap your hands, get out of bed, Ding Dong The Wicked Witch is Dead!" Sorry, the sound of joyous munchkin voices rises up to my ears as I received the following letter today of Forrest J Ackerman's complete and total vindication against a man, whose name need never be mentioned again... For far too long this case and this decision has continued to hang over the head of Uncle Forry, the true Godfather of Film Fandom. As I've watched his treasures leave his possession via Ebay, his home being sold and to continually hear Ferry's protestations via his website and various publications... I've grown sick. Without Forrest Ackerman, there would be no Aint It Cool News, because I never would have developed the zeal and the passion that I have for cinema had it not been for his fervent mania which he embraced it first. The same can be said for the likes of John Landis, Joe Dante, Peter Jackson, Guillermo Deltoro and a host of others. When Guillermo was a child he wrote Ackerman a letter asking to be adopted and to live with him in the Ackermansion. Before the age of the Internet, it was through his magazines that fandom felt united. That it was a valid part of culture. A legitimate interest to have. Personally, having the appeals court slam the door on Ferry, well... It just means that at last, Ackerman can reclaim his mantle, pride and distinction as the one true king of horror, sci-fi and movie fans! Huzzah! To find out more, check out Forry's personal site by clicking here!
To friends and fans who have waited patiently for the final resolution of the “Ackerman v. Ferry” case: as many may know, on May 10, 2000, a unanimous jury - and the Judge of the Superior Court of the State of California, brought in a huge verdict in my favor and against my nemesis, Ray Ferry, for actions of breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, libel, violation of my rights of publicity and trademark infringement, in addition to other causes of action.
After the verdict was rendered, Ferry transferred the Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine trademark to his own attorneys in the case, and transferred his business to long-time friend/associate Gene Reynolds. The business was set up as Gothix Marketing, Inc. FM continued to publish under the name Central Media while Ferry claimed he was insolvent and filed for Bankruptcy.
Since the trial, Ferry has been puffing, blowing smoke, boasting and bragging on his website, and to anyone else he could bamboozle, that he was wronged, that the jury decided in my favor in sympathy, not on the evidence presented of his wrongdoing, and that he would prevail on appeal because the law was on his side. He repeatedly posted a false blow-by-blow scenario claiming that the Appeal was going his way and would be decided in his favor and that the judgment would be overturned on appeal. All this time he continued to disparage my reputation and me with Internet postings. I have kept quiet while all of this has played out. I sat by patiently, without responding to Ferry’s self-serving ravings. I had confidence in the judgment.
Finally, I am coming forward to report that Ray Ferry has lost his Appeal. On November 12, 2002, the California Court of Appeal decided the Appeal in my favor and affirmed my judgement against Ferry in its entirety, on all nine legal theories presented, and awarded me costs of the Appeal! An Appeal is decided strictly on the law and evidence presented at trial to support the verdict rendered. (Ferry can’t claim that the Appeal was decided on sympathy. I never appeared before any of the Appeal judges). In fact, four judges of the California Court of Appeal, in record time (4 days) rendered a 47 page (!!!) decision totally in my favor. Contrary to Ray Ferry’s claims, the Supreme Court will not take up this case. So, the world’s biggest braggart is where he belongs, trounced, out of business, kaput, hoisted on his own petard. My nemesis is now history – a black page of it.
Additionally, the Judge of the Federal Bankruptcy Court declared Ferry’s filing of a Bankruptcy to be fraudulent (what else is new?) and denied him discharge, which means that he can’t get out of payment of the judgment. The Federal Court also issued an order of Contempt against Ferry and fined him an additional $50,000 for the Contempt. His transfer of the business to Gene Reynolds/aka Gothix Marketing, Inc. (done right after the verdict was rendered) was also declared fraudulent by the Federal Bankruptcy Court. This is all a matter of public record and court files. Ray Ferry has lost Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, the Famous Monsters of Filmland trademark, the website…and his home. The Bankruptcy Trustee took these assets and I have not gotten a single penny yet. He has also lost face and destroyed his own reputation once and for all.
