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Ed Wood

Wood in Glen or Glenda (1953)
Born Edward Davis Wood, Jr.
October 10, 1924(1924-10-10)
Poughkeepsie, New York, U.S.
Died December 10, 1978 (aged 54)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Screenwriter, film director, film producer, actor, author, and editor
Years active 1950 – 1977
Spouse(s) Norma McCarty (m. 1955–1956) «start: (1955)–end+1: (1957)»"Marriage: Norma McCarty to Ed Wood" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Wood)
Kathleen O'Hara (m. 1959–1978) «start: (1959)–end+1: (1979)»"Marriage: Kathleen O'Hara to Ed Wood" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Wood)

Edward Davis Wood, Jr. (October 10, 1924 – December 10, 1978), better known as Ed Wood, was an American screenwriter, director, producer, actor, author, and editor, who often performed many of these functions simultaneously. In the 1950s, Wood made a run of cheap and poorly produced genre films, now humorously celebrated for their technical errors, unsophisticated special effects, large amounts of ill-fitting stock footage, idiosyncratic dialogue, eccentric casts and outlandish plot elements, although his flair for showmanship gave his projects at least a modicum of critical success.

Wood's popularity waned soon after his biggest "name" star, Béla Lugosi, died. He was able to salvage a saleable feature from Lugosi's last moments on film, but his career declined thereafter. Toward the end of his life, Wood made pornographic movies and wrote pulp crime, horror, and sex novels. His posthumous fame began two years after his death, when he was awarded a Golden Turkey Award as Worst Director of All Time.[1] The lack of conventional filmmaking ability in his work has earned Wood and his films a considerable cult following.

Following the publication of Rudolph Grey's biography Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (1992), Wood's life and work have undergone a public rehabilitation of sorts, with new light shed on his evident zeal and honest love of movies and movie production. Tim Burton's biopic of the director's life, Ed Wood, earned two Academy Awards.

Contents

Early years

Wood's father, Edward Sr., worked for the Postal Service and his family was relocated numerous times around the United States. Eventually, they settled in Poughkeepsie, New York where Ed Wood, Jr. was born.

During his childhood, Wood was interested in the performing arts and pulp fiction. He collected comics and pulp magazines, and adored movies, most notably Westerns and anything involving the occult. He would often skip school in favor of watching pictures at the local movie theater, where stills from the day's movie would often be thrown in the trash by theater staff, allowing Wood to salvage them to add to his extensive collection.

It is believed that Wood's mother, Lillian, always wanted a girl and would sometimes, until he was about 12 years old, dress her son in skirts and dresses.[2] For the rest of his life, Wood was a heterosexual transvestite.

One of his first paid jobs was as a cinema usher, although he also sang and played drums in a band. He later fronted a singing quartet called Eddie Wood's Little Splinters, having learned to play a variety of string instruments. Wood was given his first movie camera on his 12th birthday: a Kodak "Cine Special". One of his first pieces of footage, and one that imbued him with pride, was the Hindenburg dirigible passing over the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, just minutes before its famous fiery demise at Lakehurst, New Jersey.[2]

Wood enlisted in the Marines at age 17, just months after the Attack on Pearl Harbor. He served from 1942–1946 and claimed that he had participated in the Battle of Guadalcanal while secretly wearing a brassiere and panties beneath his uniform.

Fascinated by the exotic and bizarre, Wood joined a carnival following his discharge from the Marines. His several missing teeth and disfigured leg (wounds suffered while in combat) combined with personal fetishes and acting skills made him a perfect candidate for the freak show. Wood played, among others, the geek and the bearded lady. As the bearded lady, he donned women's clothing and created his own prosthetic breasts. Carnivals would be frequently depicted in Wood's works, most notably the semi-autobiographical novel, Killer in Drag.

Wood's other vices included soft drugs, alcohol, and sex. He was a womanizer in his younger days, but in later life he was faithful to his girlfriends (most notably Dolores Fuller) and wife (Kathy O'Hara). Edward D. Wood Jr. had one child, a daughter named Kathleen Emily Wood.

Wood's first wife, Norma McCarty, kicked him out of their house not long after they were married. McCarty had a son, Michael ("Mac"), from a relationship prior to Wood.[3]

Movies

Ed Wood clad in wig and angora sweater for Glen or Glenda (1953)
If you want to know me, see Glen or Glenda. That's me, that's my story, no question. But Plan 9 is my pride and joy. We used Cadillac hubcaps for flying saucers in that.[4]

—Ed Wood

Wood's film career began after moving to Hollywood in 1947. He wrote scripts and directed television pilots, commercials, and several forgotten micro-budget westerns. Wood wrote, produced, directed, and starred in Casual Company,[5] a play from his unpublished novel [6] which was based on his service in the United States Marine Corps. The play opened at the Village Playhouse in Hollywood to disastrous reviews on October 25, 1948.

