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Ed Wood, Jr. (1924 - 1978)

Lifespan: 1924 - 1978

Related: Tim Burton - perversion in cinema - American cinema - exploitation film

Films: Glen or Glenda? (1953)


Edward Davis Wood, Junior (October 10, 1924 - December 10, 1978) was a filmmaker known for a series of movies derided (or heralded, depending on one's fondness for kitsch) as "the worst of all time." He is probably the best-known maker of B-movies, famed for his ultra-low budget horror, science fiction and cowboy motion pictures. After extensive critical and commercial failure, he ended his career making pornography and writing schlock transvestite-themed novels drawing from his own fetishes.

Wood's posthumous fame began two years after his death, when he was awarded a Golden Turkey Award for being the worst director of all time. Today, he is generally respected by film scholars and historians - not for his talent, which has so far not undergone any kind of critical re-appraisal, but for his evident zeal and honest love of movies and movie production. The very lack of conventional filmmaking ability in his work has earned him and his films a considerable cult following. Some of his films have been lampooned on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000, which has given those works wider exposure. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Wood%2C_Jr. [May 2005]

Sinister Urge (1961) - Ed Wood

Sinister Urge (1961) - Ed Wood

See also: Ed Wood - USA - film - pulp - 1961

Death of a Transvestite (1967) - Ed Wood

Death of a Transvestite (1967) - Ed Wood [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Cover image sourced here.

Death of a transvestite (1967). Also known as Let Me Die in Drag. This is the sequel novel to 1963’s ‘Black Lace Drag’ and sees Glen Marker on death row. He requests to die in drag. The story is mostly told through documents such as police reports. As with ‘Drag Trade’, Ed Wood features in drag on the cover of some versions of this novel although his anonymity is maintained by a black bar positioned across his eyes. It is sometimes published under the pseudonym of ‘Woodrow Edwards’. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Wood%2C_Jr._bibliography [Jan 2006]

See also: Ed Wood - death - transvestite - USA - paperback - pulp - 1967

Ed Wood (1994) - Tim Burton

  • Ed Wood (1994) - Tim Burton [Amazon.com]
    Edward D. Wood Jr. was an actor writer-director-producer, occasionally in drag, who combined meager bursts of talent with an undying optimism to create some of the most bizarrely memorable "B" movies to ever come out of Tinseltown. Though Wood died in obscurity as an alcoholic in 1978, his films have been considered cult classics for years. He is consistently voted the worst director who ever lived. You would think this an odd subject, but director Tim Burton harnesses the undying hopefulness that made Wood such a character. Shot in black and white, just like Wood's creations, this stylized, witty production captures the poetic absurdity of Wood's films and his unconventional life. Burton's recreation of Wood's wonderfully awful Plan 9 from Outer Space looks much better than the original low-budget quickie. Burton tackled an extremely strange subject matter for a biopic, but Wood is presented as naive almost to the point of delusion, so the story works. The pace sags in the middle, as the weirdness starts to wear thin, but Depp proves himself an adroit actor, even while wearing angora and a blonde wig. Wood's unconventional repertoire company is faithfully reproduced, including an Academy Award-winning Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. Landau is pathetic, droll, and charismatic as the elderly junkie who made his last screen appearances in Wood's films. --Rochelle O'Gorman for amazon.com

    Ed Wood (1994) - Tim Burton

    Necromania (sometimes subtitled "A Tale of Weird Love") is a formerly "lost" porn film by Ed Wood, Jr., released in 1971. Thought lost for years, it resurfaced in edited form on Mike Vraney's Something Weird imprint in the late 1980s, then was re-released on DVD by Fleshbot Films in 2005.

    The plot (based on Wood's novel "The Only House") involves a couple, Danny and Shirley, who visit necromancer Madame Heles for a witchcraft solution to Danny's erectile dysfunction problem.

    The Amazing Criswell's coffin makes an appearance in the film, the third of Wood's films in which it does. (Night of the Ghouls and Plan 9 from Outer Space are the other two.) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necromania [Dec 2005]

    Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (1994) - Rudolph Grey

    Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (1994) - Rudolph Grey [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Published to coincide with Tim Burton's film starring Johnny Depp, the story of cult director Edward D. Wood, Jr. as told by those who lived and worked with him.

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