ED WOOD (12)
D: Tim Burton
Touchstone/Buena Vista (Tim Burton & Denise DiNovi)
USA 🇺🇸 1994
W: Scott Alexander & Larry Karazewski [based on the book "Nightmare Of Ecstasy: The Life & Art of Edward D. Wood" by Rudolph Grey]
DP: Stefan Czapsky
Ed: Chris Lebenzon
Mus: Danny Elfman
Pd: Tom Duffield
Johnny Depp (Edward D. Wood), Martin Landau (Bela Lugosi), Sarah Jessica Parker (Dolores Fuller), Patricia Arquette (Kathy O'Hara), Jeffrey Jones (Crisswell), Bill Murray (John 'Bunny' Breckinridge), Vincent D'Onofrio (Orson Welles)
Tim Burton took a break from his usual gothic-fantasy films to direct this darkly comic biographical film about real-life director Edward D. Wood, Jr., frequently dubbed 'the worst director of all time'.
Wood's body of work mostly came during the 1950's, films which coined the phrase "so bad, they're good" after picking up a cult following. Wood also collaborated with Bela Lugosi prior to the actors death, although the once great horror actor had succumbed to heroin addiction and was a frail shadow of his former self when Wood had the opportunity to cast him in mad doctor roles and whatnot.
Burton's film does surreal justice to the madcap, eccentric director, even tackling his cross-dressing alter ego tactfully when the director made his cinema bow with the atrocious Glen or Glenda.
Johnny Depp brings warmth and compassion and plenty of laughs to the character, but the star of this film is without a doubt Martin Landau as the ageing Bela Lugosi, given a brilliantly canny resemblance due to the fantastic Oscar-winning makeup.
It helps if you've seen one or two of the real Ed Wood's films, notably Plan 9 From Outer Space, but even if not, the film provides a quirky insight into the career of a director who brought some of the very worst B-movies to the screen.