Progress Report One for the 12th Festival of Fantastic Films
August 24th to 26th, 2001.

Publishing Date: June 2001


In addition to Guests of Honour FORRY ACKERMAN and PAUL NASCHY we are delighted to advise you good folks that actress JENNIE LINDEN and stop-motion effects wizard RAY HARRYHAUSEN have agreed to join us for the convention weekend.

Jennie Linden has appeared in many excellent mainstream films and television shows and her genre movies include NIGHTMARE (1964) for Hammer and DOCTOR WHO AND THE DALEKS (1965) in which she played Barbara opposite the great Peter Cushing as the Doctor. Other genre movies and television include A SEVERED HEAD (1971), VAMPIRA (1974), MENACE UNSEEN (1988) and DOCTOR WHO: 30 YEARS IN THE TARDIS (1993) as herself and Barbara.

Ray Harryhausen was of course our guest at the first ever Festival in 1990 and again joined us in 1996. We felt it would be great to entice him back with his old buddy Forry Ackerman here for the first time. Especially as we have concocted a very interesting blast-from-the -past event as an EXTRA item during the weekend. Back in 1933, yes, even before any of your committee were born, a young man called Harryhausen went along to see a new movie at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The movie of course was KING KONG and it captivated the young Ray Harryhausen to such an extent that he wanted to know "how it was done" and that got him into stop-motion photography and a career that has entertained us all ever since. But at that first screening of the mighty KONG, Ray saw a number of wonderful photographs from the film on display in the foyer. He wanted to get hold of copies and the theatre manager put him in contact with the owner - a youngster himself, Forrest J. Ackerman. So not only was the big gorilla guy responsible for starting Ray's career in movies, but also for bringing Ray and Forry together for the first time.

Our event is fully detailed elsewhere, but basically we want to recreate that first showing experience by taking all who want to come back in time to 1933. You will be able to see a brand new 35mm print of KING KONG on the screen of a cinema that first opened for films in 1932 and is now undergoing refurbishment to return it to the splendour of the 1930's. You'll also be able to witness the film introduced, live on stage by Ray Harryhausen and Forry Ackerman.

Guests of Honour and other notes

Paul Naschy has confirmed that he will be attending and we are looking at a number of his films to screen over the weekend. DOCTOR JEKYLL AND THE WEREWOLF is a must of course, but there will be others to represent the range of Paul's work.

Forrest J. Ackerman and Ray Harryhausen have both confirmed they will be with us. Forry's airplane tickets have been booked and he will fly directly into Manchester just before the Fest and then he's off to the World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia directly after our weekend. Busy, busy ...

Jennie Linden is very hopeful of attending but is a little concerned that an event she was booked to take part in some weeks back and was postponed due to the UK foot and mouth outbreak, may now be re-arranged for August. If that does happen she will have to honour her original agreement. Our next PR will confirm the situation.

We are delighted that Richard Gordon will be with us again. Ever since Richard was our Guest of Honour back in 1993, he has flown over from New York as a fan of the Fest every year. We are delighted that he will be with us again.. And no doubt do our best to entice him onto a panel.

The same goes for stalwart Norman J. Warren, who is heading up THE HORROR SHOW, billed as 10 Hours of Movie Terror down in old London town on June 23rd.. (hope this PR got to you in time!) and there is a flyer in here somewhere. If you don't find one, email FAB Press at: [email protected] Tickets cost just £18 and the event is at The Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9RL. Worth going just to be on the old studio grounds!

Steve Barkett emailed us with some great info, and we ran it in the first PR, but Harry Nadler's old windup computer crashed out a month or so back and wiped everything in sight. If anyone has Steve Barkett's email or postal address, please update us. Steve said he would be with us, but he dashes around the planet so often that he's hard to pin down... hope to see him again though, especially as he has great footage for us to see and stories to hear.

Signing Sessions

Gil Lane-Young is busy arranging a multitude of writers and celebs to come and visit the Fest and do a signing session. Look out next time around for full details, but a number of recent genre book launches would indicate we might have a record number of names this year.

The Film Programme

Here's our regular update on the way our trawl of the film vaults is heading. Most of the following will be included in the finished programme, but all are subject of course to final confirmation.

The Films of George Pal looks all set to be an important part of the movie programme and will include most of George Pal's terrific output of science fiction and fantasy productions..

We have some of the classic Puppetoons from the 1930's and 40's to give support to many of the George Pal feature films. We are hopeful of being about to find 16mm prints of the following: THE GREAT RUPERT (1949), which has comedian Jimmy Durante and our heroine from Mighty Joe Young, Terry Moore playing alongside a stop-motion squirrel, the "Rupert" of the title.

In 1948, George was introduced to science fiction writer Robert Heinlein and the result was the movie DESTINATION MOON which kick started the Hollywood interest in sci-fi when it was released in 1950. George's WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE followed in 1951 which of course, has one of the all-time great spaceships. Two years later science fiction fans who were old enough (the film had an adults only "X" certificate in the UK) saw the wonderful WAR OF THE WORLDS.

