Thursday, October 17, 2013
Things that go bump in the night: the films of Ed Wood
It's nearly Halloween, time for some wicked-bad horror films, monster brides, vampires, and camp. And what could be more all of the above than an Ed Wood film?
In 1980, Michael Medved posthumously awarded Wood a Golden Turkey Award as "Worst Director of All Time." Wood's film Plan 9 from Outer Space was also awarded "Worst Film." Ironically the award renewed interest in Wood's work and turned him into a cult hero. (Medved also named Richard Burton "Worst Actor," because he wasted his talent in so many bad films.) Which just proves the adage, "one man's trash is another man's treasure."
Wood made and distributed low-budget genre films, predominately sci-fi, horror, and sexploitation. Jail Bait was the first film to feature bodybuilder Steve Reeves. Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson was an Ed Wood staple, along with Vampira, the late-night horror movie host for KABC-TV, and The Amazing Criswell, an erstwhile psychic. Wood made several films with Bela Lugosi, the quintessential Dracula, at the end of his career. Suffering from sciatica, Lugosi was addicted to morphine and methadone and living in poverty when they met. Wood offered Lugosi work as the narrator of Glen or Glenda and the as the mad-scientist lead in Bride of the Monster.
You know you want to have an Ed Wood party for Halloween! Submit your photos by November 3 to firstname.lastname@example.org for a special Daily Glean prize: your choice of any single classic film on our website. Daedalus has three Ed Wood offerings to help entertain your guests: Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and Glen or Glenda. All three include colorized versions, as well as the remastered black-and-white originals. Among Plan 9's extras are Ed Wood home movies and the Mystery Science Fiction Theater 3000 commentary from Mike Nelson!
Guest blogger Linda Thornburg is an award-winning filmmaker (www.mermaidssinging.com) and playwright.