According to the official trial transcript, Ferry admitted at trial that he lied to the readers of the magazine, and he has continued to lie to the readers of his website about the Appeal. Recently, Ferry falsely posted on his website that I was preventing the publisher (him?) from sending copies of FM to paid subscribers, even having their subscription money seized so they couldn’t get refunds. That is absolutely untrue. I do not know of any subscription money being seized from Ferry. The Bankruptcy Trustee attached Distributor’s money owed to Ferry for the sale of the magazine through stores, but no subscriber’s money was seized. I am told that Ray Ferry and Gene Reynolds refused to produce the subscriber’s list to the Trustee. I have not received one cent to date. In my opinion, Ferry’s name must be worse than Mud in the magazine industry in general and the Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre particularly.
Ferry had the “chutzpah”, as Ray Bradbury stated at the trial, to identify himself by my ages-long identity, “Dr. Acula”, and to infringe on my Trademark. No one believed this for a moment! Not any of the jurors or the judges. The evidence of Ferry’s Trademark Infringement of my “Dr. Acula” identity was overwhelming, as was the evidence establishing that he had libeled me. BTW, in my 106th cameo film appearance, I wear Bela Lugosi’s cape to play Dr. Acula. The film is titled The Boneyard Collection. Screenwriters are George Clayton Johnson and Brad Lineweaver. Brinke Stevens plays the part of…Brinke Stevens.
So, an approximately three-quarters of a million dollar judgment will hang over Ray Ferry’s bowed head for the rest of his life, and he will forever be tracked for payment on the judgment. His wrongs to me and this legal case validate my rights and prove his conduct at law has cost me my savings, my home and much of my famous collection. But the end result of my vindication and upholding my reputation with my friends and fans is what matters most to me. Ferry set out to destroy me and malign my reputation in fandom. In the end, he brought about his own self-destruction.
Obviously Ray Ferry’s monumental boast of a super-extravaganza filmonster convention is now in limbo, in Ray Cumming’s World of Unwrought Things, as are Ferry’s plans for another magazine. I’m sure he’d get no cooperation from my loyal friends. His stellar line-up of imagi-movie personalities? Frank and Bobbie Brezee? Perhaps Elvira? Considering transatlantic airfare, Ray Harryhausen doesn’t seem a likely guest. And, as I did in 1993, I wouldn’t be importing overseas fans (to the tune of $20,000) to give his pipedream an international flair. If I knew where Ray Ferry and his “cosmic brother” were hiding I’d let you know so you could send them a giant crying towel. This final chapter in Ferry’s ultimate defeat and exposure proves that his book (a barely-seller) should have been titled “Life is but a Scam!”
HarperCollins plans to follow the recent Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Life (by Jerry Weist) with a prestigious volume - my autobiography, My Life in a Time Machine. I doubt I’ll even waste a footnote on my abominable adversary. If I never hear of him the rest of my life it will be too soon.
In closing, I want to thank my many friends and fans that have stood by me all through this trying but worthwhile fight. Justice has prevailed my health is restored and now I intend to return to my normal life of monsters, space travel, and an endless world of wonder. Look for me at Conventions around the world this year!
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March 6, 2003, 9:19 p.m. CST
by Rupert Cornelius
He should be a movie character himself! And this should be the plot of a film -- like an interesting and entertaining version of "Grumpy Old Men" that actually means something.
March 6, 2003, 9:26 p.m. CST
...and I'm sure glad he lived to see THIS one out. Deserved it. Here's to Forry!
March 6, 2003, 9:48 p.m. CST
I am not suggesting anything that hasn't crossed the minds of many of us already, but to those of you who now own pieces of Mr. Ackerman's collection, please consider making the items available to him again. These items were put on auction to help pay to fight a terrible injustice. I am sure they were not willingly let go. Give the man back his treasures, his life's work. Instead of keeping it for your own private enjoyment, return them and they will be available for all of us to see.
