STARRING: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, G.D. Spradlin, Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Murray, Mike Starr

1994, 124 Minutes, Directed by: Tim Burton

edwood.jpg (14780 bytes)Description: Edward D. Wood Jr. was an actor writer-director-producer, occasionally in drag, who combined meager bursts of talent with an undying optimism to create some of the most bizarrely memorable "B" movies to ever come out of Tinseltown. Though Wood died in obscurity as an alcoholic in 1978, his films have been considered cult classics for years. He is consistently voted the worst director who ever lived.

Sure, Ed Wood isn’t sci-fi. But it’s included here because it would be of definitive interest to fans of the genre - particularly self-styled Mystery Science Theater 3000-types who revels in old and extremely bad movies. After all, it’s a straight-forward biopic of one Ed Wood whom history will probably remember as one of the worst, if not the worst, director of all times. My personal nominee for that dubious honor would be Albert Pyun, that unacknowledged master of contemporary straight-to-video excrement such as Nemesis and Cyborg. Then again, I have (un)fortunately never seen any of Wood’s movies . . .

Besides being known for having directed such fare as Plan 9 from Outer Space, Wood also had a penchant for angora sweaters, wearing women’s underwear and the occasional bouts of cross-dressing. Filmed in Black & White by director Tim Burton (Batman, Mars Attacks!), Ed Wood is a loving recreation of those heady post-war days of the B-movie when a film based on so-called grave-robbers from outer space could be sold as a true story.

Not much happens in the film and if your tastes are limited to slam-bang action sci-fi then I’ll recommend giving Ed Wood a miss, but if your tastes makes allowances for quirky fare (such as Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, also starring Johnny Depp) then give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed. Even if you’re not interested in the topic, I’d still recommend Ed Wood. Besides, like Edward Scissorhands, this film also lovingly revels in the loving eccentricities of its characters . . .


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