Glen or Glenda

Wood's big break came in 1953 when he was hired by producer George Weiss to make an exploitation film, I Changed My Sex, based on the life of transsexual Christine Jorgensen. After Jorgensen refused to collaborate on the film, Wood wrote a new autobiographical screenplay titled Glen or Glenda, a sincere and sympathetic study of transvestism. Wood directed and, using the alias Daniel Davis, played the titular character who has a fetish for cross-dressing and angora sweaters.

Angora was regularly featured in his films. His wife Kathy O'Hara and others recall that Wood's transvestism was not a sexual inclination, but rather a neomaternal comfort derived mainly from angora fabric (Ann Gora also happened to be one of Wood's pen names). The medical experts in the film go to great lengths to stress that the transvestite is a perfectly normal heterosexual man who simply feels more comfortable and "more himself" when wearing women's apparel. There is even a fantasy vignette showing Glenda rebuffing the advances of a homosexual man. Even in his later years, Wood was not shy about going out in public dressed in drag as Shirley; his alter ego—female characters named Shirley also appear in many of his screenplays and stories.

Most of Wood's films have a rushed quality due to the tight shooting schedule and limited budgets. While most directors film only one scene per day (or just a fraction of one in more contemporary pictures), Wood might complete up to 30 scenes. He seldom ordered a retake, even if the original was obviously flawed. Glen or Glenda, shot in just four days for $26,000, was done in a semi-documentary style. Narration and voice-over dialog was added to generous amounts of film-library stock footage (a cost-saving trick he used in his later films). The love-interest role of Barbara was played by Wood's real-life girlfriend, Dolores Fuller. She went on to appear in his next two films. Béla Lugosi, who was not told the film was about a transvestite, was paid $1,000 in cash for one day of filming. In a dark haunted-house set, speaking in vague, baffling metaphors and nursery rhymes, he played a portentous, omnipotent narrator.

The centerpiece of the film is a 15-minute fantasy sequence that illustrates Glen's tormented state of mind. Woods utilizes a barrage of surreal, dream-like vignettes with personalized symbolism. Producer George Weiss added to the confusion by inserting footage of flagellation and bondage, reminiscent of the fetish films of Irving Klaw, from another production. In this sequence, Barbara is pinned beneath a large tree (in her living room), and Glen rescues her; they are married with the Devil acting as best man; a shirtless man vigorously flogs a woman reclining on a couch; lewd burlesque dancers gyrate to blaring jazz music and tear at their clothes; a woman gagged and bound to a yoke-like pole is untied by another gagged woman; a lust-crazed man roughly assaults a seductress in a flimsy negligee; an enraged Glenda rips Barbara's blouse to shreds after she laughs at his appearance. Bela Lugosi appears in several scenes also rejecting Glenda and droning on repeatedly about "snips and snails and puppy-dog tails". The film was released under several regional titles such as Transvestite, I Led Two Lives, and He or She?.

Middle years: Jail Bait and Bride of the Monster

Wood's next project was a proposed TV series called Dr. Acula, to star Lugosi as an investigator into the supernatural. When this fell through, he directed and produced the low-budget Jail Bait (1954), a 1930s-style gangster film with a twist ending à la The Twilight Zone. Originally called The Hidden Face, the title was inexplicably changed to Jail Bait, from an offhand reference in the script to an illegal hand gun. Wood also co-wrote the screenplay with writer-producer friend Alex Gordon. It was Gordon who introduced Wood to Béla Lugosi in 1952. (Gordon soon went on to help create American International Pictures). Lugosi was originally cast as the father of the lead character, but dropped out due to illness. Around this time, Wood became friends with a group of B-movie actors who became part of his entourage and stock company, appearing in most of his later films. These included Kenne Duncan, Lyle Talbot, Conrad Brooks, Duke Moore, Timothy Farrell, Swedish professional wrestler Tor Johnson, pin-up model and TV horror hostess Maila Nurmi (aka Vampira), the eccentric gay socialite Bunny Breckinridge, and the psychic Criswell.

In 1955, he produced and directed his first horror film, Bride of the Monster (originally titled Bride of the Atom). Although Wood took most of the writing credit, the original story, The Atomic Monster, was written by Alex Gordon. Wood contributed about half the dialog, according to Gordon (in Starlog, November 1994). Béla Lugosi, in his last speaking role, stars as a mad scientist bent on creating an army of atomic supermen. The immense, 400-pound Tor Johnson plays Lobo, his lumbering henchman. Billy Benedict of The Bowery Boys has a walk-on role as a newspaper seller. The female lead, Loretta King, wears the same angora hat worn by Wood in Glen or Glenda.

