This week in Cinecity we began watching Tim Burton’s zany biopic Ed Wood. It chronicles the B-grade filmmaker’s entry into Hollywood and the making of Plan 9 From Outer Space which has been labelled as ‘the worst film ever made’. It also gives us an insight into why his films were so bad, with trademarks like illogical continuity, bizarre narratives and terrible acting and set design. We’ll follow up Ed Wood with a screening of Plan 9 From Outer Space next month.
Cast: Johnny Depp
Sarah Jessica Parker
Written by: Scott Alexander
Genre: Biography / Comedy / Drama
Duration: 121 min
Colour: Black & White
Country/Language: USA / English
Year of Release: 1994
- This film was critically acclaimed, winning two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for Landau and Best Makeup for Rick Baker (who designed Landau’s prosthetic makeup), Ve Neill and Yolanda Toussieng. However it was a box office disappointment, making only $5.9 million against an $18 million budget.
- In the 1950s, Ed Wood made numerous low-budget, B-Grade science fiction, horror and cowboy genre films. In 1980, he was posthumously awarded a Golden Turkey Award as Worst Director of All Time, renewing public interest in his work. Wood’s career and camp approach has earned him and his films a cult following.
Things to think about:
- Do you think Tim Burton’s film presents the director Ed Wood in a positive way? Do you think Burton was influenced or inspired by Wood? Why?
- Think about how a film director’s role includes being an artist, a business person, a politician, an organizer and leader? Was Ed Wood really a terrible director? What was he good at?