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On the Trail of Ed Wood (1990)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography
A documentary on the life and career of filmmaker Edward D. Wood Jr., with clips from his films and interviews with the cast and crews of some of his films.




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Credited cast:
Conrad Brooks ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself (archive footage)


A documentary on the life and career of filmmaker Edward D. Wood Jr., with clips from his films and interviews with the cast and crews of some of his films.

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Not Rated




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1.33 : 1
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References Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) See more »

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Ed deserves better
30 May 2004 | by (a cozy little den of iniquity) – See all my reviews

I haven't had a chance to see some of the other biopics on Ed Wood, aside from the hilarious Tim Burton tribute to the man's mad greatness. Or should that be great madness? I can't say whether "On The Trail Of Ed Wood" is better or worse than the others, but I hope the others are better.

The entire thing was shot on a primitive home video camera. The camera work, editing, and sound are all bad. (Not in an entertaining way.) That said, if you are a serious Ed Wood fan, you may find this worthy of at least one viewing. It starts out on Ed's beloved streets of Hollywood, where the filmmakers accost passersby and ask them whether they have ever heard of Ed Wood. If they answer yes, they are asked to name their favorite Ed Wood film, and why. They ask everybody from a cop/security guard guy, to a longhaired metal head. Then we get down to the main content of the video: an extended visit in the home of Conrad Brooks, complete with guest appearance by his pussycat. The interviewer asks a number of fairly interesting questions. Brooks obviously enjoys sharing his memories of Ed, and his lingering fondness for the man and his achievements is evident throughout. The video ends on a somber note, as they visit the rundown apartment building that was Ed's final home. It's sad to see the grim, dilapidated surroundings in which Ed spent his final days, living in the most conspicuous penury. You can almost picture the angora sweaters getting dingy and tattered. It's a sobering reminder that Hollywood is rarely fair to those who give their lives to it.

Worth a look for Conrad Brooks' insights. What a DRAG, that the filmmakers put so little effort into making this look and sound more professional. If such slapdash amateurishness was their way of paying homage to Ed's own bad film-making, it should be noted that Ed always put his whole heart and soul into his work. He would never have allowed himself to go off half cocked like Copner and co. did here. He always did his best, as pathetic as that may have been, and that's why we love him. His enthusiasm for his work, and his very soul shine through the epic badness of his films, like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.

I notice the director (and off-camera interviewer) Michael Copner has various credits on other Ed Wood biopics, in which I sincerely hope he atones for his poor work here. Please tell me that this is the least of the Ed Wood tribute films.

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