Ed Wood – re:View

December 7, 2017108 Comments

Two hack filmmakers discuss a film directed by an inconsistent filmmaker about a terrible filmmaker. It’s Tim Burton’s 1994 comedy Ed Wood!

Filed in: re:View

  • Aaron James

    Rhino at least got Gary Owens to do their voiceover.

  • Ret Marut

    Ed Wood is a stone cold classic. That said, it’s no Bear Attacks.

  • Yeeee

  • Mike Magnum

    So when are they going make a movie about James Nguyen.

  • BCFC25

    Ed Wood is a brilliant film and easily one of Tim Burtons best though it was such a shame it bombed horribly at the box office.

  • Moist

    James Franco is bullshit artist. And his brother looks a real fuckwad.

  • Ret Marut

    There’s no basement in the Alamo.

  • Mike Magnum

    So that would make him perfect for the role of Tommy Wiseau.

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Or running for public office.

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Or running for public office.

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Ed Wood, John Agar, and Bela Lugosi are the titans of quality cinema!

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Or Surviving Edged Weapons.

  • Moist

    Which really pisses me off. Because he’s a mediocre nothing just like Wiseau (although less interesting) but he’s somehow succeeded. And now his success seems cemented because of this bullshit movie he’s made about a more interesting and tragic bullshit artist.

    I’M A MEDIOCRE NOTHING! GIMME MY BULLSHIT SUCCESS!

  • Corey Blake

    Brilliant review! This movie is a classic and should be seen by everyone. I also knew about Plan 9 since the 70s but there was no place to see this until after this movie came out. great film about film-making in a fairy tale sort of way. You guys nailed it!

  • Jeremy B

    Do you know VHX has been having compatibility issues with Android. Please release Space Cop and your other movies on another platform as I’d like to give you my money.

  • Moist

    Where’s Wiseau’s James Franco biopic?

  • Strelnikov

    If you look it up, Ed Wood wrote porno novels in the 1970s for beer money besides making porno films for a rickety living, and some of the earlier porno flicks featured Criswell as a narrator, the same guy who did narration for Plan 9 from Outer Space.

    Bill Murray’s character is based on Wood actor Dudley Manlove, who was still alive when Ed Wood was made and the name had to be changed.

    I agree with Susan – this was the last great Tim Burton film. Had he died in a plane accident right after this came out, we would be remembering him fondly.

  • Strelnikov

    When will there be a film version of Cho Seung-Hui’s Richard McBeef?

  • Chuck Burly

    Big Fish was quite good. So Burton has not been totally terrible in the last decade.

  • kylemz

    Big Eyes too.

  • kylemz

    Big Eyes too.

  • kylemz

    I first heard of Plan 9 from Seinfeld.

  • EJ

    Frankenweenie was pretty good as far as relatively recent Tim Burton goes. Sweeney Todd wasn’t bad either.

  • Wasn’t Plan 9 terribly boring though? I don’t even remember it – in my memory it just blends together with all the other boring B-movies of that era – especially the ones that were on MST3K. I didn’t consider it either more or less competent than most of those – and definitely not more entertaining. I hate to be such a young’n but I prefer to just skip the entire black & white era other than Psycho and a few other classics. Most of the shit back then is just sooo dry and not fun at all. Like you HAVE to riff on it or it’s not an enjoyable watch at all. With something like ridiculous 80s movies you can at least just laugh at it.

  • EJ

    Another biopic that’s made in the style of the subject’s films is Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. It’s basically Bruce Lee’s life, if his life had been a Bruce Lee movie.

  • Mike Magnum

    By the way, They did make a DocuDrama about the guy who made the Creeping Terror (aka The Creep Behind the Camera). He was a real asshole. Kinda like if Ed Wood was a sadist.

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    best film ed woo…tim burton ever made! a true classic and milestone in movie-history. also maybe depps best performance ever. slightly but not total overacting, which fits the role almost perfect. and landau is just unbelivable in his greatness as the dope-crazy hungarian. one of my top-fivers.

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    maybe the canceling for “superman lives” broke tim burton; what a movie that could have been; I mean, nutty nick cage as the son of krypton…wow!

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    Most of the shit back then is just sooo dry and not fun at all

    you have to watch MST3Ks version of “bride of the monster” with lugosi; I laugh my ass off every time I watch this episode, total classic of the joel-era.

  • EJ

    Plan 9 has endless dull dialogue – I think that’s part of the reason it stands out. It’s not like 1950s creature feature/sci-fi movies were known for their brilliant effects or top notch acting, but most of them had fairly simple plots. Plan 9 though has this insanely convoluted story that makes virtually no sense.