.We also hope to be able to screen ATLANTIS THE LOST CONTINENT, tom thumb, THE TIME MACHINE, ATLANTIS THE LOST CONTINENT, 7 FACES OF DR LAO and THE POWER and are waiting on confirmation of these titles as we go to press. The complete programme should make up an impressive collection of movies to represent George Pal's out- put of 14 feature films.

Our early-years-of-sound department has found even greater treasures this time around and we are delighted to be able to screen rare titles like THE GREAT GABBO (1929), a bizarre and very campy film with Erich Von Stroheim as a half crazy ventriloquist. Made at the dawn of time for sound movies, it may look a little quaint to modern audiences, but we think interesting enough, with some "standout" scenes, to include.

The 1930 JUST IMAGINE has had two previous screenings at our events. The first time was the very first Fest and then later we found a more complete print. The film is great fun and received such a marvellous reception from the audiences at both screenings that we thought it time to dust it off again, especially with Forry Ackerman being with us, as it was always one of those magic titles of early science fiction that his magazines featured in our early days of fandom!

BEFORE DAWN (1933) is directed with great flair by Irvin Pichel who in a long career was later to direct, DRACULA'S DAUGHTER, TOPPER TAKES A TRIP, TORTURE SHIP, and THE GREAT RUPERT and DESTINATION MOON for George Pal. BEFORE DAWN is a great little mystery set in a mysterious mansion and has Warner Oland playing it like Charlie Chan.

The classic MAD LOVE (1935) is the excellent Hands of Orlac movie with Peter Lorre so brilliant in this, his first American film, that Charlie Chaplin was quoted as saying that he was "the greatest living actor".

THE MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET (1942) sees Lionel Atwill as a nutty professor re- fining his process for suspended animation. He has to flee the law and ends up on a tropical island and meets up with Noble Johnson still playing his native chief role from King Kong!

THE MONSTER MAKER (1944) with J. Carrol Naish as yet another mad scientist experimenting with synthetic flesh. As they do!

ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY (1946) features a couple of odd comedians but the star for us is of course Bela Lugosi who supplies the duo with some of his living-dead friends for their nightclub act. Pardon?

Rondo Hatton is The Creeper in the classic horror from 1946 THE BRUTE MAN with a storyline very much akin to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

The later years of genre movies, (which for us is anything after 1960!) will be represented by some great pictures like MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964) with Vincent Price at his absolute best. Made in England it also stars Hazel Court, David Weston and Jane Asher.

It's about time we gave Q THE WINGED SERPENT an airing, especially as we have been asked to screen THE GIANT CLAW again.. Would make a good combo - yes? We'll have more of the later stuff to tell you about in our next PR,.

One of the new films we have received, straight from a very successful DEAD BY DAWN in Edinburgh and highly recommended by Dead by Dawn Fest Director Adele Hartley is a wonderful movie called

SILENT INVASION. This Canadian film from director / producer Eric Lavoie tells of a timid young man who sees his fiancée kidnapped by aliens bent on world domination and seeks the help of the police. They prove unfit to fight off zombies, robots and alien beings and so El Mascarado, a masked wrestler is called out of retirement! A tribute to silent films, Plan 9, action movies, the Living Dead and Santo. SILENT INVASION is a hell of a lot of fun.


We are also delighted that American producer Joel Denning has decided that he'd like The Festival of Fantastic Films to be the place to hold the World Premiere of Don Dohler's new science fiction feature film ALIEN RAMPAGE.

Don has directed a number of good-old monster movies over the past 20 years... and came out of "retirement" to make "just one more!" ALIEN RAMPAGE has all the ingredients of the best of the 1950s films that we love.... Small town USA, police involvement with a extra terrestrial landing, and a great monster who deals out death without thinking! The film has excel- lent photography, well directed action and looks great! We should have some pictures to show you in our next PR.... But 'fifties fans out there will love ALIEN RAMPAGE and we are hopeful that some of the makers of the film will come over to join us in Manchester.

Terrific Terrovision

During the course of the weekend, film historian Gerald Price will be taking us through the world of television science fiction. Gerry has organised and lectured at a number of summer schools and residential courses run by various Universities. He earned his B.Sc at University College London and is the owner of Intercontinental Films, a 16mm film library based in South Wales. Gerry has specialised in horror and science fiction film for over forty years and offered us a number of topics to talk about this year.

But we settled on "Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction Television" for this year (in the hope that he'll come back at a future event and explore the other genre topics. The talks involve a vast collection of examples and some of the series being discussed and screened will include STAR TREK - THE CLASSIC SERIES, THE INVISIBLE MAN (British series), THUNDER- BIRDS, CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS, THE SECRET SERVICE, THRILLER, THE OUTER LIMITS (original series), THE TWILIGHT ZONE (original series), KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER, THE WILD, WILD, WEST, TOUCH OF EVIL and SUPERMAN (George Reeves). With so much material, Gerry's TV event will be spread across the weekend, but it 's not to be missed. You'll not live with yourself if you don't get to see "Night of the Man Eating House".. !!!

