Episode 111: Ed Wood (1994)

Transvestites! We need transvestites! Wait, no, that’s not it . . . listeners! We need listeners! And here you are, we hope, at Max, Mike; Movies in our penultimate episode of our extended run of “In Ancient Times: the 90’s.” This week we’re taking a look at one of Tim Burton’s more . . . eccentric film choices.  And that’s saying something.  The guy has done movies about a twisted afterlife (more than once, if you think about it), science-fiction based trading cards (remember “Mars Attacks!”? No? Good), and Steven Sondheim musicals.  But in 1994 he decided the world needed to hear the tale of Edward D. Wood, Jr., a director from the 50’s and 60’s who has been proclaimed the “Worst Director of all Time.”  This is the man who brought us “Bride of the Monster,” “Glen or Glenda” and of course, the science fiction extravaganza “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” This is the man whose movies never made a dime.  This is the man who thought giving Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson speaking roles was a good idea. This is the man that Tim Burton thought needed a biopic, and more than that, a biopic filmed entirely in black and white. In 1994.  To be fair, this movie actually won two Oscars! How? Why? Is it worth watching? And who is this Mike person anyway? For the answer to these and other questions, slip into your favorite angora sweater and give a listen.

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3 thoughts on “Episode 111: Ed Wood (1994)”

  1. I kind of love this movie, even thought the faults you guys mention are totally valid, it’s just works for me and Landau is really the star of the show. I used to see Plan 9 at the Off the Wall Cinema that my friend Mike (Another Mike) Peck used to own and I’ve seen far too many of his films on a real screen! He did make 2 colour films, Orgy of the Dead and Night of the Ghouls which I thought were the same film fro years as they sort of merge into each other. One of them the other Mike and I loved because Criswell screams “GOLD! MORE GOLD! IT PLEASURES ME!” as some stripper… strips. The is one of Burton’s best, I love Batman Returns because it’s batshit crazy, Big Fish, Beettlejuice, Frankenweenie and edward Scissorhands might be his masterpiece. I REALLY hate most of the rest.

    1. I found the full ‘feature’ of “Orgy of the Dead.” It’s some of the most boring soft core I’ve ever seen. Criswell being there brings a certain… oiliness. I didn’t know you knew the owner of the Off the Wall! Loved that place! It was the most bare bones theater I’ve ever been to, but you could see things there you couldn’t see elsewhere. I saw Plan 9 there as well as Glen or Glenda and some animation festivals. Thanks, Vince! And thanks for listening!

  2. Ok, now I may have to watch Orgy of the Dead just for that Criswell scene.
    I loved the Off the Wall Cinema so much! That’s where I first saw “Plan 9,” and so many other odd and delightful movies.
    Mike and I just watched “Night of the Ghouls” (eeesh) but the print we saw was black-and-white.
    Thanks for listening and it’s great to hear from another Wood aficionado.

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