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Lost Ed Wood Film Unearthed

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  • Picasso? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots (753724) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:46PM (#10659311) Homepage
    Considered the worst film maker of all time, Ed Wood

    I guess as soon as we start watching the movie, we will know if it's a genuine Ed Wood masterpiece :)

    But like Picasso's (note I'm not really comparing Plabo to Ed) paintings, sometimes it takes a different era to appreciate them, especially when the person's dead.
    • Re:Picasso? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TrentL (761772) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:58PM (#10659387) Homepage
      But like Picasso's (note I'm not really comparing Plabo to Ed) paintings, sometimes it takes a different era to appreciate them, especially when the person's dead.

      Picasso was famous when he was alive.

      My problem with the Ed Wood criticism is that he is so *NOT* the worst filmmaker of all time. His movies are watchable. They induce an emotion (usually laughter), and therefor they are art. Campy art, but art. "Worst filmmaker" should be a title reserved for directors who make truly boring, un-interesting films.
      • Re:Picasso? (Score:5, Funny)

        by DrEldarion (114072) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:36PM (#10659577)
        "Worst filmmaker" should be a title reserved for directors who make truly boring, un-interesting films.

        Like Lucas' recent work.
      • Re:Picasso? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by colmore (56499) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:50PM (#10659648) Journal
        It depends on what you mean by bad. Ed's movies are technically worse than just about any director you will ever find who tried to make freature films.

        Sure I'd take one of Ed's movies over say... Pearl Harbor any day. But that's because Pearl Harbor wasn't bad, it was mediocre. But Pearl Harbor was much closer to what you'd be taught how to do in film school.

        Ed's movies are amazing. It's like a kid who gets a 0 on the SAT. There's one of two things going on there. Either he knows what he's doing and making mistakes on purpose, or he's misreading the test in some fundamental way, and has no clue what's going on. Ed was either in on the joke, or he was not just inept, but posessed a fundamental misunderstanding of what movies are supposed to be.

        The first option seems more likely, but watch a few of his films and you start to wonder.

        If you watch 70s horror movies, or schlock kung fu action movies, or Troma, or other B movies that know that they're B movies, you don't see what you see in an Ed Wood film. Modern directors study old B movies for inspiration, just look at Tarantino. B movies have bad actors reading bad lines and working with shitty special effects on no budget, but they're at least filmed proficiently, given their resources. Watch most B movies and you're generally watching an OK filming of a bad movie. Ed Wood not only has bad actors, bad writing, bad effects, and no budget, he also has TERRIBLE pacing, camerawork thats so bad its uncomfortable, long silent pauses, and many many other unnerving problems. He gets so many things wrong it boggles the mind.

        They're more than so bad they're good. They're so bad they're past good and enter the territory of the head-scratchingly bizarre.
        • Agreed...if you want to see a true example of a movie that is simply awful , without even Ed Wood's reeeming quality, check out Robot Ninja [imdb.com].

          ...actually, on second thought, DON'T!!
          • Rock Over London (Score:3, Insightful)

            by M. Baranczak (726671)
            Your sig is strangely appropriate. Ed Wood and Wesley Willis were kindred spirits in a lot of ways. A lot of artists like to adopt the "outsider" pose - these two guys were outsiders in every possible way, and they weren't even trying.
        • by microcars (708223) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @11:32PM (#10660046) Homepage
          They're more than so bad they're good. They're so bad they're past good and enter the territory of the head-scratchingly bizarre.

          I agree.

          The "best" films I have ever seen are the ones that are truely the most bizarre.

          I went to film school (many years ago) and most of us there had grown up making Super8 films.
          One of the other students had a film he showed that he made in High School.

          It was about a boy that falls in love with his best friend, when his best friend rejects him, he gets a Sex change operation and comes back and tries again, he gets rejected again and he throws himself off a bridge! Oh the Humanity!

          This is a High School student making this around the late 1970's!

          In College Film School he used to make these films about Business Men with Tortured Souls.
          At school, he always wore a suit jacket and tie to class too. He had a very "efficient" way of filming, he had a pair of "clamp lights" and he would put one to the Right of the Camera and one to the Left of the Camera. Like a Copy Stand! That's how he filmed EVERYTHING! Even when the camera was moving, he had the lights moving!

          Once,He accidently re-used a roll of 16mm film and shot over footage he had already shot,double-exposing it. Deadline looming, he chooses NOT to reshoot, but USES the footage! And it was Brilliant! But, of course, very Bizarre. And, of course it was another film about a Businessman with a Tortured Soul.