March 6, 2003, 10:12 p.m. CST
I was one of the lucky people who won one of the treasures that Forry auctioned off. I was thrilled to own a piece of his collection, but I would love to return it to him now that this case is settled. Do you or anyone have an address to send these things back to him? Maybe Harry has one? Can anyone post it-I think it would be wonderful for all of Uncle Forry's things to go back to him. Great idea!
March 6, 2003, 10:22 p.m. CST
I couldn't think of a better topic for my first ever Talk Back post. Famous Monsters of Filmland was and is one of my greatest pleasures and inspirations. Forry has such a sense of wonder about genre films that his writing is just filled with this infectious enthusiasm and wonder. I read so much about so many movies before ever seeing them,and his magazine was so filled with imagination, that the movies always seemed larger than life. That sense of wonder was and is a big inspiration. It's great to know that the truly good guys win sometimes. And, I don't have any of Forry's stuff, but I think the sentiment of sending stuff back is truly wonderful. Here's to a new rennaisance for the one, the only, the original. Count Draculations, Dr. Acula!
March 6, 2003, 10:33 p.m. CST
by Dog Of Mystery
Like you, Harry, I grew up on FAMOUS MONSTERS. I bought that magazine (and MAD) as often as my meager allowance would provide for. I went back again and again to read over the articles about old sci-fi and monster movies...and I sought out every film I could from in the pages of that Fanboy Bible. If you're reading this, Forry, we love you. All of us. Thanks so much. And congratulations.
March 6, 2003, 11:04 p.m. CST
Glad to see the good guys win for a change. Sad about Forrey's collection, but he had the best, he opened his doors and let others around the world enjoy his incredible museum, inspired many kids with his magazines that grew up and went on to work in the movie business. To look on the bright side, anyone who buys a piece of Forrey's collection also buys a piece of history and inspriation. That's a pretty good way to be remembered.
March 6, 2003, 11:18 p.m. CST
I had the pleasure of visiting Forry's house a couple of times as well as having him as a convention guest. Ray (the) Ferry was at Forry's house on one occassion sitting with his feet propped up on 4E's desk. He had the look of a slimey creep about him to be sure. This is a great day for Forry--but it came at a great cost to him personally. This really burns me up. Ferry, I spit on you, jackass.
March 6, 2003, 11:21 p.m. CST
but, he doesn't have the large house he once had. He has some things that are still near and dear to him, but where would he store all this incredible memorabilia? Forrey had this great idea to give his collection to the city of Los Angeles and open a museum, which would have been great, but the city didn't want to do it. Forrey has inspired us all, no doubt. If you had to give away some of the things you loved, I'm sure it would be difficult, but as long as they were going to someone who would get the same enjoyment out of them, inspiration perhaps, that's not so bad. Forrey's just spreading the love and inspiration he has for Sci Fi and anyone who has a piece of that collection will appreciate it and remember what a great man Forrey is.
March 6, 2003, 11:26 p.m. CST
by Sith Witch
March 6, 2003, 11:45 p.m. CST
The idea of returning some of these items sounds really cool, but everyone should probably wait to hear from Forry to see if he has the room or facilities for them. Unfortunately, I don't think E-Bay would be able to track or notify people individually due to privacy issues, but maybe they could post a notice on their front page if this becomes a reality. I hope someone is still working on the idea of a museum somewhere.
March 7, 2003, 12:20 a.m. CST
by Regis Travolta
You A-listers know who you are. You guys have money to burn. You're a bunch of greedy selfish egotists. Up Up and Away with Forry J!
March 7, 2003, 1:28 a.m. CST
by Buio Omega
Forry, congrats, we love you dearly and hope that you get your beloved collection back. Rest assured that your many, many fans will do all that we can to help out. Oh, and Ray Ferry, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, i hope you rot in fucking hell, scumbag.
