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April 23, 2007 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Also: Tim Burton's Ed Wood on Google Video
posted by darkripper at 1:22 PM on April 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

'Ed Wood' is a fantastic film.

Here's some interesting (and awkwardly phrased) trivia from the imdb: "Martin Landau's winning of the Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi is the first time in Academy Awards history that a performer in any category won for playing an actual movie performer."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:36 PM on April 23, 2007

God, I love Wood. He was inept on a technical level, but you can tell he was really passionate about film.
posted by brundlefly at 1:42 PM on April 23, 2007

Hunted! Despised! Living like an animal!
posted by adipocere at 1:49 PM on April 23, 2007

... but in pretty undergarments.
posted by rob511 at 2:04 PM on April 23, 2007


In all seriousness, the bit near the beginning of Plan 9 where Bela picks a flower remembering his lost love is more than a little bit poignant once you know its context.

Also, Ed Wood wrote better dialogue than that fucker Lucas.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:04 PM on April 23, 2007

Wood's brilliance was designing creepy images and then juxtaposing them with laughable sets, horrid dialogue, and painful acting. I think he's popular because he speaks to the part of us that says our passion to do something is sufficient. In that sense the fan is equal to the creator.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:05 PM on April 23, 2007 [3 favorites]

If Burton ever makes a true Wood-style film, I have a title for him.
posted by rob511 at 2:10 PM on April 23, 2007

Burton's Ed Wood is underrated.

Martin Landau and Bill Murray are so good it is insane.
posted by vronsky at 2:55 PM on April 23, 2007

Ed Wood brought us incontrovertible proof that any film can be improved by a random lesbian bondage scene. If only more directors understood this.

And Ed Wood is the only Burton film I truly like ("Worst film you've ever seen, huh? Well, my next one will be better!").
posted by biscotti at 3:12 PM on April 23, 2007

I'm with you on that biscotti. I fucking hate Burton's work , but for some reason Ed Wood stands out.
posted by nola at 3:55 PM on April 23, 2007

I've been saying Ed Wood is awesome for years. It's simultaneously the happiest and saddest movie movie I've seen.
posted by JHarris at 4:01 PM on April 23, 2007

He's dead! Murdered! And someone's responsible!
posted by QuietDesperation at 4:05 PM on April 23, 2007

Burton's Ed Wood is underrated.

Amen. The only movie I've seen where I literally fell out of my theater seat laughing. And Glen or Glenda really is as mind-bogglingly ridiculous as you expect; it's jaw-dropping so-bad-it's-genius material. Just check the opening title: "BELA LUGOSI IN 'GLEN OR GLENDA.' And it just gets more absurd from there.
posted by mediareport at 5:40 PM on April 23, 2007

(and delighted to see so many other folks who think most of Burton's oeuvre stinks to high heaven)
posted by mediareport at 5:41 PM on April 23, 2007

Oh, I love those movies. Thanks so much!

Ed Wood is a great movie. It really captures the subject.

I just read an interesting bio of Ed Wood (I can't seem to find it in Amazon) that was entirely in the words of his contemporaries. Totally wild. There was a chapter entirely of quotations from his friends about the angora fetish....
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:28 PM on April 23, 2007

My wife and I may be among the only people who saw "I Woke Up Early the Day I Died" in the theater. It's not on DVD, but she ordered the soundtrack and it came with candy in the packaging...
posted by AJaffe at 6:59 PM on April 23, 2007

My god, I just watched the brilliantly awful climax of Glen or Glenda; it's truly amazing. Start at 44:30, in the middle of a make-out scene with great music, then keep going for 5 minutes through a quick shot of Bela just raising an eyebrow at you, then a freaky psychout montage as a group of women and girls point at Ed while saying things like "puppy dog's tails! puppy dog's tails!" Be sure to watch until you see a horned devil work his magic, which results in the glorious moment of unveiling as the crowd backs away to reveal Ed in all her feminine splendor, boldly and assertively making her case for transvestitism as the music swells poignantly around her, only to turn dark as she's teased and tormented by a woman/devil on the strangest piece of furniture you'll ever see and a crowd of superimposed laughing faces and flickering jazz hands, and ends with the devil ominously warning you to "Beware the big green dragon that sits on your doorstep...He eats little boys, puppy dog's tails and big fat snails."