The style and content of the film is highly reminiscent of the low-budget horror movies Lugosi made for Monogram Pictures in the 1940s, particularly The Corpse Vanishes. Wood's script even recreates a laboratory scene from that film (Lugosi's mad scientist flogging his henchman) with the same fake, painted stone wall backdrop. Budget-saving film library footage of lightning, explosions, a nuclear blast, and a giant "atomic" octopus was also inserted. In one scene the hero, trapped in quicksand, is menaced by an obvious stock footage alligator. In the finale, the frail, elderly Lugosi was reduced to thrashing about in the mud with a large rubber octopus when the motor needed to turn it into a flailing beast could not be located.

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Wood, in 1956, planned to follow Bride of the Monster with The Ghoul Goes West (a.k.a. The Phantom Ghoul), which would have been a combination of his two favorite genres: Horror and Westerns. The story was mainly a rehash of Bride of the Monster in a western setting (a synopsis of the screenplay was published in Filmfax no. 18, December/January 1989-90). Lugosi, recently out of rehab for morphine addiction, was to star as the undertaker/mad scientist. Gene Autry and Lon Chaney, Jr. were also attached to the project for a time. Wood could only raise enough money to shoot one day's worth of silent test footage. A few random scenes were filmed of Lugosi at a funeral, in front of Tor Johnson's house, and stalking about in his Dracula costume (possibly intended for The Vampire's Tomb, another unrealized film). The scenes were filmed to show to prospective financial backers. Lugosi died soon afterward on August 16 and the footage became the seed for Wood's next project.

Plan 9 from Outer Space incorporated the final Lugosi scenes into a new story that combined horror and science fiction. Wood's chiropractor, his face hidden behind a cape, doubled for Lugosi in several scenes. Tor Johnson and wasp-waisted Vampira (Maila Nurmi) are memorable, even iconic, as zombies risen from the grave by alien invaders. The film was shot over a five-day period in November 1956 on a budget of around $20,000. All of Nurmi's scenes were filmed in just two hours (she was paid the union minimum wage of $200). Resorting again to the "docu-fantasy" approach, Criswell, the flamboyantly inaccurate TV psychic, acts as on-screen host and narrator. He cryptically describes the story as "something more than a fact," and warns the audience that, "Future events such as these will affect you, in the future." Cost-free stock footage of airliners, explosions, and fighter jets were edited in. The flying saucers (made from plastic toy store models) are fired upon by an artillery barrage taken from World War II newsreels. Although completed in 1956, the film was not released until 1959, due to the inability of the producer to secure distribution.

Most notably, for Plan 9, he convinced members of the Southern Baptist church (through his landlord at the time) to invest the initial capital, allegedly convincing them that a successful science fiction picture would make enough money to fund their own pet project of 12 movies about the 12 Apostles. They reportedly changed the name of the movie from Grave Robbers from Outer Space and removed lines from the script which they considered profane; one source alleges they required the actors to accept their Church's baptism as part of the deal. The grave-diggers in the picture are the two primary backers. Wood's frequently being overruled by producers and financiers was one factor contributing to his depression and was something he personally blamed for his lack of commercial success.[2]

Later years: exploitation films

Also in 1956, Wood's Teenage Girl Gang script was produced as The Violent Years, an exploitation film about a gang of juvenile delinquent high school girls. Directed by William M. Morgan, it starred first-time actress Jean Moorhead, a former Playboy Miss October 1955 centerfold model. The film is notable for its unusual girls-gone-bad premise and risqué abduction scene where a girl is bound and gagged with strips of her shredded dress while her boyfriend is sexually assaulted (off camera) by the lusty girl gang. This foreshadows Wood's fearless, anything-goes attitude seen in his later, more racy novels and films.

In 1958, Wood's screenplay Queen of the Gorillas was released as The Bride and the Beast, a fantasy tale about a gorilla reincarnated in the body of a beautiful woman. That same year Wood wrote, produced, and directed Night of the Ghouls (original title: Revenge of the Dead), an "old dark house" tale about a fake medium and evil spirits. The setting is the rebuilt house on Willows Lake that burned down in Bride of the Monster. There are frequent references to the mad scientist (Lugosi) and monster from the previous film, and Tor Johnson reprises his Lobo role—his face now half-destroyed from the fire. Paul Marco makes his third appearance as Kelton, the cowardly, inept policeman. Criswell, billed as himself, returns as host and narrator, rising from his coffin to introduce this tale of "Monsters to be pitied. Monsters to be despised!" (Tim Burton's Ed Wood bio-pic opens with a faithful recreation of this scene). Criswell also plays a character role as one of the vengeful ghosts seen at the climax of the film.

