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 The Ed Wood Experience: Part 1 Glen Or Glenda?

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PostSubject: The Ed Wood Experience: Part 1 Glen Or Glenda?   Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:40 am

When someone utters the name, Ed Wood. It is a name that is usually ridiculed, laughed at and mocked. Ed Wood is claimed to be the worst director of our time, and wrongly so, as there are far worse movies that have been made than his, and far worse directors than him. Ed Wood was probably one of the first, if not the first director's to make something, strange, something that wasn't considered normal. You could argue that without Ed Wood making his strange little flicks there wouldn't be a Tim Burton or a David Lynch film in existance, although Ed Wood's films aren't good, they have influenced the strangest director's that we know today.

To understand Ed Wood, you also need to understand Hollywood. Horror was a big hit around the time of Ed Wood, but it wasn't as we know it today, it was a more of a science fiction horror type of genre that was popular at that time, getting rid of the old monster's such as Dracula and Frankenstien and replacing them with giant robots and towering mutated bugs. This was the norm in films, oh you had your other genre's but horror was a big favourite at this time, it would usually be a hit. Hollywood was also cruel to it's former stars such as Bela Lugosi, who had become Ed's close friend.

Ed Wood had a tonne of ideas for films, mainly horror and science fiction. However, his first film was neither, it was a film intended to be a biopic on a woman that had decided to have a sex change, back then this was big news in Hollywood and a cheap, grindhouse type of film production studio wanted to make a film based on it. Ed was taken on to write and direct the film, now there was complications with the story because they couldn't make a biopic, so it was just going to be a smutty film about sex change to make a quick and easy buck, an exploitation film. Originally going to be called "I changed my sex!"

Ed however wanted to write a story that was close to him, Ed liked to dress himself in women's clothing, his mother had done this to him at an early age as she wanted a girl and it became a habbit with him, he felt it made him understand women more and although he was straight, it caused anyone who knew this secret to quesiton his sexuality.

He wrote the film and shot it very quickly with a little amount of money at his hand and a former huge hollywood star as part of his cast. Bela Lugosi. Lugosi hadn't been getting any work for four years, people even thought him to be dead. Ed had befriended Bela and decided to use him prominantly in his features and seeing as Bela saw Ed as a friend as well, Ed didn't have to pay a huge amount of money to get Bela to work for him.

Bela had no idea what kind of film he was doing with Ed, as his role was very different from the rest. It's hard to explain what Bela is supposed to be in this film, God, a narrator, a puppet master, it isn't made clear, but you can guess that he is the one controlling the fate of the characters, with the ever famous line "PULL THE STRINGS!" as he is faded over a shot of roaming buffalo. Ed was fond of stock footage and could find a use for it anywhere in any film.

Ed played Glen/Glenda in the film and dragged himself up for the role, alongside him was his girlfriend Delores Fuller as the leading lady, it was around about this time she discovered Ed's secret and although very uncomfortable of the discovery, she fought on with Ed to make the film. It would only be later that Ed's obsession with women's clothing would drive her away.

The film tells about Glen's struggle, which was also Ed's struggle, liking this girl but hiding a huge secret from her, and debating with himself whether or not to tell her. As Ed kept filming he also kept altering the script, so the sex change flick turned into his story rather than the story the producer wanted to make. The film wasn't shown in LA, and where it was shown it was hated and claimed to be the worst movie ever seen. This was Ed's first movieto be given that title, he had others with would also share that same title. Out of all of Ed's filmography this one isn't as entertaining as others, but it is strange, somewhat boring, and would probably not be the first film you'd want to see if wanting to venture into the wild world of Ed Wood.

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