Events Director Steve Barkett is hoping to be with us again this year and he will screen and talk about a number of the movies he has been involved in. Steve has a number of "outtakes", special items and anecdotes to entertain us with.

The King Kong 1930's Experience
is going to be a very special event for fans of stop-motion animation. This EXTRA EVENT involves a visit to a Super Cinema of the 1930's that is undergoing full refurbishment to its original splendour. We are delighted to have been able to arrange, in conjunction with The Plaza Super Cinema in Stockport, Cheshire, an afternoon visit to see a BRAND NEW 35mm print of the original KING KONG. We have organised a bus for the trip from the Festival hotel to the cinema and back after the show of course, plus your admission in and a souvenir programme - all for £10 per person. The cinema, which is open to the public, seats over 1,000 and you can choose stalls or circle seating. The BIG plus of course is that Ray Harryhausen and Forrest J. Ackerman will introduce the event from the stage of the Plaza Cinema and the cinema building itself is a delight to see. You'll experience exactly how it must have been to be at an original 1933 screening of the classic movie in this ideal setting. See our back page for full booking info.


We'd like to set up an exhibition room this year and invite all of you who are artists, sculptors, photographers etc to get involved and bring along some of your work to display. Jason Brookes provided some superb sculptures last year and we do hope Jason will be back again and that he'll have a little more company this time! Photographer Rob Eriksen, who kindly produced some excellent black and white photographs of our guests last year, has been working very hard to complete a photographic portfolio, which he intends to exhibit. Harry Hamill and the guys from Northern Ireland are busy finishing a movie which they will be entering in our Independent Movie Contest and hope to be able to display some props and photos from the production. Do contact us if you'd like to contribute to the exhibition room and set up any size of display. We have a very large room and it would be nice to see it looking busy!


Ramsey Campbell's auction prowess has become a highlight of the weekend. Last year's performance has already been nominated for three Emmy's and an Oscar. But he can't work to an empty stage and YOUR generosity is required to bring along some items for Ramsey to get to grips with and auction for amazing high prices to help fund the weekend. This year we are looking for really GOOD people - as we are cheeky enough to ask that all Auction items are donated to the Festival outright. We really do need to raise extra funds this year to cover costs. Please write, email or telephone Gil Lane-Young with details of any material you can spare for this year's auction. Gil is on 0161 929 1423, his email is [email protected] and if you want to put pen to paper, you can write to Gil Lane-Young, Penrose, 21 Winton Road, Bowdon, Cheshire WA14 2PE.

Dealer room table for fans

For those of you who would normally bring along auction material, but would like a percent- age for yourself, we are offering a table for just £10 in our dealer room on Saturday August 25th so that you can sell anything related to the event, direct to the membership. This offer is of course only open to FULL registered members of the Fest. Please ensure you write to Tony Edwards, well before the event to book your table, quoting your membership number and enclosing your cheque for £10 per table.


We have a number of Festival T-Shirts from previous years for sale at special rates. Here is our complete stock list - when they've gone ..... they've GONE!

10th Festival 1999
Classic Icons White on Black
2 only XL Sweat Shirts. £13.50p each.

9th Festival 1998
Festival Logo Silver on Black T-Shirts
1 Med. 1 Large. 2 XL £6 each 2 Medium Sweatshirts. £12 each

8th Festival 1997
Multicoloured Gothic Castle on Black
T-Shirts 8 Med. 8 Large. £5 each. Sweat Shirts 2 Med. 7 Large. 5 XL £10 each.

7th Festival 1996
Rocket Logo on Blue
Sweat Shirts 4 Med. 1 XL. £10 each.

6th Festival 1995
Bride of Frankenstein on Grey
T-Shirts 8 Small. 16 Med. 1 Large. £5 each. Sweat Shirts 1 Med. 1 Large. £10 each.

5th Festival 1994
Harryhausen's Medusa Multicoloured on Black.
T-Shirts 23 Med. 13 Large. £4 each.

4th Festival 1993
King Kong White & Green on Black.
Sweat Shirt 1 only £12.

3rd Festival 1992
Man from Planet X White on Black.
T-Shirts 4 Small £5 each. Sweat Shirts 2 XL £10

2nd Festival 1991
Fantasy Icons Multicoloured on White.
T-Shirts 4 Small. 6 Med. 4 Large. 3 XL. £4 each.

1st Festival 1990
Night of the Demon Festival Logo Black & Yellow on White.
Sorry Sold out.

Available from Tony Edwards,
95, Meadowgate Rd. Salford.
M6 8EN. England.
Please make cheques payable to The Society of Fantastic Films and include £1 towards post and packing.

Send Festival e-mail to Harry Nadler: mailto [email protected],uk

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