In one of the early scenes, a girl (wearing an angora sweater) and her boyfriend are attacked by the Black Ghost. Wood, his face hidden by a dark veil, doubles for the female ghoul in several shots. A fight scene from the unfinished Hellborn was edited in (more scenes from that project appeared in The Sinister Urge). Most of Lieutenant Bradford's exploration of Dr. Acula's house was lifted from Wood's short film Final Curtain and given a voice-over by Criswell to integrate it into the current story. A publicity photo of Wood is seen on a wanted poster on the wall of the police station. The finale, with the ghouls reduced to skeletons and Criswell's epilogue, were used again in 1965 for Orgy of the Dead. For decades this remained a lost film that was never released to theaters. Wood lacked the funds to pay the film processing fees, so it languished in limbo until it was finally released on video in 1983.

Final years: scriptwriting and adult films

In 1961, Wood worked on the script for another potboiler, Married Too Young, and wrote and directed The Sinister Urge from his Racket Queen script. This lurid exposé on the "smut picture racket" purports to warn against the dangers of pornography. The story concerns a police man hunt for a sex maniac psycho-killer. The police are played by Wood regulars Kenne Duncan, Duke Moore, and Carl Anthony. Filmed in five days in 1960, this is the last mainstream film that Wood directed. Ironically, his career would soon spiral downward into a blur of "smut racket" nudie flicks, softcore pornography, and end with X-rated novels and films.

In 1963, he wrote the screenplay for Shotgun Wedding, an exploitation film about hillbillies marrying child brides. Wood's transitional film, once again combining two genres, horror and grindhouse skin-flick, was Orgy of the Dead (1965). Wood wrote the screenplay, originally called Nudie Ghoulies, and handled various production details while Stephen C. Apostolof directed under the pseudonym A.C. Stephen. The film begins with a recreation of the opening scene from the then unreleased Night of the Ghouls. Criswell, wearing one of Lugosi's old capes, rises from his coffin to deliver an introduction taken almost word-for-word from the previous film. Set in a misty graveyard, the Lord of the Dead (Criswell) and his sexy consort, The Black Ghoul (a Vampira lookalike) preside over a series of macabre performances by topless dancers from beyond the grave (recruited by Wood from local strip clubs). Together, Wood and Apostolof went on to make a string of sexploitation flicks up to 1977. Wood co-wrote the screenplays and occasionally acted.

His remaining output until his death in 1978 was confined to writing lurid crime and sex novels, often featuring girl gangs and transvestites, and a dozen obscure, low-budget adult films, some with an occult theme. Titles include: The Photographer (1969), Take It Out in Trade (1970), The Only House in Town (1970), with Uschi Digard, Necromania (1971), The Undergraduate (1972), and Fugitive Girls (1974). As told in Nightmare of Ecstasy,[7] Maila Nurmi declined Wood's offer to do a nude scene sitting up in a coffin for Necromania.

Summing-up

One of Wood's heroes was Orson Welles for his cinematic ambition and passion. Wood also prided himself on the fact that he was the only filmmaker of his era other than Welles to be writer, director, and actor in his own films, although it is likely that Wood took on all of these functions to save time and money. Unlike the depiction in the Tim Burton movie Ed Wood, Wood never actually met his hero Welles.

Béla Lugosi Jr. has been among those who felt Wood exploited the senior Lugosi's stardom, taking advantage of the fading actor when he could not refuse any work.[8] Most documents and interviews with other Wood associates in Nightmare of Ecstasy suggest that Wood and Lugosi were genuine friends and that Wood helped Lugosi through the worst days of his depression and addiction.

Documentaries

  • Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: The Plan 9 Companion, was released in 1992. This exhaustive two-hour documentary by Mark Carducci chronicles the making of Plan 9 from Outer Space and features interviews with Maila Nurmi (Vampira), Paul Marco, Conrad Brooks, et al. In 2000, Image Entertainment included the documentary on the DVD reissue of Plan 9 from Outer Space (in a two-disc set with Robot Monster).
  • Ed Wood: Look Back In Angora, released in 1994 by Rhino Home Video, is a one-hour documentary on Wood's life and films. This includes rare outtakes and interviews with Dolores Fuller, Kathy Wood, Stephen Apostolof, and Conrad Brooks.
  • The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr., written and directed by Brett Thompson, came out in 1995. This documentary about the life and films of Ed Wood features interviews with Wood's friends and co-workers and closely resembles Wood's own style, albeit with slightly better miniatures.
  • The Incredibly Strange Film Show presented by Jonathan Ross.

Lost films

Edward D. Wood, Jr.'s (1972) film The Undergraduate is considered lost along with his 1970 film Take It Out In Trade, which exists only in outtakes without sound (released by Something Weird Video). Wood's 1971 film Necromania was believed lost for years until an edited version resurfaced at a yard sale in 1992, followed by a complete unedited print in 2001. A complete print of the previously lost Wood pornographic film The Young Marrieds was discovered in 2004.

