Edward D. Wood, Jr is widely considered one of the worst directors that
Hollywood has ever come in contact with. Before viewing this fact-based
bio-pic, one might simply think that Wood was just a guy with no real
idea of what he was doing. After viewing this movie, you'll be wondering
how he got anything to the screen in the first place.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, and
those that aren't familiar with Ed Wood's work, he was the writer and
director of Plan 9 from Outer Space, Glen or Glenda?,
of the Monster to name a few of his more well-known movies.
All of them are horrible when compared with other movies. But when looked
at individually, each
one of them shines with an aura of complete idiocy that endears itself
to schlock fans everywhere.
Directed by Tim Burton (Mars
Attacks!), the movie tells of Wood's rise from producing schlocky stage
plays to producing schlocky feature films.
Wood (Johnny Depp) not only set unrealistic goals for his productions,
but had a knack for befriending down-on-their-luck associates, including
the washed-up Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau in a fantastic performance).
In fact, Wood doesn't pass judgement on anyone. "If I did, I'd have
no friends," Wood says in the film.
Wood managed to get Lugosi
to perform in some of his first feature films. Lugosi was heavily addicted
to drugs and could use the money. With a "big
name" star under his wing, Wood was able to secure some capital with
which to make these films. (That is, after he convinced those with the
cash that Lugosi wasn't dead yet.)
As if Wood wasn't unusual enough,
he was also a transvestite with a weakness for angora. While not a homosexual
("I love girls," Wood states
to his new girlfriend, Kathy (Patricia Arquette), it does cause him some
problems with his first girlfriend (Sarah Jessica Parker), who can't tolerate
Wood's new found popularity among the inhabitants of the strange underworld
of Hollywood's backlots.
Although the description of
the plot might tend to alienate casual moviegoers, Ed Wood is a movie
that is more entertaining than it sounds. Depp's performance
as Ed Wood comes off as a ventriloquist dummy come to life but, somehow,
it works. Landau is superb as Lugosi. Some of the scenes with Depp and
Landau are sheer "geniuses-at-work"-type stuff. The performances
from Bill Murray as Bunny Breckenridge, a transsexual friend of Wood's,
and Lisa Marie as Vampira simply add more strength to an already strong
If you're into bio-pics, Ed
Wood is a winner. If you're just into hilarious
movies, it's still a winner. Rent it!
Wood is based on the book Nightmare of Ecstasy by Rudolph Grey, which
details Wood's life from his beginnings as a stagehand to his death
in 1978. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)