  • EJ

    That is absolutely something I would watch. Maybe he could do a documentary about the making of “Your Highness,” a movie so bad not even Danny McBride could save it.

  • TheVerySpecialK

    What are the other “classics” that you enjoy from the black and white era? It took me a while to get into classic cinema, but once I did I really started to appreciate it. I agree that some of the films from the era can come off as dry, but in other cases it feels like effective minimalism as opposed to dryness per say (contrast that with the over-the-top visuals in modern films and it can be really refreshing).

  • I keep meaning to watch this and never have gotten around to it. I’ll have to make it a point this weekend

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    right. and thats why franco will be eaten by mcBride in the coming apocalypse…

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    I swear I saw the revie after my comments above, but susan is right: it is burtons best film and masterpiece.

  • Michael

    Handsome + mediocrity = success. Hollywood Baby!

  • ikdks

    I’m pretty sure it was the 1982 film It Came from Hollywood that popularised Ed Wood as a bad filmmaker.

    John Candy, Gilda Radner, Dan Akroyd and Cheech and Chong did some sketches and narrated a montage of clips from bad 50’s movies. They devote a whole section of the film to Wood.

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    sometimes my ego overwhelms me completly, so here is it again

    ohmygaaaaAAAAAWWWWHHHD!

    these hackfrauds do read the comments! and I got proof! a comment I wrote at “the Mist”-review:

    ? I beg to differ; RICH! is most likely the wizard in person. josh is just his frontprojection *as* “thewiZARDOfoZ”

    and what is josh holding in his hands in the first minutes of the new WOTW-episode? YES! I SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE! DO THE ZARDOZ-REVIEW YOUR HACKS!

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    that film deserves the biggest audience possible; if you have a faible for the slightly grotesque and social intelligence, you wont regretted it for sure.

  • Moist

    “Oh, man, what if Wiseau casts himself as James Franco and casts Danny McBride as Wiseau?”

    As the unknown mediocrity clicked on the “Post as Moist” button he wondered if maybe he shouldn’t have typed up his idea for a movie about comment section characters (the working title of which was “Comment Section: #CommentSectionMovie”). He supposed he could always post that later after he’d given it more consideration. Outside, a bitterly cold wind howled with fury as it hurled eight hundred metric tons of fertile topsoil towards the sea. Elsewhere, deep in the African jungle, a baboon died of a heroin overdose.

    FIN

  • Moist

    You left the variable “mbjs”* out of the equation.

    *Where “mbjs” equals “mandatory blowjobs.”

  • I like the og Invader of the Body Snatchers. I also know that I’m supposed to watch Metropolis and Citizen Kane but I haven’t gotten around to it- and ummm… yeah I can’t think of anything else right now.

  • Movie Wan Kenovie

    Fuck you, box office.

  • Movie Wan Kenovie

    Fuck you, box office.

  • I’ll give it a shot, I don’t remember if I watched that one with my friends or not. I mostly use MST3K to fall asleep to, so if it doesn’t interest me it’ll still serve a purpose.

  • Movie Wan Kenovie

    It is thanks to people like Ed Wood or RLM’s lovable fhacks that I still go to the movies… in spite of Hollywood’s relentless fecal hosefest. For once I will refrain from making any smartass comment and simply thank you for this review. I MEAN it.

  • EJ

    Don’t sleep on Billy Wilder. “Some Like It Hot” holds up perfectly even today. Also if you’ve ever wondered what exactly the deal was with Marilyn Monroe, well watch her in that movie and there’s your answer.

  • EJ

    Another good genre of B&W cinema is post-WWII British war films, there are a bunch of good ones: The Cruel Sea, The Dambusters, Sink the Bismarck… maybe I’m just a sucker for the style where it cuts between total combat mayhem and stiff upper lip officer chaps back at HQ drinking tea, looking worriedly at maps, and listening for action reports on the radio.

    The Cruel Sea is also interesting because it’s one of the sources of inspiration for Das Boot – instead of a u-boat crew, they’re a bunch of Brits on a shitty little escort ship hunting u-boats, but it has the same bleak, paranoid claustrophobia that Das Boot has. It’s also got a young Denholm Elliot in one of his first roles, so that’s fun.

  • EJ

    Citizen Kane holds up because it’s so fantastically well put together. It’s one of those “every frame a painting” type movies.

  • EJ

    I mean, maybe Your Highness is good? I never watched it because the trailers looked so fucking dire, and it certainly has a terrible reputation.