Wood as author

Beginning in the early 1960s, Wood supplemented his directing and screenwriting income with hastily written pulp fiction, including innumerable pulp crime, horror, and sex novels and occasional non-fiction pieces. As he became increasingly unable to fund film projects, the novels seem to have become Wood's primary source of income.

Wood's novels frequently include transvestite or drag queen characters, or entire plots centering around transvestism (including his angora fetish), and tap into his love of crime fiction and the occult. Wood would often recycle plots of his films for novels, write novelizations of his own screenplays, or reuse elements from his novels in scripts. His first novel, Black Lace Drag was published in 1963 and reissued in 1965 as Killer in Drag. Among his other books are Orgy of The Dead (1965), Devil Girls (1967), Death of a Transvestite (1967), The Sexecutives (1968) and A Study of Fetishes and Fantasies (1973).

From 1963 until his death in December 1978, Wood wrote at least 80 novels in addition to hundreds of short stories and non-fiction pieces for magazines.[9]

Hollywood Rat Race

Descriptions of Wood's working methods in Nightmare of Ecstasy indicate he would work on a dozen projects at once, simultaneously watching television, eating, drinking, and carrying on conversations while typing.[2] In his quasi-memoir, Hollywood Rat Race, Wood advises new writers to "just keep on writing. Even if your story gets worse, you'll get better". But mostly the book concerns the pitfalls of Hollywood, and has some advice from Ed Wood Jr., for anyone who is setting their sights on making it in Hollywood. Wood does not candy coat the experience that a first timer in Hollywood will shockingly discover. He also devotes time in Hollywood Rat Race to making the reader wary of beauty pageant and modelling scams and con games, both in Hollywood and the world over.

As Wood's most famous films of the 1950s are not explicitly sexual or violent, the outré content of his novels may shock the unprepared reader. Wood's dark side emerges in such sexual shockers as Raped in the Grass or The Perverts and in short stories such as Toni: Black Tigress, which exploit hot-button topics like violence, rape, racial issues, juvenile delinquency and drug culture.

Unpublished

Some of Wood's books remained unpublished during his lifetime. Hollywood Rat Race, for example, was written in the 1960s, and finished in 1965, but was not finally published until 1998. The non-fiction book is part primer for young actors and filmmakers, and part memoir. In Hollywood Rat Race, Wood recounts tales of dubious authenticity, such as how he and Bela Lugosi entered the world of nightclub cabaret.

Last days

Wood had serious financial difficulties in his final years, often producing full movie scripts for as little as $100 in order to make ends meet. His career as a director had degenerated into making pornographic films such as Necromania (1971) and Take It Out in Trade, a softcore take on the Philip Marlowe detective films. Wood also made occasional appearances as an actor, appearing in two films produced by a Marine buddy, Joseph F. Robertson. Love Feast (1969), also known as Pretty Models All in a Row, was his first lead role in a film since 1953's Glen or Glenda, as a photographer using his position to engage in sexual antics with professional models. He had a smaller role in Robertson's ode to swinger parties, Mrs. Stone's Thing. Wood appeared as a transvestite who spends his time at a party trying on lingerie in a bedroom. In Rudolph Grey's Nightmare of Ecstasy, Robertson makes a reference to Wood reappearing in a film called Misty,[2] of which no other record remains.

His primary film work in the 1970s was working with friend Stephen C. Apostolof, usually cowriting scripts, but also serving as an assistant director and associate producer. His last known on-screen appearance was in Apostolof's Fugitive Girls (aka Five Loose Women), where he played a dual cameo as a gas station attendant called Pops and as the sheriff on the women's trail.

Wood's depression worsened, and with it a serious drinking problem. Evicted from his Hollywood apartment on Yucca Street, Wood and his wife moved into the North Hollywood apartment of friend Peter Coe. On December 10, 1978, only days after the move, the 54-year old Edward D. Wood died of a heart attack while watching a football game alone in Coe's bedroom. In Nightmare of Ecstasy, it was reported Wood yelled out "Kathy, I can't breathe!", a plea his wife in the living room ignored for 90 minutes before finally going in to find him dead;[2] apparently, he frequently feigned heart attacks and screamed for help as a way of teasing her, and at one point she even shouted at him to shut up.

Wood was cremated, and his ashes were scattered at sea. Edward Wood Jr's wife Kathy died on June 26, 2006, having never remarried.

Cult status

Among connoisseurs of kitsch and bad cinema, Edward Wood Jr. is revered as one of the ultimate bad directors of all time for a variety of reasons. His cult status began two years after his death with his recognition in the Michael and Harry Medved book The Golden Turkey Awards, and has continued with the rediscovery of many of his long-lost works. In an essay paying homage to Wood in Incredibly Strange Films, Jim Morton writes: "Eccentric and individualistic, Edward D Wood Jr was a man born to film. Lesser men, if forced to make movies under the conditions Wood faced, would have thrown up their hands in defeat."

