|Fig. 1: Film Title Cover|
Tim Burton pays homage to Ed Wood the director infamous for making the worst films ever made, such as ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ (1959) that created the title the ultimate B-movie. Johnny Depp delivers an estranged and energetic performance that shows the hopeful directors ambition to make it in the film industry even though he faced multiple funding and constant casting problems that dragged his production quality down. Despite his admirable efforts his career never flourished quite the way he hoped as his critics flawed his production methods.
|Fig 2: Title screen shot of 'Plan 9 from Outer Space'|
A lot of money was spent to accurately recreating the 1950s period to achieve an authentic believability to the behind the scenes experience with Ed Wood. Critic James Berardinelli says Burton ‘has managed to capture something of the feel of one of Wood's productions' (Berardinelli, J (1994).’ Comparing the original movie footage to Burton’s reconstructions they are pretty accurate, it is easy to pick out the scenes from the movies and relate it stories behind them. A good example is the scene where Bella Lugosi rolls around in an artificial lake with a giant octopus model pretending the fight it off as he waves the tentacles around himself due to lack of wires. Even the castings of the characters have a great resemblance the parts they play, especially Martin Landau as Bella Lugosi with the help of Rick Baker's make-up artistry.
|Fig 3: Martin Landau as Bella Lugosi in Burton's 'Ed Wood'|
|Fig 4: Bella Lugosi in 'Glen or Glenda' (1953)|
Although Burton focuses on recreating all of Ed Woods movie blunders, he handles the relationship between Wood and Bella Lugosi with sincerity and respect. Critic Jeremy Beday, Rovi describes the film as ‘at times side-splittingly funny; at others, tragic or even frightening' (Rotten Tomatoes: Rovi,J) Burton brings the emotional price the characters pay to bring a darker yet more meaningful story behind the people themselves rather than just looking at the film footage. Beneath all the humour of the ridiculous situations this empathy allows us to respect efforts that Burton handles really well particularly memorable scenes between Wood and Lugosi. Despite how bad Ed Woods films have been deemed they have a charm of there own that cannot be 'faked'.
|Fig 5: Screen shot from 'Bride of the Monster' (1955)|
J, Berardinelli (1994), Ed Wood Film Review [Online] 1/10/11 available at - http://www.reelviews.net/movies/e/ed_wood.html
J.B. Rovi, Rotten Tomatoes Review: Ed Wood (1994) [Online] 1/10/11 available at - http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ed_wood/
Fig 1: Film Title Cover - http://film.asu.edu/major
Fig 2: Title screen shot of 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' - http://monstermoviemusic.blogspot.com/2008/04/plan-9-from-outer-space-gordon-zahler-i.html
Fig 3: Martin Landau as Bella Lugosi in Burton's 'Ed Wood' - http://rue-morgue.com/blog/archives/2011/06/07/even-more-guests-added-to-the-festival-of-fear/
Fig 4: Bella Lugosi in 'Glen or Glenda' (1953) - http://healed1337.blogspot.com/2011/02/movie-review-glen-or-glenda.html
Fig 5: Screen shot from 'Bride of the Monster' (1955)