March 7, 2003, 1:37 a.m. CST
I've been yearning to read this news for what seems like an eternity, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. It's nice to know that there's still justice in this world. Mr. Ackerman, I salute you, thank you, and congratulate you on your much-deserved, long-overdue vindication. Be well.
March 7, 2003, 1:38 a.m. CST
This is something that came up in conversation recently. Forry has been the inspiration to so many very financially successful Hollywood folks. Without yelling and screaming at them, I just wonder why no one has stepped up to the plate and helped to preserve this giant piece of Hollywood history. You'd think they'd be revered as a saint for helping out, and immortalized in a museum as the patron that helped preserve this important part of Hollywood heritage. Makes sense to me and others, I really wonder why it didn't happen....maybe 'cause of the legal stuff, and now someone can step forward to set things right...., right?
March 7, 2003, 8:07 a.m. CST
by Eugene O
March 7, 2003, 9:44 a.m. CST
I had the privilege of interviewing Forry a few years ago, and he did seem a bit overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the project of what would happen to his collection after his passing. Given the fact that the mansion has been sold and,lets face it, Forry isn't a young man anymore, maybe there's a better option. Even if the city of Los Angeles isn't interested in helping, isn't it time there was a world quality museum for sci-fi, fantasy and horror? If those who purchased his memerobilia aren't willing to just give it back, consider this; if there were an actual museum, organized as a non-profit organization, donations could be considered tax-deductable. Would that make anyone more will to part with their treasure? I put it to all of you: is there sufficient support in the fan community to launch a project of this nature, using Ackermnan's collection as a cornerstone for a honest to goodness musuem? It would require connections, money, time, money, effort, and money. Anybody want to write the first check?
March 7, 2003, 9:49 a.m. CST
by California Split
Or sell Amway.
March 7, 2003, 9:55 a.m. CST
Then I realized I was thinking of Forrest WHITTAKER. Oh well. sk
March 7, 2003, 10:11 a.m. CST
...your magazine took me to worlds that I never knew existed. You, and only YOU, are the Imagimovie master. I wish you happiness and health, Dr. Acula.
March 7, 2003, 11:01 a.m. CST
it's gratifying to know that even in this wacky world of ours today,that the good guys can STILL win...congrats,forry! -neil
March 7, 2003, 11:10 a.m. CST
The Ackermansion will live forever!
March 7, 2003, 11:57 a.m. CST
I'm so pleased that Forrey's won! Yahoo! Sometimes the good guys win after all!
March 7, 2003, 12:07 p.m. CST
You know, I see a lot of great conversation on here, also a lot of bickering, squabbling, and all too much profanity from folk I consider to be above that sort of thing. But thank goodness here's one thing we can agree on... long live the one, the only, the true Dr. Acula, Forrest J. Ackerman! God, I wish the convention season was here...
March 7, 2003, 12:58 p.m. CST
This Ackerman guy is awesome ... the real deal!!! He still uses his FAMOUS MONSTERS-style verbiage too! He writes of this Ferry-Fiend as one of his former "Cinescariuses" ... a malignant beast ... finally banished to a hellish nether-realm, for the rest of its putrid existence! Here's hoping he gets his own FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND going again ... before he departs for The Land of the Pharaohs! Then again ... maybe he's eternal ...
March 7, 2003, 1:04 p.m. CST
To be honest I've never heard of any of these people (Except maybe Ray Bradbury) or this case but it sounds like the good guys won for once.
March 7, 2003, 2:57 p.m. CST
Who cares about some freaky old dude who gets his sexual satisfatcion by collectiiong movie memorabilia while dressing up in a giant animal costume??? ** Oh, I thought you said FURRY!!?! Sorry! ** Seriously, CONGRATS TO FORRY!!! (AND SPIELBERG, LUCAS, DANTE, LANDIS, MALONE AND THE REST- PONY UP SOME BREAD AND REBUILD THE ACKERMUSEUM HERE IN LOS ANGELES) Note to Brett Ratner: eat a dick.
