I watched Ed Wood today – the semi-biographical Burton movie, that is, not the actual works of the so-called worst movie maker in the world – more by accident than by anything else.. I was at Dunkel’s plowing through his collection and jokingly went.. Hey, why don’t we watch Ed Wood? And much to my surprise he went sure, so we put it on.. And I was about to be surprised in many more ways.
Firstly, I didn’t even know this was a Tim Burton movie.. Which was a welcome surprise. Also, I had no idea it starred Johnny Depp.. But that was of course just another welcome surprise because everybody knows that Tim Burton + Johnny Depp = awesome!
Now, I had every cell in my brain telling me that a movie about the worst movie-maker in Hollywood history was either gonna be really strange or really bad and/or pathetic, too.. Well, this movie has Burton behind the wheel so a the weirdness factor was a dead give-away.. But, apparently you can also leave it to Burton to make a movie about the worst director ever both gripping, funny, touching and thought-provoking.. While leaving out the bad and/or pathetic factor.. Another small surprise.
And speaking of leaving things to people.. Leave it to Johnny Depp to spend half a movie wearing ladies’ underwear, v-neck angora sweaters, skirts, a stuffed bra and a blonde wig.. And still have every woman on the face of the planet thinking he’s drop dead sexy and leaving them in need of having his babies! Seriously, I mean, come on.. How the fuck are the rest of us gonna compete with that? Whenever I .. When I occasionally .. That one time.. I wore women’s clothing, I spent most of the time stopping pictures from being posted because I figured it’d be really bad PR.. Johnny Depp films it for the world to see and is STILL a sex symbol.. For the love of God..
But I digress.. What I really wanted to talk about, since I’m actually a huge Johnny Depp fan, was how fascinated I was by watching a Depp movie.. And being completely blown away by the character portrayal and acting.. Of someone whose name wasn’t Depp. I mean, Depp was good, but Martin Landau’s performance as my personal hero of the horror genre, Béla Lugosi, was impressive to say the least.. The portrayal of the washed up, aging Hungarian drug fiend in the last year’s of his life is so spot on, well done and haunting that Dunkel and I at times seriously thought that they were either using stock footage or that Lugosi himself had risen from his grave.
So, I ended up actually liking the movie more for its portrayal of Lugosi over that of Ed Wood himself.. Which was another surprise, but only a smaller one as I have, for whatever strange reason, been really captivated by Lugosi since first watching the 1931 version of Dracula.. The supporting cast in general was way better than Depp in this one, and I’m probably gonna get slammed for saying that.. But there you go, that’s just how I felt.. And how can you not love a motley crew of old Hungarians, psychics, busty vampires, pro wrestlers and Bill Murray playing the part of an obviously flaming young man in search of a sex change? Really!
In conclusion, Ed Wood’s own movies may not have been very good.. In fact some claim they’re the worst in the world.. And they’re probably right.. Me, I’ve just finished watching Robo Vampire the other day, so I’m more than looking forward to an Ed Wood marathon with drinks and all that jazz.. It can’t possibly be worse! But either way, his movies may have been bad.. But the semi-biographical movie made about him certainly wasn’t.. Mr Burton, I tilt my hat to you!