The University of Southern California holds an annual Ed Wood Film Festival, in which students of all disciplines are challenged to form teams to write, film and edit an Ed Wood-inspired short film based on a preassigned theme. Past themes have included Slippery When Wet (2006), What's That in Your Pocket? (2005), and Rebel Without a Bra (2004). 2007 saw a break in this tradition when the theme My eyes are killing me was accompanied by a theme object: a mirror.

Some of Wood's most famous films, including Glen or Glenda and Plan 9 from Outer Space have been remade as pornographic movies (as Glen & Glenda and Plan 69 from Outer Space, respectively). They were not simply spoofed or referenced, but reshot, with the same or similar script, and sex scenes worked into the original plots.

In 1998, Wood's previously unfilmed script I Woke Up Early The Day I Died was finally produced, starring Billy Zane and Christina Ricci, and has preserved the inept, goofy character that made Wood's films famous. Outside of a brief New York theatrical engagement, the film did not receive a commercial release in the United States, and was only available on video in Germany due to contractual difficulties.

Three of his films (Bride of the Monster, The Violent Years, and The Sinister Urge) have been featured on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000, which has given those works wider exposure. Producers considered including Plan 9, but found it had too much dialogue for the show's format. Series head writer and host Michael J. Nelson would go on to do an audio commentary for a 2005/2006 DVD release of the film, which was newly colorized.

Reverend Steve Galindo of Sacramento, California, created a legally recognized religion in 1996 with Wood as its official savior. The Church of Ed Wood—Bot generated title --></ref> now boasts over 3,500 baptized followers. Woodites, as Steve's followers are called, celebrate Woodmas on October 10, which is Ed's birthday. Numerous parties and concerts are held worldwide to celebrate Woodmas.

The cult status of Ed Wood's movies is also represented in the music industry. Horror film director and heavy metal musician Rob Zombie titled his 2001 album The Sinister Urge after Wood's film.

The 1994 film Ed Wood, by director Tim Burton, tells the story of Wood and Lugosi and the making of their three films, (Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 from Outer Space), from a sympathetic point of view. Wood was played by Johnny Depp and Lugosi by Martin Landau, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The film also won an Academy Award for Best Makeup for Rick Baker. Burton's successes for previous studios like Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox were at odds with his insistence on shooting the Wood film in black-and-white, and the studios turned it down as a probable box office failure. Eager to embrace Burton, Disney accepted the project, monochrome and all. As others had anticipated, the film received mass critical acclaim, but did poorly at the box office. It has since become a cult hit on video and DVD.

See also

References

  1. ^ Harry and Michael Medved The Golden Turkey Awards, 1980, Putnam, ISBN 0-399-50463-X.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Grey, Nightmare of Ecstasy, p..
  3. ^ http://michaelmccarty.biz/
  4. ^ http://sorriest.movie-director.ever.com/
  5. ^ Edward D. Wood Jr. - Films as director and screenwriter:, Films as screenwriter:
  6. ^ pp. 20-21 Hayes, David C. & Davis, Hayden Muddled Mind: The Complete Works of Edward D. Wood Jr 2006 Lulu
  7. ^ Grey, Nightmare of Ecstasy, p. 135.
  8. ^ The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr., dir. Brett Thompson, 1996
  9. ^ Muddled Mind: The Complete Works of Edward D. Wood, Jr., David C. Hayes, p. 11

Bibliography

  • Rudolph Grey, Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr., Feral House, 1992, ISBN 978-0-922915-04-0; reprinted 1994, ISBN 978-0-922915-24-8

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Ed Wood is a 1994 film about B-movie writer-director Edward D. Wood, Jr., a maker of films regarded by many as the worst of all time. The film focuses on Wood's early career and the making of Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and the infamous Plan 9 from Outer Space.

Directed by Tim Burton. Written by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski.
"When It Came To Making Bad Movies, Ed Wood Was The Best."

Contents

Dialogue

Criswell: Can your heart stand the true facts of the shocking story... of Edward D. Wood, Junior? [from opening monologue]

Ed Wood: Is there a script?
George Weiss: Fuck, no. But there's a poster. [he holds up a movie poster for "I Changed My Sex"]

Weiss: On the phone you said you had some "special qualifications"?
Ed: Mister Weiss... I have never told anyone what I'm about to tell you. But I really want this job. [pauses, takes a deep breath] I like to wear women's clothing.
Weiss: You're a fruit?
Ed: No, not at all. I love women. Wearing their clothes makes me feel closer to them.
Weiss: You're not a fruit?
Ed: No, I'm all man. I even fought in W.W. Two. Of course, I was wearing women's undergarments under my uniform.

[Bela Lugosi is trying on coffins.]
Bela Lugosi: Too constrictive! I can't even fold my arms.
Coffin Salesman: Gee, Mister Lugosi, I-I've never had any complaints.
Bela: This is the most uncomfortable coffin I've ever been in. Your selection is quite shoddy. You are wasting my time!