March 7, 2003, 3:41 p.m. CST
Isn't there a scene in the film DELIVERANCE showing a guy bent over a log and squeeling like a pig? For Mr. Ferry, THAT would be justice! Kongratulations my dear friend 4e, from your old friend, Gary Dorst
March 7, 2003, 4:33 p.m. CST
some day, one day, some ratfuck could try to run a similar number on a trusting, doddering, fried-chicken-addled Harry, swindlling the lovable dumpling out of his cherished AICN. Legal combat soon follows. the matter ends inconclusively; the appeals drag on long and expensively. harry is forced to auction off his possessions. Ultimate victory comes to him after a long, draining struggle, but he's just a convex shell of his former self. Then the spooky part: we'll all be obliged to post him our good wishes and lifetime appreciation and -- gah! -- love on the Facer. Whew. I need a drink.
March 7, 2003, 7:25 p.m. CST
by frank cotton
(nowhere near often enough) a dirtbag asswipe gets what he deserves.
March 7, 2003, 9:57 p.m. CST
by the G-man
I remember being eleven or so and reading FMoF magazine religiously. Ackerman is one of the founders of sci-fi and horror movie fandom. Glad to see one of the good guys won.
March 8, 2003, 4:05 p.m. CST
by Count Orgula
that the kids growing up today will not have the opportunity to read Famous Monsters. We all had grown up able to escape into this magazine, to identify with the classic horror monsters, and in some way "fit in" because we were part of a greater whole that was the readership of Famous Monsters. I think that kids today are not so different as we would picture them and could identify with the more "tame" monsters portrayed in FM (much better than the slasher characters of today. I hate what happened to Forrest Ackerman and his collestion. I hate what happened to and all who were part of Famous Monsters. I even feel bad for Ray Ferry which does not seem very popular, but I feel the worst for the fans of the magazine.It is a shame that the greatness that was Famous Monsters has been degraded to what it is now, merely dollars and pen names that are haggled over in court. It is a shame that both Ray Ferry and Forrest Ackerman who did a nice job with the "new" Famous Monsters that was published in the 90's could not put aside their differences for the greater good of the continued publication of Famous Monsters. It is a shame that Forrest Ackerman had to sell his sci-fi posessions, and while it is a great idea to build a museum of sci-fi memorabilia, I think that it is as worthy an idea to get Famous Monsters published again so that the kids of today can carry on loving and appreciating classic monsters and the chills and happiness that they brought us. This war between Ackerman and Ferry is no good to anyone. I admit that Forrest Ackerman was the voice of Famous Monsters for many years and his contributions or "kongtribution" to the magazine and fandom are in desputable and that he was treated badly in this whole issue, I believe that the fans that read the magazine with such reverance are the soul of Famous Monsters, it is so much more than any one man, but the combined love we had for it. Until it is pulished again I will look through what there is of my copies old and new and share them with my chilren who love Famous Monsters as much as we did.
March 8, 2003, 8:10 p.m. CST
by James T. Kook
Congrats to Forry! The man has been a hero and honorary friend to me since the days as a young teen when I'd walk the better part of an hour to the nearest magazine shop in hopes of finding the latest issue of "Famous Monsters" ready to be grabbed up and taken home to read and reread over and over again. Forrest J. Ackerman is the template for everything good about fandom. His success over the beast Ferry is wonderful. Here's wishing many more years of good health and happiness to him.
March 13, 2003, 11:01 p.m. CST
Way to go Forry!! It is my understanding that Ray Ferry is no longer running FMI and he never will. Forrest Ackerman is the main creditor in Ferry's bankruptcy. In order to pay Forrest his money, the bankruptcy trustee will be selling the Famous Monsters of Filmland trademark and magazine to the highest bidder!!! Wouldn't it be great if a Forry fan continued the legacy and helped him out at the same time? For more information on the sale of the trademark/magazine you can contact the attorney for the trustee Wes Avery at 213-626-2311.
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