          I have no clue where he is now, but I think I heard that after college he was working as a Weatherman at a TV station.

          I wish I could remember his name!

        • Kind of like Bloody Stupid Johnson from the discworld series (find him [angelfire.com]), his stuff is worth seeing for the utter scope of stupidity.
        • Re:Picasso? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by imr (106517)
          It's like a kid who gets a 0 on the SAT
          I have been taught that Van Gogh passed a painting test and got a 0 with a note along "this painting is so bad it must have been painted by a child". To which Van Gogh answered "I've finally become a painter"
          Another interresting point is that he painted a vanity, and when i think about it, if you get anything else than 0 for painting a vanity means you missed the subject.
          And finally, I would say that Ed Wood is Tim Burton's best movie too.
        • I think you're on to something with the comparison to a movie like Pearl Harbor.

          Ed Wood was a great film maker because he understood what film should be. Entertainment. It's great to appreciate the skill in creating a certain mood or a certain special effect, but movie making isn't a skills competition. I don't want to see how a certain technique is utilized. I want to be entertained.

          We could go on all day about movies that have decent acting, good effects, competent camera work and editing, big budge
      • by glrotate (300695) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:54PM (#10659665) Homepage
        Signifigantly more entertaining.
      • Re:Picasso? (Score:2, Funny)

        by jshriverWVU (810740)
        Like the last 2 Star Wars films? *ducks*

        not meant to be a flame, hoping for a laugh.

      • Re:Picasso? (Score:3, Informative)

        by gamgee5273 (410326)
        That is true. "Worst filmmaker" should go to things like Manos: Hands of Fate. That is not a watchable movie, even in MST3K form...
      • by fm6 (162816) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @11:03PM (#10659941) Homepage Journal
        Boringness is too subjective a criterion for badness. When I see a movie full of explosions, chases, and meaningless titilation, I'm bored to tears. But I don't consider these things as signs that the movie is bad. It just means the filmmaker were aiming at an audience (a rather big audience) that I don't happen to belong to.

        There's an episode of The Sopranos where Tony tells his shrink how he and his friends used to let a guy with a cleft palate hang around with them, just so they could snicker at his funny way of talking. (He's recently had that particular role reversed on him, which makes him feel guilty.) I think that's the same, cruel appeal that Ed Wood has. It's entertaining to snicker at a guy who manages to make every mistake a movie person could possibly make -- swooping microphones, lame dialogue, actors standing around visibly wondering what they're supposed to be doing. I've never been able to laugh at Ed Wood, perhaps for the same reason I can't laugh at people with speech defects. But whether you can laugh at the badness or not, it's definitely there.

        • Boringness is too subjective a criterion for badness.
          Can you name a criterion for badness that isn't 100% subjective? This seems like an impossible task, considering that any criteria you can come up with for whether art is "good" or "bad" is going to be purely subjective, so...
          • Can you name a criterion for badness that isn't 100% subjective?
            I can, but it's all in the post you just read. If that's not objective enough for you, than there's probably nothing I can tell you about anything.
        • I wonder if he thinks his movies are any good himself. I mean, I work with a programmer who has absolutely no common sense when it comes to interface design. He throws together the worst crap you've ever seen, and than sais something like "yeah, this looks really good, doesn't it?". Uh, no, it doesn't, and it breaks about every interface design rule there is.
          • Look, Ed Wood is a guy who fought at Iwo Jima -- while wearing women's underwear. I don't want to know what went on in his head!
          • "Uh, no, it doesn't, and it breaks about every interface design rule there is."

            Around here, you probably don't want to admit that you work for Microsoft :).
            • I don't! I swear! MS would never let programmers design interfaces :-)
              • MS would never let programmers design interfaces

                They'd be better off if they did. It's always amazed me that MS manages to have such bad UI designs, considering how much effort [microsoft.com] they expend on usability studies. I'm guessing that the design process is so numbers-driven and bureaucratized that anything like a creative spark or a critical attitude about design mistakes just gets stepped on.

      • I work for an R&D manager who is the software engineering equivalent of Ed Wood. His methods and designs must be art, because they induce an emotion too. Unabashed dismay.
      • Re:Picasso? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gnovos (447128)
        Picasso was famous when he was alive.

        So famous that people were forging him while he was alive.
        I remember a story of how he was once given a lineup of his painting and some fogeries and asked if he knew which ones were fake. He pulled out off the forgeries and also three of his own orignals. When that was mentioned to him he responded, "I can forge a Picasso just as well as anyone else."
    • misquote: (Score:3, Funny)

      by khrtt (701691)
      But like Picasso's ..., sometimes it takes a different era to appreciate them, especially when the person's dead.

