Low Rent But It Was the First Real Look at Wood and His Movies
On the Trail of Ed Wood (1990)
*** (out of 4)
Director Copner made this documentary for cheap using an obvious video recorder and for the most part it's just a sit-down with Conrad Brooks who was a friend of Ed Wood and appeared in six of his pictures including the big guys like GLEN OR GLENDA, BRIDE OF THE MONSTER and of course PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. Throughout the nearly one hour Brooks tells all sorts of stories ranging from what it was like to work with Wood, how he directed his pictures and we even get to go on a mini tour across L.A. where Brooks shows us some of the studios where the movies were shot and we get to see some of Wood's former apartments including his last one. If you're new to the work of Ed Wood it's better that you start off by watching his films and then getting documentaries like THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EDWARD D. WOOD, JR., FLYING SAUCERS OVER Hollywood: THE PLAN 9 COMPANSION or ED WOOD: LOOK BACK IN ANGORA. This documentary is rather dry but I think those who can't get enough of Ed Wood will enjoy it. For the most part it's just an extended interview with Brooks who tells many stories not only on Wood but also talks about Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson. Brooks shares some photos of him at a cookout with Johnson where the mammoth actor posed for photos with Brooks' daughter. We also get some nice photos of Wood as well as several newspaper clippings showing the screenings of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. Again, if you're looking for a highly stylized documentary then it's best to look elsewhere. However, Ed Wood nuts such as myself will probably want to watch everything so once you've seen the rest check this one out.
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