The 'Ed Wood appreciation page' wouldn't be complete if it didn't include
an Ed Wood biography. I would have liked to written one myself, but
since I don't have the time (at least not right now) I'll settle for
this one for now. This text appears in the video box of the 'Subway'
series of Ed Wood films, and is therefore most likely copyright by Wade
Williams (even though nothing is said). If anyone has a problem with
me publishing it - tell me and I'll remove it. I find the the text a
bit patronizing, but unfortunately this was the only text I had at hand.
For a better (and complete) biography I recommend the book 'Nightmare
of ecstasy: The life and art of Edward D. Wood Jr.' by Rudolph Grey.
"An Ed Wood film without at least one angora sweater
can only mean that the director himself was wearing it, probably
over a pink brassier. Like many geniuses, Ed's success and failure,
his failure at success and his enourmous success as a failure,
can be attributed partly to his mother. Lillian Wood of Poughskeepie,
NY, must have had big plans for her son, Ed Jr. She dressed
him up like a girl until he was old enough to encourage comment.
This just may have been the reason for her sons' later fascination
with the feminine wardrobe. Certainly it prepared him for Hollywood.
| From the age of four or five, Ed Jr. showed an interest
in film, running around the neighbourhood, often in a dress, taking
pictures. Later he began writing screenplays and making films
with the local kids. He spent all his time at the movies, his
favourite films were westerns, later on he was to form a country
& western band called 'Ed Wood's splinters'.
| Ed sure was a fancy dresser, but he was no slouch
in the hetero department. Six months after Pearl Harbour, he enlisted
into the marines, where he earned drawerfulls of medals, and wore
the obligatory pink underwear under his battle fatigues. Wood
himself was injured, losing his front teeth to a rifle butt, ant
taking several bullets in the leg. When he left the marines our
hero took up with a carnival heading for California. By 1946 Ed
Wood had reached Hollywood. By 1948 he'd written, produced, directed
and performed in his first big failure, a stage play, 'The casual
company'. Casual company was a subject close to Ed's heart, he
was a handsome man, and any pretty woman was at risk, particularly
if she was wearing a fluffy angora sweater. That sweater would
soon be off. An on to Ed. In fact, the duration of Ed's relationships
were often dictated by how long a woman could stand having her
clothes stretched all out of shape. The marriage to Norma McCarthy
lasted only one nightgown.
| Fluffed his way into the Hollywood set, he hawked
his material around until finally in 1952 his first feature film,
the semiautobiographical 'Glen or Glenda', starring himself and
Bela Lugosi hit the screens. Ed didn't care that Lugosi was known
only as a horror film actor, he wanted a name. Lugosi, cruelly
and unfairly dropped by Hollywood went on to star in other Ed
Wood epics, most notably 'Plan 9 from outer space', which began
production some five months after his death, without ever receiving
much in the way of pay. In fact only one of Ed's movies, 'Bride
of the monster' made money. Unfortunately, Ed had sold in excess
of 100% of the film to backers.
| But what he lacked in business sense, Ed more than
made up for in sheer enthusiasm. And boy could this guy write!
Rumour has it that could type faster drunk than most men could
sober. In fact that's mostly how he did type. How else could you
explain 'Plan 9 from outer space'?, or 'The bride and the beast'?,
or any Ed Wood film?
| Ed Wood lived to make movies, he was never in the
business to make money. And he was an original. If his early films
had been financially successful, perhaps his subsequent projects
would have benefitted from the polish that money brings and would
have elevated him to serious movie director status, with the lavish
lifestyle enjoyed by his more fortunate contemporaries. But it
is us who would be poorer. We may never have got to see all these
wildly inventive, mad, bad and dangerously funny films.
| Ed Wood died in 1978 aged only 53, an alcoholic
with many projects still in his mind and in his battered briefcase.
He never tasted real success, but had a hell of a good time making
these films, and we guarantee you'll have a hell of a good time