      Talk about Necromania:-)
  • Quick! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:47PM (#10659318)
    Someone re-bury it!
    • Re:Quick! (Score:5, Funny)

      by spellraiser (764337) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:22PM (#10659517) Journal
      No use. We will simply invoke Plan 9 and resurrect the dead - Long distance electrodes shot into the pineal and pituitary gland of the recently dead. That goes for movies too you know.

      You don't believe us??

      You see? Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid! All you of Earth are idiots!

  • by BortQ (468164) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:48PM (#10659320) Homepage Journal
    Uh, how bad does a film have to be before Ed Wood won't release it?
  • Yey (Score:2, Funny)

    Yey, now we will all have a chance to see the ALL TIME WORST porno ever. I bet this will set the bar for todays pornos.
  • by delirium of disorder (701392) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:49PM (#10659329) Homepage Journal
    but plan9 will always have a warm place in the hearts of geeks.
  • by pyrrhonist (701154) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:49PM (#10659334)
    They forgot to include that the best part about this is that it's pr0n!

    The 1971 movie is a porn film documenting the sexual enlightenment of a young couple at the hands of a coven of witches.
    A witch orgy! That's pure genius!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I really like plan 9 from outspace. Just was do you gays not like about it?
  • by Nomihn0 (739701) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:50PM (#10659339)
    "Evicted from his Hollywood apartment, Wood and his wife moved into the bungalow of an actor friend. Only days after the move, Ed died of a heart attack, aged 53. Posthumously, his extensive portfolio of terrible motion pictures earned him the Golden Turkey Award for being the worst director of all time."

    Is that Ed Wood's equivalent of a last "hurrah"?
  • by phozz bare (720522) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:51PM (#10659344)

    The movie has an entry [imdb.com] on IMDB, with comments dating as far back as 1999.

    How did these people see the movie?

    phozz
    • I think time travel would be the most obvious answer.
    • by pokka (557695) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:59PM (#10659390)
      The movie has an entry on IMDB, with comments dating as far back as 1999.

      How did these people see the movie?

      phozz


      That's because they actually discovered the movie back in 2001. They didn't try to obtain a DVD distributor until last year, but apparently some VHS copies are in circulation.
      • by pokka (557695)
        oh, nevermind. I didn't see the "1999" part :)
      • Discovered the movie in 2001 but they made comments on it in 1999............
      • The movie has an entry on IMDB, with comments dating as far back as 1999.

        How did these people see the movie?


        That's because they actually discovered the movie back in 2001. They didn't try to obtain a DVD distributor until last year, but apparently some VHS copies are in circulation

        So they only time traveled from 1999 to 2001? More time travel than that is dangerous?
      • >> The movie has an entry on IMDB, with comments dating as far back as 1999.

        That's because they actually discovered the movie back in 2001.

        Okay, thanks. That clears it up for me.

    • by davidgunnar (158442) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:20PM (#10659501)
      There are notes in the 'alternate versions' section of the imbd page about how other versions, including the longer XXX version, had been found "recently".

      So what we have here is the... [drumroll please] director's cut extended version!

      How is it that a discussion of XXX films keeps coming back to words like 'longer' and 'extended'? ;-)
    • by vert2712 (749612) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:32PM (#10659552)
      Because it was never lost. The film has always been available in one form or another.

      Maybe this new 'lost' version has different/more hardcore material but the film was never really that hard to see. Necromania was originally a softcore feature, with hardcore inserts shot by cinematographer Ted Gorley to spice up Wood's softcore effort and make it more marketable, a very common practice in those days (Wood never actually liked to film actual hardcore scenes). As with most films of this kind, I'm sure there are tons of different edits/versions floating around, but that doesn't mean it was a "lost" film.

      And anyway an hardcore version (credited to director "Don Miller") has been has been available from Alpha Blue archives for years (they sell it on VHS paired with another similar short titled Daughter of Satan). Something Weird Video also used to sell it.

      The guys who announced this are trying to get mileage from to the recent DVD release of Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" -- and it looks like it worked: you think CNN and Reuters would have picked up this story otherwise?

      Nothing to see, move along...

  • Wood (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:53PM (#10659355)
    "The 1971 movie is a porn film documenting the sexual enlightenment of a young couple at the hands of a coven of witches"

    So this is like Blair Witch project meets Deep Throat?
  • imdb (Score:3, Informative)

    by Coneasfast (690509) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:53PM (#10659358)
    imdb link [imdb.com]
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:54PM (#10659364) Homepage Journal
    is that no matter what..he made the movies. Obviously during his time he was a positively horrible producer but he lived his dream.....