Ed Wood: Mister Lugosi, why are you buying a coffin?
Bela: I'm planning on dying soon.
Ed: No!
Bela: Yes. I'm embarking on another truck and bus tour of "Dracula". Twelve cities in ten days, if that's conceivable.

Ed: You know, you're, you're much scarier in real life than you are in the movies.
Bela: Thank you.

Bela Lugosi: I refuse to drive in this country. Too many madmen.
Ed Wood: Well... I have a car.

Ed Wood: Boy, Mister Lugosi, you must lead such an exciting life! When is your next picture coming out?
Bela: I have no next picture.
Ed: You gotta be joking. A big star like you? You must have dozens of 'em lined up.
Bela: In the old days, yes. Now, no one gives two fucks for Bela.

Bela: This business, this town... it chews you up and spits you out. I'm just an ex-boogeyman.

Ed Wood: Now, what is the one thing, if you put it in a movie, it'll be successful?
George Weiss: Tits.
Ed: No, better than that. A star!
Weiss: Kid, you must have me confused with David Selznick. I don't make major motion pictures, I make crap.
Ed: Yes — but if you take that crap and put a star in it, then you've got something!
Weiss: Yeah. Crap with a star.

Weiss: All right, fine! You can direct it. I want a script in three days. We start shooting a week from Monday.
Ed: Oh... oh, Mister Weiss, thank you so much! You won't regret it! I won't let you down!

[Dolores comes out of the bedroom to find Ed dressed in drag.]
Dolores Fuller: So that's where my sweater's been.

[Ed and Bela are watching Vampira's TV show.]
Ed Wood: Oh, I hate it when she interrupts the picture. She doesn't show 'em the proper respect.
Bela Lugosi: I think she's a honey. Look at those jugs!

[Bela is doing his trademark "hypnotic" hand gesture.]
Ed Wood: My gosh, Bela, how do you do that?
Bela Lugosi: You must be double-jointed. And you must be Hungarian.

[Bela arrives while Ed is on the phone with Bunny Breckinridge.]
Bela Lugosi: Eddie, you got me a new picture, eh?
Ed Wood: Yes. It's gonna be a great picture and you'll love your character. Have a seat. [back on phone] Listen, Bunny? Bela's here. I gotta go. Listen, work some parties, hit the bars, and get me transvestites! I need transvestites! All right. Bye. [hangs up]
Bela: Eddie... what kind of a movie is this?

[Ed, dressed in drag for a scene as Glenda, addresses his crew on the first day of filming.]
Ed Wood: Everybody, we're about to embark on quite a journey: four days of hard work. But when it's over, we'll have a picture that'll entertain, enlighten, and maybe even move millions of people.

Conrad Brooks: You know which movie of yours I love, Mister Lugosi? "The Invisible Ray". You were great as Karloff's sidekick.
Bela Lugosi: Karloff? Sidekick? FUCK YOU! Karloff does not deserve to smell my SHIT! That Limey cocksucker can rot in hell for all I care!
Ed Wood: W-what happened?
Bela: How dare that asshole bring up Karloff? You think it takes talent to play Frankenstein? It's all, all makeup, and-and grunting. [imitates Frankenstein] Grrr-Rrrr!
Ed: I agree, Bela. I agree a hundred percent. Now Dracula — there's a part that takes talent.

[On the set, Ed has taken to wearing women's clothing full-time.]
Ed Wood: But, Georgie, I'm proud! I wrote, directed, and starred in it, just like Orson Welles did in "Citizen Kane".
George Weiss: Yeah? Well, Orson Welles didn't wear angora sweaters, did he?

Dolores Fuller: How can you walk around like that in front of all these people?
Ed: Well, hon, look around. Nobody's bothered but you.
Dolores: Ed, this isn't the real world! You've surrounded yourself with a bunch of weirdos!

[Ed, Dolores, and Bunny are at a professional wrestling show.]
Bunny Breckinridge: Guess where I'm going next week.
Ed Wood: I don't know. Where?
Bunny: Me-hee-co. Guess what I'm doing when I get there.
Ed: I don't know — lie on a beach.
Bunny: Wrong. I'm getting my first series of hormone injections. And when those girls kick in, they're gonna take out my organs and make me... a woman.
Ed: Are you serious?
Bunny: It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. But it wasn't until I saw your movie that I realized I have to take action! Goodbye, penis!
Dolores Fuller: Would you please keep it down?

Ed Wood: Bela, what's in the needle?
Bela Lugosi: Morphine. With a Demerol chaser.

[Ed is on the phone with Mr. Feldman at Warner Brothers Studios.]
Ed Wood: So — we gonna be working together? [pauses to listen] Really? Worst film you ever saw. Well, my next one will be better. Hello. Hello?

