Paul Davids, the director of the documentary The Sci-Fi Boys spurred this exploration of the afterlife after an odd encounter in a hotel room. While staying at a hote he printed a piece of paper, he then left the room for a few moments and when he returned he found what he believes was proof that his friend, the departed Forrest J Ackerman of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, had reached out him from beyond the grave. Actually, what he found was an unexplained ink smudge on a piece of paper, but this documentary would have you believe it’s proof of the existence of the conscious mind from beyond.
Personally I do believe in something in the hereafter. What exactly that is I won’t speculate on but I do hope there’s something beyond what we know, I wanna believe there’s more than just rotting in the dirt. When my younger tragically brother passed on at a young age I found myself speaking to him while I was alone in the dark, I was full of regret and mourning his death, there were so many things I wished I’d said, and I would find myself speaking these things to him as if he were there. Do I think he was present at the time, was his spirit with me, does anyone really know?
Paul Davids and a small group of true believers, scientists and friends of the departed Forrest J Ackerman would have you believe yes, there’s something out there. we have entries from respected science fiction authors Richard Matheson, Whitley Strieber, Dannion Brinkley and Michael Shermer, whom all chime in. There are also testimonies and research from scientist including Gary Schwartz, the Director of the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health, here in Tucson, AZ at The University of Arizona, where I work. Schwartz in his lab attempts to communicate with the deceased through a series of yes/no questions and awaits a metered response, which proves absolutely nothing in my opinion. Seriously, until I see an apparition myself it’s gonna be difficult for me to believe, not that I do not want to, I just need a little proof.
Some of these testimonies are compelling stories, witnesses recount weird happenings that they assign to the afterlife, but c’mon now, papers falling off a chair… one time! If it weren’t for the trappings of Forry Ackerman here I don’t think I would have even given this documentary a shot, I hate shows like Ghost Hunters. I do appreciate the fond remembrances of the the world’s ultimate science-fiction nerd but as a science-based exploration of life after death the film is utterly lacking, simply stating that science cannot rule out communication from the afterlife does not prove squat.
There are 40 minutes of bonus features including audio excerpts from a 2009 tribute to Ackerman with touching tributes from Rick Baker and Ray Bradbury. There’s also a second disc featuring The Life After Death Project 2 – Personal Encounters (101 Mins) with further testimony about personal accounts of supposed life after death. I would much rather watch a documentary about Forrest J. Ackerman’s life and what he meant to legions of fans, what happened after his death is of far less interest. 2 Outta 5