    People keep saying his "masterpiece" was Plan 9 but you REALLY should see Glen or Glenda? [imdb.com] if for nothing else the mixture of Bela Lugosi and a buffalo stampede.
  • by StarKruzr (74642) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:56PM (#10659373) Journal
    ... of that Wicked porno which was along the same line as this? Modern-day woman having dreams about her past life as a witch with all kinds of lesbian sex magic and stuff.

    There were some seriously yummy chicks in that movie, but I can't find it anymore.

    Of course, now I'm going to have to buy Ed's movie and see just how much Wood it produces.
  • Dichotomy. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lisandro (799651) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:57PM (#10659381)
    So, the worst filmmaker in history left a PORNO movie which never saw daylight until now. I honestly don't know if i want to see it desperately or steer away from it completely.

    He might have made lousy movies, but porn is porn!
    • You can't have bad porn if the cast is good.
    • by Dark Lord Seth (584963) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @10:04PM (#10659710) Journal
      porn is porn!

      That's what I thought, so I clicked a few random things of a p2p network to download, a few years ago.

      Had to burn my HD in a holy, cleansing fire on consecrated ground with the blessing of the Goddess. You can't simply delete EVIL.

      • You can't simply delete EVIL.

        So sayeth a poster whose nick is Dark Lord Seth =)

        Can you say irony? ;)
      • I clicked a few random things of a p2p network to download, a few years ago. Had to burn my HD in a holy, cleansing fire on consecrated ground with the blessing of the Goddess. You can't simply delete EVIL.

        Here's an evil idea:

        Goatse. The Movie.

        Find out if there is film of the goatse guy (or someone who could plausibly be the same person) doing his... uh, tricks. Splice them together into a short "movie", keep various copies under inappropriate names (e.g. "Britney Spears My Prerogative video.mpg", "S
  • Quotes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FiReaNGeL (312636) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [l3gnaerif]> on Thursday October 28, 2004 @08:59PM (#10659391) Homepage
    It's actually a sad story... the guy had to turn to pr0n industry at some point, because nobody wanted to fund him anymore (I'm sure you can guess why). Here's some quotes from the Reuters article :

    "Struggling to find backers for more mainstream work, Wood turned to smut in the 1960s, making a string of films and "loops" -- short porn flicks shown in coin-operated booths -- up until his death in 1978."

    "This is an old film. It's in the '70s, they're hairy, they don't look the way we are used to now,"

    "He says "Necromania" displays Wood's wit and style and he points to a scene where the main character Danny is struggling to untangle a pair of red pajama bottoms to put them on."

    You KNOW you want to see it! :) There's a trend developing here in Quebec (since about 2 years) where dumb (absurd and bad) humor = good humor... Is it the same way everywhere else? Let's hope it won't spread to movies...

    The movie also include for fans of Ed :
    That film shows the making of Wood's most famous film -- "Plan 9 From Outer Space" from 1956 -- in which actors screw up their lines and "special effects" include pie tins for flying saucers.
    • There's a trend developing here in Quebec (since about 2 years) where dumb (absurd and bad) humor = good humor... Is it the same way everywhere else?

      By everywhere else - do you actualy mean the rest of Canada?

      seriously, I have friends that do collect lame and unfunny humor - and the stuff can be pretty hillarious

    • It's actually a sad story... the guy had to turn to pr0n industry at some point, because nobody wanted to fund him anymore (I'm sure you can guess why)

      He tried so hard for so long, putting his heart into something that he believed in (angora sweater fetishes aside) and never made it into the Hollywood system. At least now his films are well known if only for extreme badness. Plan 9 from Outer Space is widely considered to be the worst film ever.

      I always think of Russ Meyer [imdb.com] (who died just recently) for
      • Plan 9 from Outer Space is widely considered to be the worst film ever.

        Well, actually, designated as such by the noted film intellectual Michael Medved back in his pre-Religious Right days. Today, I imagine he'd give that honor to a picture with more hooters in it.

        rj


        • Today, I imagine he'd give that honor to a picture with more hooters in it.

          Any film with gratuitous hooter exposure are auto-placed in my favourites, that's why I referenced Russ Meyer.