WTF?? There's really nothing else like it in the history of cinema - or any 20th century pop culture, for that matter. That inexplicable shot of Bela Lugosi is just hilarious. You can feel Ed Wood's vision aching to claw its way out of his brain, but getting wonderfully twisted and mangled by his lack of talent along the way. And yet I'll argue to the death that something of genius - *some* kind of genius - clearly survives.
posted by mediareport at 8:15 PM on April 23, 2007 [2 favorites]

mediareport: Now I _have_ to watch Glen or Glenda. :-)
posted by the cydonian at 8:49 PM on April 23, 2007

Be sure to watch out for the stock footage of the buffalo herd.

Also be sure to tell me what the fuck it's doing in that movie.
posted by mediareport at 9:03 PM on April 23, 2007

I'm with you on that biscotti. I fucking hate Burton's work , but for some reason Ed Wood stands out.

I third this emotion. I hated Big Fish, Planet of the Apes...Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was ok but forgettable. But Ed Wood is worth repeat viewings, and Johnny Depp has never been better.

I do have a soft spot for Pee Wee's Big Adventure, but I caught it recently and it's aged a bit.
posted by zardoz at 9:06 PM on April 23, 2007

MST3k is my favorite show ever. It's not the best show ever. But it is my favorite. I discovered it in 6th grade, and have a large number of episodes archived.

Maybe I should go pull a couple out and watch 'em....

In simplistic Intarweb parlance: MST3k = <3 small>I'm Joel-Mike agnostic. I like them both equally for different reasons
posted by sparkletone at 10:53 PM on April 23, 2007

"Pull de strings!!! Pull de Strings!!!"

God, I love that movie.
posted by Mcable at 5:06 AM on April 24, 2007

Mmmmm... a rice of pipple.
posted by cog_nate at 9:58 AM on April 24, 2007

lupus_yonderboy: That book sounds like Nightmare of Ecstasy. I believe it is ostensibly what Ed Wood is based on, and it's pretty fantastic as a portrait, and really intriguing to see the ways that different people remember what was going on.

In fact, if I recall correctly it may have been in that book where I've read that the business with the devil and the bondage scene in Glen or Glenda? was added in to spice up the package and pad it out to feature length after he'd initially come up short.

On any given day I might pick Ed Wood as my favorite movie. Just lovely, and hilarious to boot. I was ten or eleven when it came out, and I knew nothing about it and missed seeing it. After it had disappeared from theaters, my grandmother was in town visiting and told me that I would love it and would regale me with stories from it ("He basically used pie-tins as flying saucers!"). At the time I was making a Godzilla movie in our back yard, using action figures, a "Jello monster", a remote controlled boat, and our swimming pool and she made me a deal that if I promised to see Ed Wood someday she'd give me twenty dollars to help with my project. A couple of years later I found a VHS of it at a used book store and finally watched it. And then watched it again and again. It turned me into a little bit of an Ed Wood nut for a while (I've got the fuzzy pink box-set of Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 and a friend gave me two of Wood's transvestite pulp novels), but more than that it came to me at a perfect time to make it perfectly okay and acceptable to maintain the feelings of enthusiasm and wonder and delight that might start to get hammered out of you as you grow up. I've told my grandmother that it's my favorite movie, but I don't know how to express how much it has meant to me.
posted by Nathaniel W at 10:56 AM on April 24, 2007 [3 favorites]

zardoz writes "I hated Big Fish, Planet of the Apes...Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was ok but forgettable."

Huh. You just listed his three most recent (and worst) films. I'm not a HUGE Burton fan, but I'll go to the mat for Pee Wee, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and (I'm almost alone in this) Mars Attacks.

Nathaniel W writes "I've got the fuzzy pink box-set of Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9"

Me too!
posted by brundlefly at 10:03 AM on April 25, 2007

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