Slice of SciFi #78: Interview with Forrest J Ackerman

Forrest J AckermanNews Bytes:

  • Netflix Offering $1 Million to the first person who designs software to improve their recommendations system
  • Hayao Miyazaki starting production of an all-new animated feature slated for a 2008 release
  • NBC greenlights “Deadline”, a conspiracy thriller in the style of “24”, only told in reverse, a la Memento

Movie Talk: Zhang Yimou’s martial arts epic fantasy The Curse of the Golden Flower is a real favorite for the foreign-language Oscar. The film stars Yun-Fat Chow, Jay Chou and Li Gong, and chronicles the ill-fated love affair between an imperial bodyguard and the princess he is sworn to protect. A prince takes the lovers on a dangerous journey where royal family secrets are revealed and martial arts battles ensue. The movie should be in theaters around the globe in December 2006.

Doug’s Slice of Trivia Send your submissions to sliceoftrivia at

TV Talk: SciFi Channel’s “Eureka” has been a steady ratings winner for 11-straight weeks and its season finale was one of the highest for SCI FI. Because of the surprise hit, network president Bonnie Hammer has decided to change her programming strategy for next season and follow the highly charged and successful model currently used by the USA Network, which features such hits as “The 4400,” “The Dead Zone” and “Psych.” SciFi Fridays, already a ratings winner will remain untouched, however, Hammer plans on adding another night of scripted original series, keeping “Eureka” in its winning Tuesday night slot for its second season next year.

MONSTERS Interview: Legendary SF fan and horror movie memorabilia collector Forrest J Ackerman joins Michael and Summer to tell us about the golden age of monster movies. He regales us with his recollections of meeting the famous actors who brought the monsters to life, the Golden Age studio heads, how Vampirella came to be, his opinions on what Hollywood’s calling horror these days, and more.

You can read his latest literary contribution, the foreward to MONSTERS: A Celebration of the Classics from Universal Studios, a coffee table retrospective that every horror/monster movie fan should check out.

Future Talk: What’s Coming Up?

  • Universal Pictures has hired director Mark Pellington to adapt the Ken Kalfus short story “Night and Day You Are the One” for the big screen.
  • Scottish actor James McAvoy tapped to play the lead in the film adaptation of Top Cow’s comic “Wanted”, the story of a band of super-villains who join together to kill off all existing superheroes.

Listener comments: If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know.


  1. GordonJ says

    Just listening trying to think why Yun-Fat Chow sounded so familiar, then Joe started listing the movies he’s been in.

    Then it clicked, oh you mean Chow Yun-Fat.

  2. says

    Nope – as was explained to another fan – his proper sequential Chinese name is Yun Fat Chow. He is also know by “Chow Yun-Fat” or “Chow Yuen Fat.” That’s OK, it’s purely a cultural thing.

  3. says

    Actually, I got a chuckle out of the statement about (by??) Skiffy: “Friday night will remain unchanged.”

    Well, except for the cancellation of one program, that is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. says

    I am an English as Second Language teacher in Korea. For Gordon and Sam, Chinese, Koreans and, I think, most other Asian countries, the family name comes first. I don’t know much about the ‘Crouching Dragon’ star but his family name should be the first one. However, my students often give their name to me in Western form, with the family name last – its a little confusing.

    You asked about English name that sound funny in other languages. My middle name, Hamilton, sounds very much like ‘fish soup’ (hae mul tang) in Korea.

    On the other hand, I have students with names that could be spelled, Suck-bum, Young-sam and, everyone’s favorite here, You Suck-mi. These are all actual names although the spelling could be different and the sound is also slightly different.

    Short-but-still-possibly-boring-or-pedantic-description-of-Korean-pronunciation below.

    The Korean alphabet was invented 500 years ago. Before that, they used Chinses Characters. Because the alphabet is so young, it is very good at describing Korean sounds but does not have the flexibility (or phonetic messiness) that our alphabet has. sometimes English sounds fall between two Korean sounds or a Korean sound is slightly different than the closest Engish sound. It is a stereotpye that Koreans, and other Asians, mix up ‘r’ and ‘l’. Many Koreans literally cannot hear a difference until after extensive listening. There is one Korean letter, ‘li-ul’ (or ‘ri-ur’) that is used when transcribing english words into Korean. Light and Right would be spelled the same in Korean.

    Anyway, The student, ‘You Suck-mi’, might also spell her name, ‘Yoo Sock-me’ and ‘sock’ is probably closer to the correct Korean pronunciation.

  5. Radik says

    That was a great interview with Forrest Ackerman. I discovered the Perry Rhodan series when I was in Jr. High, and couldn’t wait for each new installment to show up on the bookshelves at the local Woolworth’s each month! When they stopped getting new ones, I joined their subscription service and got them in the mail. I’ve still got #1 through about #150 or so packed away in three cardboard boxes.

  6. Lila says

    Evo. English is not a Romance language. It’s Germanic. It was heavily influenced by Latin through French, but it does not come from Latin.

    Good show, though. The news about Eureka and related Sci-fi channel programming makes me happy.

  7. tllgrrl says

    Yep, the commentary for Deadwood is awesome. Some are straight-on and there’s one with Timothy Oliphant (Sherrif Bullock) that’s really quite funny.
    (By the way, the featurette called The Process is really really cool.)
    I, too, am a Commentary Whore.
    (Y’all should check out the commentary for The Matrix done by Ken Wilbur and Dr. Cornell West.)
    Lastly, I’m actually finding myself watching TV again.
    Eureka, Heroes, Studio 60. And SciFi Channel’s Friday night line-up rocks. It rocks, absolutely.
    The only thing that needed to happen was the continuation of Blade:The Series. Which I understand they’re shopping.
    Waiting for the next seasons of Dead Zone and Psyche. And, yes 24. (You guys really need to actually WATCH a show instead of just writing it off because it SOUNDS like you might not get it. Just a suggestion.)

  8. A Friend says

    Forrest Ackerman has recently been diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of 92.