  • EJ

    Dude are you having a stroke?

  • For sheer ridiculousness I don’t think you can beat ‘Orgy of the Dead’, in which a young couple are captured by a mummy and a wolfman and forced to watch a series of dreadful erotic dances in a graveyard. Things might have been different for Universal Pictures if they had managed to incorporate a remake into their dark universe.

  • EJ

    Tim Burton directing Nic Cage as Superman is such a terrible idea that it might have wrapped around to something great.

  • EJ

    Wait how long ago did you guys film this? The Disaster Artist is “coming out soon?” It’s been out for over a week in Louisville so I presume it’s made it to Milwaukee.

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Bela Lugosi’s character was based on Count Blah from Greg the Bunny.

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Yet another tragedy that could have been avoided had assault rifles been easily accessible. Stupid background checks. What if I get captured by a wolfman and a mummy?

  • Pop Culture Reference

    No, he’s just German.

  • Pop Culture Reference

    To be fair, the endless monologuing is better written than John Galt’s tirade in Atlas Shrugged.

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Like a cocaine addiction?

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Like those other two brothers who are always in the news.

  • Lord Culvert

    “Orgy of the Dead” is the most hilarious movie I have ever seen. When
    the girl starts flopping around her titties and she gets them going
    around in circles like helicopter blades I had to run out of the room, I
    was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.

  • Moist

    I expect it’ll be playing on some long distance bus ride I’m on and will interfere with my reading (Infinite Jest, of course). That or I’ll see it in Hell.

  • Moist

    Oooh, look at the fancy person from fancy pants “Lowevelle” where people get movies early!

    You motherfucker, Thor hasn’t even gotten to my shitass town yet. I only got to see Bladerunner like three weeks ago.

  • Moist

    With or without tassels? I seen a lady do that helicopter thing in The Graduate with tassels on.

  • TheVerySpecialK

    Some of my all-time favorite B&W films (all killer, no filler):

    12 Angry Men (1957)
    The Battle of Algiers (1966)
    Double Indemnity (1944)
    In a Lonely Place (1950)
    On the Waterfront (1954)
    The Killing (1956)
    Seven Samurai (1954)
    Sunset Boulevard (1950)
    The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
    Three Outlaw Samurai (1964)

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    hauw dere ju exposing mei sikret!

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    another often overlooked B/W-gem in this list would be sidney lumets TheHill (1965) with an astounding good performance from sean connery.

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    the documentation “The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?” is pretty good on the topic. absolutly worth watching.

  • DasKleineTeilchen

    absolutly. it would have featured Brainiac as a body- but not headless spider in a fishbowl. what more can you ask for?

  • Probably not as old as the Nothing But Trouble review – according to Rich and Jack that was sitting on the backburner for a good long while.

  • david moon

    May i remind the parish of Vincent D’Onofrio as Orson Welles?
    This movie is so full of gems, you’d need a treasure chest
    the size of a coffin.

    Also, i second that wish for a commentary track.

  • Bleurgh

    It’s almost unwatchably dull.

  • Bleurgh

    Paths of Glory is a masterpiece.

    There’s also Rashomon, 12 Angry Men and Night of the Living Dead.

  • Gregstradamous

    Great choice! I loved that you shot your review in B&W!

  • EJ

    Haha really? I just assumed that when it finally makes it here, it’s everywhere in the country already.

  • EJ

    Good list. Seven Samurai is great but so is really anything else by Kurosawa. There’s all the samurai movies, but also Stray Dog (1949), which is both a detective story and a fascinating slice of life of post-WWII Japan.

  • EJ

    Now THAT’s how you do a pop culture reference.

  • EJ

    Hitchcock’s old British stuff like Sabotage and The 39 Steps is worth checking out. Also, Lifeboat kinda gets overlooked but it’s pretty brilliant.

  • Duckler

    Neat-o. I need to find my VHS store demo version of this and count how many times it tells me “do not distribute this copy”

  • Robotpals

    Maurice Lamarche (The Brain) did the voice.

  • TheVerySpecialK

    I’ve never seen Stray Dog – definitely going to check that one out. My local library has a great selection of classic cinema (and movies in general), including a bunch of Kurosawa classics, but Stray Dog isn’t represented in the collection. I’m going to have to submit a materials request for it!

  • andychrist

    plan 9 was a decent story though, with more money and time it would have been great. made today it would be ,what is called in the modern parlance ,”a blockbuster” of sorts. ……… aliens warn humanity to stop making more dead people and when ignored , resurect the dead to fight us.

