Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#67 – Ed Wood

(1994) Rated R for excessive Dracula swearing

Genre: Optimistic biography of a quirky writer/producer/director/actor

Trend: Gradually dropped, but then sharply rose upon re-watch

The plot:
Vampires, wrestlers, chiropractors,
To enlightened minds, are actors
Living diff’rent, brave lifestyles,
Persecuted and reviled
So he wears angora sweaters;
Does that quirk make him less better
Than those cutthroat film producers?
Transvestite, sure, but no loser
His “B” movies are reminders
To love life and leave off blinders

So why is it on my list?

It celebrates the life of someone considered a joke when he was alive.  Ed Wood was a movie maker who was voted “the worst director of all time.”  Nowadays, his movies are realized to contain a special charm in spite of their horrible quality.  In other words, so bad, they’re good.  It’s great to see someone so beat up by the world finally get some positive attention in society’s collective memory.

It’s an interesting movie about a man who made movies about what he found interesting.  Why make a movie about the world’s worst director?  Because he was an utterly fascinating man, that’s why!  Ed would cast his buddies in his films, which were always about some hare-brained idea that he thought was pure genius.  And, as a broke crossdresser, Ed freely admits that he’s nice to everyone because he can’t afford to lose friends.

It has Dracula, octopi, and aliens, oh my!  Nothing beats good, old-fashioned sci-fi, amiright?

In conclusion: Between Tim Burton’s direction and Johnny Depp’s performance, even those who have never heard of Ed Wood will likely find at least some cinematic charisma in this film.

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