Bela Lugosi: This... this live television is madness!

Criswell: And who may you be?
Ed Wood: Edward D. Wood, Junior.
Criswell: Ah — the director of "Glen or Glenda".
Ed: How'd you know?
Criswell: I am Criswell. I know all.

Bela Lugosi: At Universal, we used to shoot one or two scenes a day. Eddie can knock off twenty, thirty — he's amazing!

Vampira: Look, buddy, I've got real offers from real studios. I don't need to blow some dentist to get a part. Forget it.

[At the "wrap party" on completion of Bride of the Monster.]
Conrad Brooks: "Glen or Glenda". Now that was a great movie.
Paul DeMarco: Yeah, but this new one is gonna be a million times better.
Conrad: [awed] Is that possible?

Dolores Fuller: You people are INSANE! You're wasting your lives making crap! Nobody cares! These movies... are TERRIBLE!

Ed Wood: Listen, I was wondering if you'd like to go out some time. Grab some dinner, maybe.
Vampira: You mean a date? I thought you were a fag.
Ed: No, no. I'm just a transvestite.

Bela Lugosi: It's a wonderful idea! We'll be at peace! In the afterlife, you don't have to worry about finding work!

Nurse: OH! My goodness, you gave me the willies! You look like that Dracula guy.
Bela: My name is Bela Lugosi... and I wish to commit myself.
Nurse: For what reason?
Bela: I have been a drug addict for twenty years. I need help.

[Ed has hustled a group of reporters and photographers out of Bela's room at the sanitorium.]
Bela: Eddie, why did you chase them?
Ed: Bela, those people are parasites! They just wanna exploit you.
Bela: So what? Let them. Finally the press is interested again in Bela Lugosi. There is no such thing as bad press, Eddie. Man from New York even said he was going to put me on the front page — first celebrity ever to check into rehab.

[In the waiting room, Ed strikes up a conversation with a girl in an angora sweater.]
Ed Wood: Don't you think angora has a certain tactile sensuality lacking in all other fabrics?
Kathy O'Hara: Well, I suppose so. It is awfully expensive.
Ed: Well, it's made from specially-bred rabbits that live in the Himalayas.
Kathy: Say, what are you — an angora wholesaler?

[Ed and Kathy O'Hara are on a first date at a carnival.]
Ed Wood: I'm about to tell you something that I've never told any girl on a first date. But I think it's important that you know... [takes a deep breath] I like to wear women's clothing.
[There is a long pause.]
Kathy O'Hara: ...Huh?
Ed: I like to wear women's clothing. Panties, brassieres, pumps, sweaters... it's just something I do. And I can't believe I'm telling you this, but I really like you and I don't want it getting in the way down the road.
Kathy: Does this mean... you don't like sex with girls?
Ed: No, I love sex with girls.
Kathy: [after a pause for thought] Okay.
Ed: Okay?
Kathy: Okay.

Bela Lugosi: I'm seventy, but I don't know it. When the mind is young, the spirit is still vigorous, like... [puts an arm around Ed] like a young man.

[Dr. Tom is practicing to be Bela Lugosi's "double".]
Dr. Tom: I vant to suck your blood! I vant to suck your blood!
Bunny Breckinridge: Let's hear you call Boris Karloff a cocksucker.

[To secure funding from a Baptist church, Ed's cast and crew must get baptized in a swimming pool.]
Vampira: [whispering] Why couldn't we do this in the church?
Criswell: [whispering] Because Brother Tor wouldn't fit in the sacred tub.

Minister: Welcome, brother! Do you reject Satan and all his works?
Bunny Breckinridge: Sure.
[Sputtering, newly baptized Bunny joins Ed at poolside.]
Bunny: How do you do it? How do you get all your friends to get baptized, just so you can make a monster movie?
Ed Wood: It's not a monster movie, it's a supernatural thriller.

[Ed's Baptist church sponsors dispute his directorial decisions.]
Mr. Reynolds: Mister Wood, do you know anything about the art of filmmaking?
Ed Wood: Well, I like to think so!

[The Baptists object to Tor Johnson's speaking part.]
Mr. Reynolds: Why does he have all the lines? The man's unintelligible!
Ed: Look, Lugosi's dead and Vampira won't talk. I had to give somebody the dialogue!

Ed: These Baptists are... stupid, stupid, STUPID!

Ed Wood: You're the ruler of the universe. Try to show a little taste!

Orson Welles: Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dreams?

Criswell: Greeting my friends, we are all interested in the future because that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. [narrating for Plan 9 from Outer Space]

Criswell: And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future! [narrating for Plan 9 from Outer Space]

Ed Wood: This is the one. This is the one I'll be remembered for. [at premiere of Plan 9 from Outer Space]

Cast

See also

External Links

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