Well, I can't say this is a bad documentary but it isn't one that is being terribly interesting or well made either. Guess it serves its purpose but I did wish it covered some more new grounds and explored more of Edward D. Wood Jr.'s life and especially his personality.

The thing is that this documentary won't offer anything new for the Ed Wood enthusiasts and those who aren't interested in Wood's persona or movies probably won't even watch this movie in the first place. So who does this documentary appeal to exactly and what audience did it got made for? It just isn't being clear enough for me to say but having said all of that, this is not a bad watch and it at least features a ton of Wood regulars in it, not saying anything new really but it's still interesting to hear their side of things, though it at times doesn't gives you a clear view of things since sometimes everybody is telling you are different version of things, so you still don't know what is being totally true and what's not.

I was actually surprised to see the amount of people, who were once involved with Wood, they got in front of the camera to speak. Not just the obvious persons like Dolores Fuller, Vampira, Conrad Brooks and Paul Marco but also people such Norma McCarty, who he was married with for one day and reverend Lynn Lemon, who pretty much got ripped off for money by Wood. This is sort of refreshing that it's not just being a documentary in which everybody is saying good things about its main subject but there is also definitely criticism and times in which Wood's bad sides and mannerisms get emphasized. Especially Bela Lugosi Jr. makes it very clear he did not liked Wood at all and hated him for what he did to the final years of his father's career and life.

It was also nice to see Lyle Talbot in this, who starred in a couple of the most infamous Wood movies and died in the same year as this documentary got released, at the age of 94, making this documentary probably the last thing he appeared in.

As strange as it might sound, I'm a really big Ed Wood admirer, not because of the quality of his movies but the way he always got them made and the love and passion he put in to them. He by no means was the worst director that ever lived but it's definitely fact he was one of the absolute worst writers out there. But I still don't feel I truly understand the true person and this documentary didn't do anything to change that. I wished it delved a bit deeper into his personality and private live and not just focused on his movies and the people he was involved with so much.

Of course I still learned some new stuff from this documentary and it does contain some unique footage, such as the first commercial Wood directed in the '40's. But the things I mostly learned from this documentary were mostly non-Wood related, such as Vampira being a bit of a wild thing when it came to men and especially celebrities. I never knew she was involved with Orson Welles more than once in his life. They were lovers, as Vampira is not reluctant to tell you about, even though she didn't really got asked about it and then suddenly pretends as if it's something she doesn't want to talk about too much or go into detail about it.

The documentary isn't shot all that interesting. It just consists out of a bunch of Wood regulars sitting around, getting interviewed and some archive footage, from mostly Wood's own work. At times it even looks and feels as if the interviews got shot in different years and this documentary is just a compilation of already existing interviews, though I doubt this really was the case though.

It perhaps was also a bit of a problem that the documentary makers obviously were Wood admirers, just happy to do this and to talk to some of the people who appeared in his movies, or that were involved with him in another way. It makes this movie of a happy and entertaining documentary, rather than an interesting and insightful one. I'm not complaining all that much about it though, since I still had a good time watching it, as any other Wood enthusiast should be able to do.


About Frank Veenstra

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