  • EJ

    Yeah I think it kind of gets overlooked because it’s not a samurai film, but it’s got this great noirish atmosphere combined with the very specific setting of Japan re-building itself from the bombed out wreck that we left it in after WWII.

  • EJ

    Now, gonna throw this out there: Rashomon – is it an exploration of the idea that we can never really know the truth, or is it a complicated puzzle that actually has a specific solution?

  • Moist

    You in America, pronounce it how you spell it. Looisvilly.

    Supposedly 600 people live here in Flyspeck, MO but I ain’t seen that many.

  • Moist

    Why can’t I stream Crumb, dammit!

  • Moist

    Those cunts at can I stream it think I’m talking about Who’s Harry Crumb.

  • Moist

    Because I’m the sort of cunt hails from England is how come I’m a cunt that can say “cunt.”

  • Moist

    Ahh, you’re all a buncha berks.

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Cor blimey!

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Cor blimey!

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Hey, I want to buy some Rosebud Frozen Peas!

  • Pop Culture Reference

    How does a word spelled Leicester end up being pronounced “lester”?

  • Pop Culture Reference

    Casablanca is better in the colorized version.

  • Moist

    Mad cheese disease, Sprocket.

  • Jack Hagerty

    I always thought that Depp’s “Wood” was based on one of John Lovitz’s SNL characters

  • Jack Hagerty

    “Lifeboat”s screenplay was by John Steinbeck, so, yeah, I agree with you.

  • TheVerySpecialK

    From what I remember about the film, it seems to be more the former. The fact that the film keeps returning to the characters stuck in a rainstorm between versions of the “truth” is telling. The storm does clear at the end, but only after the monk buys into the woodsman’s story. You could take this to mean that the woodsman was telling the truth, and hence the weather clearing up would symbolize the mystery finally being resolved and brought to light. However, you could also point out that the monk has no real way of knowing if the woodsman is telling the truth (about the bandit ordeal or about his intention to care for the abandoned baby), in which case the clearing of the weather would just represent the peace of mind the monk achieves through trusting in the woodsman’s story. Maybe that’s what the film is about: trust or faith as the only refuge from multiplicity.

  • EJ

    Huh – I feel like they usually get HitB out within a few days of the movie coming out; didn’t realize they let their other stuff sit for so long.

  • EJ

    I think you have to look at which characters have motivations to lie, and about what. Obviously not courtroom-standard evidence (but mystery stories rarely are) but I think it does have a solution. Been a while since I’ve seen it though.

  • EJ

    Oh wow I forgot D’Onofrio was in this. Such an underrated actor.

  • netcrave

    I know, with the exception of Rich, you guys don’t play games, but I had to think about “The Deadly Tower of Monsters” the whole time while I was watching this.

  • moron

    I had seen Ed Wood just because I’d seen it regarded as a good movie without knowing anything about it or that it was based on a real person, so I saw it only as a movie and in that regard it still stood on its own legs. I remember the heroin stuff being really intense but the movie as a whole really being good. It would be interesting to see it again after watching your re:view and knowing more about bad movies as a thing in themselves.

  • TheVerySpecialK

    Huh, that’s an interesting way to look at it. So the samurai would be motivated to lie based on motivations of honor, etc. The next time I watch it I’ll keep this in mind.

  • david moon

    Yeah i remember reading they dubbed him over.
    The voice work is impeccable and supportes D’Onofrios performance
    really well.

  • david moon

    I remember watching Citizen Kane, by pure chance, a week before i watched Ed Wood and was highly impressed by his spot on recreation of Welles facial expressions.

  • ikdks

    There’s a cute little joke at the beginning of this movie, where they’re doing that terrible play and near the end Sarah Jessica Parker is lowered down onto the stage by a rope, she says she’s an angel or something and tells all the soldiers to give peace a chance.

    There’s this thing called deux ex machina. In the modern world, it’s where a writer gets his characters into a spot they can’t get out of, and so he suddenly introduces a character or object, or hidden talent rescues the characters from the writer’s lack of imagination. It’s considered hack, for the most part, though it can be done well. HG Wells has a great deux ex machina at the end of War of the Worlds.

    But originally the greeks used it to end a play. They would lower the actor from the ceiling on a rope, playing a god or demigod, and would pass judgement on the characters. That’s where it gets its name, the god from the machine.

    So to establish Ed Wood as a hack, they start the movie with him employing the cheapest theatrical device known to man.

    Then again, as Kathryn Janeway would say, who says deux ex machina is dead.

  • Spoiled Ants

    Can we get mo’ real gems from the 80’s like The HITCHER or the Lost Boys?

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