Because of his eccentric habits and bafflingly strange films, director Edward D. Wood Jr. is a Hollywood outcast. Nevertheless, with the help of the formerly famous Bela Lugosi and a devoted cast and crew of show-business misfits who believe in Ed's off-kilter vision, the filmmaker is able to bring his oversize dreams to cinematic life. Despite a lack of critical or commercial success, Ed and his friends manage to create an oddly endearing series of extremely low-budget films.Written by
If you ever seen Samurai Cop,The Room or even Dolemite you'll know all about cringe-worthy entertainment. These movies are so outrageously bad that you'll enjoy them on many levels and will be quoting them probably for the rest of your life, more so than well- respected movies. But behind every disaster is a director with heart, and a cast in need of a paycheck.
Call it irony, but Tim Burton assembled a fine cast of character actors and made a film about the worst director of all time and in the process spent more money than Ed Wood could ever dream of. Like Dolly Parton once said, "it costs a lot of money to look this cheap". Say what you want about Ed Wood, but 50 years after his monstrosities were produced, people are still watching them. I doubt you could guarantee this longevity for The Hobbit or any of the current 40 million films that star Benadryl Cabbagepatch.
Martin Landau carried away an Academy Award, as Best Supporting Actor, as did Rick Baker for his make up effects, but, even with these selling points, audiences never gave it a chance, which is a real shame because the movie needs to be seen to be believed, and for all aspiring or struggling filmmakers out there you will find many familiar problems between yourselves and Mr. Wood, regardless of your talent.
Chronicling the events of the mid-Fifties, through the production of three of Wood's classic disasters, Tim Burton's biopic achieves the impossible - we side with Ed, we identify with him, we wish him and his eccentric gaggle of pals only success and happiness in his cozy little world of half-baked ideas and misguided optimism. Success eluded Wood, but he achieved a greater fame and lasting appeal beyond his short life and this eccentric movie, which will make you faceplam for most of its running time, is our portal into Wood's oddball mind.
Alternately hilarious and touching, our sympathies lie with Wood and his ever loyal, declining co-star Bela Lugosi (a barely recognizable Martin Landau). Other characters pop up, including the hairy-as-hell Tor Johnson (George 'The Animal' Steele), wannabe transsexual Bunny Breckinridge (Bill Murray), a very, very buxom Elvira-type (Lisa Marie), Criswell - the most famous predictor in the land (Jeffrey Jones), and a beleaguered Orson Welles (Vincent D'Onofrio) - an atypical assortment of rejects, failures and weirdos.
Burton is inclined to produce a flop, when he indulges too much. Just as the audiences stayed away from Mars Attacks!, they never even considered Ed Wood, because of the black-and-white photography, which was a truly inspired decision. One cannot imagine how much the movie's legitimacy would have been lessened if it was in color. I must assure you that, no matter how offbeat and strange it looks, this film is an absolute classic that begs to be seen. It may not be to everyone's taste, but it has a wicked sense of humor and is sure to have you in stitches.
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