Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Ed Wood

"My friends, can your heart stand the shocking facts about grave-robbers from outer space?" Ed Wood, 1958.

Edward D Wood JR was the worst director of all time. I am not exaggerating that, or being blazé, he was actually voted the worst by a jury of his peers.

He created films about transvestism, alien plans to make people rise from their graves, more transvestism, naked vampires, and transvestism. Since the mid-1980s, his films have gained a huge cult following, especially 'Plan 9 From Outer Space', but there is no denying that this is because they are well and truly awful.

'Plan 9 From Outer Space' (1959) Trailer

As a truly cult director of strange creepy films, who better to direct his biopic than Tim Burton? He did just this in 1994, with the film 'Ed Wood'.

The film (shot entirely in black and white) tells the story of Ed Wood, from the first script he writes, to the release of his 'best' film, 'Plan 9 From Outer Space'.

The first film Wood made was 'Glen or Glenda', a film based on his real-life struggle with transvestism, which he had been involved in since childhood, even admitting that, during the Second World War, he had parachuted into action wearing women's underwear beneath his uniform.

Tim Burton was incredibly brave to film entirely in black and white, but it worked perfectly. It had the B-Movie feel that Wood movies all had, and despite having millions of dollars spent on it, winning dozens of awards in the process, it feels like a very quaint small movie.

The film contains just the right amount of comedy, while still remaining quite moving in places, and staying true to Wood's life. Of course, it has the 'Burtonesque' feel about it, but, with this subject matter, it works.


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