          Porno hooters are just too easy to come by. Oh, crap that sounded like...oh, nevermind.
    • A while ago I saw "Orgy of the Dead", which appeared to be from the same period. I've heard conflicting information about this one - some people say Ed at the time was too drunk to actually do any directing, and just hung around the set hitting on the naked chicks. I tend to disagree - I think the movie definitely bears some of his distinctive touches: the obviously fake gravestones - the sudden, inexplicable changes from day to night - and of course, there's Criswell.

      Worst director of all time? Hardly. E
  • by Anonymous Coward
    First suicide girls, now this. kewl...
  • by sowdog81 (739008) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:00PM (#10659401)
    Seems we're getting more porn related stories. Thats a good thing if you're in doubt.
  • And Now (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ossadagowah (452169) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:20PM (#10659500) Journal
    We must summon Best Brains and reform the MST3K crewe for one final mission ... after they finish with Battlefield Earth.
    • From the MST3K FAQ [mst3kinfo.com]:

      Q: So how come they didn't do "Plan 9 From Outer Space," which is touted the worst movie ever made?
      A: BBI said that they did not want to do this movie for several reasons. First, the voice-over from Criswell would interfere with the commenting that Joel/Mike and the 'bots would make. Second, making fun of this movie is just too easy. Everybody has done it. The Brains would prefer fresh territory. Third, it's kind if redundant: The movie really makes fun of itself.
      Also, while "Plan 9" is
  • Porno huh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Intocabile (532593) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:22PM (#10659512)
    Got Wood?
  • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:47PM (#10659630) Journal
    The measure of a movie maker is not the quality of the final product, but the quality divided by the budget. Did the producer get the the money up on the screen? By this standard, Ed Wood was one of the best movie makers of all time.

    Many modern producers couldn't have breakfast for less than $7,000. The man was a genius.

  • Irony (Score:4, Funny)

    by Savatte (111615) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:57PM (#10659681) Homepage Journal
    A story about a porno, and at the bottom of the slashdot page, I see a quote that says "what is the sound of one hand clapping?"
  • by vert2712 (749612) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @09:58PM (#10659683)
    The DVD version may be new, but it's been out on VHS [alphabluearchives.com] for quite a while...
  • Undead Wood (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @10:10PM (#10659733) Homepage Journal
    Who owns the copyright on this movie? Wood died 26 years ago. These movies were discovered rotting in an LA warehouse. Largely ignored in his lifetime, Wood's audience has created much of the "value" of these films by perpetuating a subculture around them. There's no mention of any copyright holders in the story, even in the story of the people who discovered these copies that are being copied and distributed on DVD - all people who never even knew Wood, or participated in the "life" of these movies until after they were left for dead. If I get a $20 DVD, can't I just set it up on an MPG stream for anyone who wants to pay bandwidth costs like me?
  • by Mr. Cancelled (572486) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @10:14PM (#10659748)
    On a hunch, I popped open a copy of eMule and typed "Necromania" in a search (actually, I'm lazy... I copied & pasted it from the story using my mouse, but I digress...)

    The results were for 100+ sources for "Necromania (E D Wood Jr 1971) VHS-Rip by Davide-466.avi". I'm not saying anyone's lying, or that the copy on emule is even the same thing (we all know it probably is, but whatever...), but the story seems to indicate that this guy went through a lot of time and effort to locate "the" copy. And I quote...

    Rudolph Grey, author of a biography of the director, and a fellow Ed Wood enthusiast, movie distributor Alexander Kogan, unearthed "Necromania" in a warehouse in Los Angeles after more than 15 years of detective work.

    I'm guessing the guy coulda saved a lotta time if he'd just looked on a p2p service. While it's probably not as nice as the master he found hopfully is, it doesn't appear that this movie was ever truly lost, as the article leads you to believe.
    • Obviously, there's going to be a certain loss of quality...

      Obviously, there's going to be a certain loss of fidelity if you make a DVD from a rip of a VHS tape. Chances are that they found a copy closer to the original than was previously available.
  • by nels_tomlinson (106413) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @10:14PM (#10659749) Homepage
    Plan 9 [wikipedia.org] can't be all bad: they named an operating system [bell-labs.com] after it.
  • William Hung?

    Actually, nevermind - William Hung probably had more success.
  • Considered the worst film maker of all time, Ed Wood

    Oh come on! I can think of a few that are worse than Ed Wood:

    And many others...

    Despite his incompetence, Wood had a goofy earnestness that made his films at least watchable.

  • by vossman77 (300689) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:55AM (#10662570) Homepage
    Found link on Fleshbot.com:
    [WARNING EXPLICIT]

    Ed Wood's "Necromania": Opening Credits
    Link here [fleshbot.com]

    quicktime movie

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