11th April 2021
“Ed Wood” is a 1994 film directed by Tim Burton starring Johnny Depp. Despite incredible critical acclaim and developing a cult following, it tanked at the box office. However, that does not deny its genius. It tells the tale of Edward D Wood Jr, considered by some to be the worst director to ever live. Shooting off minimal budgets, stealing props, filming illegally, he created a large number of camp films. Films that are so bad, they are quite enjoyable. The film documents his creation of three films, his relationship with Bela Lugosi, the fading star of the original 1931 Dracula film and Ed Wood’s transvestite nature and the effect of that upon his romantic relationships.
There are many merits to this film. It is a very humorous and heartwarming film with beautiful black and white cinematography which add stylish additions to the aesthetics of the film. With an outstanding performance by Johnny Depp, this is a very well rounded film and a good investment of 2 hours.
Furthermore, I consider this film a gateway drug of some sort to Ed Wood’s own films, which would be inaccessible to most people who have the fortunate or unfortunate chance of stumbling across his films. The three Ed Wood films shown being shot are, “Glen or Glenda”, “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “Bride of the Monster”. They are all free on YouTube and very fun watches due to the amateurish nature of Ed Wood’s film making. “Bride of the Monster” and “Plan 9 from Outer Space” are decent camp films with a generally coherent plot and are ironically enjoyable to watch. On the other hand, “Glen or Glenda” is an incoherent mess that made me think, “what the hell am I watching?”