Short Cuts

Fridays with Forrie

Every Day Is Halloween Dept.: Especially if you're Joseph Fotinos, aka Professor Griffin of Midnight Shadow Show infamy. While a cursory glance out the window finds more bluebirds than bats (at least so far), Griff's cultish access television show has scored a triple-header (beating out Ray Milland and Rosey Grier's doubleshot in The Thing With Two Heads, no less) in the form of a new time slot on the Austin Music Network (Time Warner Cable Channel 15) on Fridays at midnight. That's a repeat broadcast of The Midnight Shadow Show's regular Fridays-at-11pm slot on Channel 16, which means there's now no reason for you to miss out on Griff's usual assortment of classic horror films and bizarrely engaging hosting duties. That's small potatoes, however, compared to the unassailably cool casting news from the Shadow Show, that being the brand-spanking-new inclusion of no less than the legendary Forest J. Ackerman, late of Horrorwood, Karloffornia, as Griff's "boss," professor Bruno Lampini, in the show's opening sequence. Fantastic film fans the world over (and beyond) need no introduction to the horrific octogenarian superstar that is FJA, but for those out of the loop or in the coffin, Ackerman is the man behind the equally legendary and seminal monster mag Famous Monsters of Filmland, whose unbridled affection for all things weird has influenced everyone from Stephen King to the Misfits, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, Ray Bradbury, and, of course, "Short Cuts." How did Austin's only horror host come to get one of the most celebrated sci-ficionados of all time to open his cable access show? "I contacted Forrie," relates Griffin/Fotinos, "and he was overjoyed to read this opening that I wrote for him which was then taped out in California. Basically I'm just using the voice track and then I'm going to put it over this sleek new opening that we've got going. So we now have an official professor Lampini and, appropriately enough, it's Forest J. Ackerman. It's one of those things that you just get all giddy about." Griff, we're pretty giddy about this ourselves. As if that weren't enough for Mr. Spooky to handle, the good professor and his Shadow Show have also been selected by Universal Studios to promote their upcoming exsanguinatory epic Van Helsing both on air and on Friday, May 7, 7pm, at the Regal Westgate theatre, where the good professor and his able assistants Usher and Dan-Dan will host a screening of the film featuring trivia and costume contests (contestants are urged to come as either Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, or the Mummy) with prizes from Universal, Sideshow Toys, and Regal. Furthermore (when does this guy find time to sleep?) Griff & Company will be repping the studio's April DVD release of their Universal Monster Legacy series, which will reissue Universal's classic Thirties- and Forties-era monsters (Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, et al.) in gorgeous new editions. To that end, professor Griffin is sponsoring a Universal Monsters Amateur Art Contest on his Web site with all sorts of groovy prizes from Universal Studios and Sideshow Collectibles. All this and we're still six months from October – looks like Al Jourgensen was right... If you're a regular reader of Austin Web guru/author/outsized personality Harry Knowles' Web site (, then you already know that he has been locked in to co-produce Paramount Pictures' A Princess of Mars, an adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs' bedrock sci-fantasy classic John Carter of Mars series, to be directed by Robert Rodriguez after the latter wraps up Sin City. Knowles is also slated to pull the producing strings on Revolution Studios' Ghost Town, and through it all continue to oversee Ain't It Cool News. Never mind professor Griffin: When does this Knowles cat sleep?

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Short Cuts
Short Cuts
Short Cuts
The Conrans will 'Captain' 'Princess of Mars'; plus, Linklater headed for 'Bad News'

Marc Savlov, Sept. 17, 2004

Short Cuts
Short Cuts
Invest in the fests!

Marc Savlov, Sept. 3, 2004


The Midnight Shadow Show, Joseph Fotinos, Forrest J Ackerman, Harry Knowles, The Princess of Mars, Sin City

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle