(Review originally written at 19 July 2008)

Dialog in Ed Wood movies are often among the worst you'll ever hear in any movie. It's tone cringing and hilariously bad at times. Especially also hilarious how Ed Wood tried to put in humor into this movie. Wood perhaps wasn't the worst director of all time but he might very well be the worst writer of all time. This movie its story is also really confusing to follow, since it just doesn't make much sense. It's a movie with many sub-plots, rather than one clear main plot and the movie focuses too much on too many different characters, rather than it has one clear and likable main character. The movie misses a Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson or Vampira.

But I have to hand Ed Wood one thing. Some of his movies handle for its time some sensitive and daring themes. He previously for instance did this before with his movie "Glenn or Glenda", which was about transvestites and more or less also with his movie "Plan 9 From Outer Space" which had some social criticism in it. "The Sinister Urge" concentrates on the world of pornography. Of course not a subject that would often be handled 'seriously' in '60's movies. Ironicaly enough Wood himself would land into the world of soft-core porn movie making after this film as a director, writer and (unfortunatly also) actor. It's especially since this movie tries to show how 'evil' pornography is. It even turns people into serial killers. Especially the dialog explaining how evil it all is, is extremely moralistic and completely totally horrible. I actually also would suspect that the portrayal of the porn industry is far from the truth and how it was at the time. So it's also really doubtful that Ed Wood actually did some research for his movie.

Continuety is a big problem and the editing often doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Character positions and even car models change suddenly in between different cuts. It's also quite hilarious that the movie at times recycles some of its sequence and of course Wood also uses some archive footage again, this time even from some of his previous movies, of which some got never completed. This movie might very well feature the worst editing out of all Ed Wood movie's.

Ed Wood was basically also really an horrible actors director. The acting is extremely wooden and the actors obviously at times don't know how to act or move, probably because they themselves had a hard time understanding the script or what Wood wanted from them.

Of course the budget was also obviously low again for Mr. Wood. This means that the movie is mostly being shot at location and inside small studios, with cardboard sets and hardly any dressing to it, expect for a desk, a phone and a map of the world. Ed Wood always had a hard time finding financiers for his movies. This movie was perhaps the last straw for him and the reason why he for a while quite film-making after this in, in order to pursuit a writing career, before venturing himself into the world of soft-core porn movie-making.

Edward D. Wood Jr's last 'serious' film-making attempt is consistent with the movies he did prior to this movie. So Mr. Wood ends in style with "The Sinister Urge".


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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