Weird! Wild! Wood! The most legendary B-movie director of all time, Edward D. Wood, Jr. assaulted audiences worldwide with a string of bizarre, no-budget fusions of horror, science fiction, noir and comedy. Now his oddball... more » legacy is finally collected in one indispensable box set! Feast your eyes on his first feature, the madcap Glen or Glenda? in which Eddie himself portrays a transvestite struggling with his addiction to angora while Bela Lugosi offers inscrutable narration. Blackmail, outlaws on the run, and plastic surgery collide in the surreal crime drama Jail Bait, featuring a young Steve Reeves (Hercules), while Bela returns to create the Bride of the Monster in a heady collision of atomic experiments, a rampaging octopus and clumsy assistant Lobo (played by wrestler Tor Johnson). Wood's indisputable disasterpiece, Plan 9 from Outer Space, offers pie-plate flying saucers, incompetent alien leaders, all-seeing psychic Criswell, goth favorite Vampira and a post-mortem appearance by Lugosi himself in his last film role. Then Lobo and a phony spiritualist usher in a Night of the Ghouls at a spooky marsh filled with shuffling undead and wailing ghosts. Finally, learn all about the man himself with The Haunted World of Ed Wood, a comprehensive disc packed with interviews, film clips, TV rarities and much more! It's enough to make you scream!« less
"I got this in the mail the other day, and what a great set! For the price it costs to buy "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "Bride of the Monster" together, you get ALL the films of Ed Wood -- minus the pornographic ones he slunk down to making at the end of his career -- in one convenient box. (Note: These are NOT newly rereleased DVDs, just the same ones from Image Entertainment all bundled together at a low price.)
Ed Wood is labeled the "Worst Director of All Time", but that really isn't true. These movies not only feature Bela Lugosi in his final roles, but they are also great entertainment in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. For a movie to be the worst movie of all time, it can't have any entertainment value whatsoever. I'd rather watch an Ed Wood movie than a Freddie Prinze Jr. movie any day.
The picture on these DVDs is grainy, and that can be a good or a bad thing depending on who you are. For me, it's a good thing because it helps to hide some of the weaker special effects.
Amazon.com doesn't list the special features, so I will list them for you: theatrical trailers for "Glen or Glenda", "Bride of the Monster", and "Plan 9"; FLYING SAUCERS OVER HOLLYWOOD -- the excellent two-hour retrospective documentary about the making of Plan 9. And you get a bonus DVD, "The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr.", containing audio commentary by Bela Lugosi Jr., "A&E Biography"'s interview with Brett Thompson and Mike Gabriel, the Sci Fi Channel's news coverage of the world premiere, a collection of outtakes and behind the scenes footage, films of the Ed Wood Reunion at the Palm Springs Film Festival and the biggest Wood parade at the Hollywood premiere, galleries, and Ed Wood's rarely seen 23-minute first film CROSSROADS OF LAREDO.
P.S. As of this review, Amazon.com says it will take two to four weeks for this item to ship. That's ridiculous. I ordered this set from another online retailer, and I got it three days later."
The Ultimate Ed Wood Experience!
Richard Worley | Riverside, CA | 11/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set is just about perfect, even more so when compared to the previously-released, "Worst of Ed Wood" box set, this set fixes everything that was wrong with that one.. firstly, the name of that other set, which always just rubbed me the wrong way.. sure, they're "bad" films, but they're also some of the most entertaining things you'll ever sit through, and whether they're entertaining in the way Ed intended or not, he is the one who made the films, and now this DVD company is making money off his work, so it just seems really wrong for them to have a slam like that in the actual title of the box.
From the packaging-- pink angora with octopus tentacles-- to the extras, this set is what that other set should have been, and at about half the price! The sixth disk includes a very informative documentary, but not just that, it has a huge amount of special features, including commentary on the documentary and Ed's long unavailable first short film, and commentary on that too.. and galleries of additional archive footage, etc.. This is truly a special-edition kind of treatment, and not at all what you'd expect for DVD's of this particular kind of film. Then there is a second 2-hour documentary on the Plan 9 disk.. this documentary was the only special feature on the previous box, and if you watched it by itself you would probably get the feeling that it's just scratching the surface.. but now in this new box set it provides a perfect companion to the other full documentary.. the two of them together truly make a worth-while viewing experience, because they each often tell opposite versions of the stories of Ed's life, and interview different people at different points in their lives.. Watching the two of them together, in combination with Tim Burton's Ed Wood film, you can really start to form your own opinions on Wood in an informed manner, rather than just spitting back one other person's views.. All together these features give you depth rarely seen even on big-budget special editions of major films.
And, maybe more importantly than all of that, this film includes the 5th of Ed's "major films"-- The unofficial sequel to "Bride of the Monster".. the film never released in Ed's lifetime because he didn't have the money to get it developed: "Night of the Ghouls". Without that film, the other box set was just kinda incomplete. I'm totally happy with this package.. can't think of anything bad to say about it, except that I feel kinda sorry for the people who paid $90 to get that other box set. Oh well, live and learn.. don't feel bitter.. get this one too. And while you're at it, grab Tim Burton's Ed Wood.. which is really a great film in it's own way, and a very good DVD edition, and long over-due for release on the format.
And remember: future events such as these may affect YOU in the future."
Ed Wood: "He Tampered In God's Domain!"
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 10/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Edward D. Wood Jr. was born in 1924 in Poughkeepsie, New York; spent his youth torn between comic books, pulp fiction, and movie matinees; and after a World War II stint in the Marines landed in Hollywood with an itch to wear women's clothing, drink to excess, and make movies. The result was a series of remarkably atrocious low-budget movies of the "so bad its good" variety, and this inexpensive box set offers not only the best know titles but unexpected bonuses as well.
Filmed in 1953, GLEN OR GLENDA is Ed Wood's ode to the joys and tragedies of cross dressing, featuring Wood himself as the conflicted hero and Delores Fuller as the girlfriend who keeps wondering why her angora sweaters are stretched out of shape. The 1954 JAIL BAIT is a riff on teenagers gone bad and is often described as the best made of Wood's films--but the term "best made" is extremely comparative, to say the least. The 1955 BRIDE OF THE MONSTER is the only Wood film that actually made back its cost; featuring a desperate Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, a rubber octopus, and a laboratory helmet that looks suspiciously like a collander, it is easily a Wood fan favorite. The 1959 NIGHT OF THE GHOULS is a kinda-sorta sequel, featuring Tor Johnson once again in a remarkably silly story of fraudulent spiritualists who bite off more ghosts than they can chew.
The most celebrated title, of course, is the 1959 PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, infamous as the film built around about five minutes of film Wood took of Bela Lugosi shortly before Lugosi's death. Fans have attempted to catalogue every error in the film, but it is inexhaustible: no matter how many goofs, mistakes, and disasters you notice, you always see one or two more with every viewing. Day turns to night and then to day--all in the same scene. Cars unexpectedly change year and model from cut to cut. Flying saucers cast shadows in outer space. The list is endless.
NIGHT OF THE GHOULS was never actually released during Wood's life time: he couldn't afford to pay the lab fees for a print of the film, and since the film was never issued the transfer is unexpectedly good. This is not the case with the other titles, all of which were pretty battered by the time video and DVD technology arrived on the scene--but this actually part of their charm. And the set includes an unexpected dollop of bonus material.
The big bonus here is THE HAUNTED WORLD OF ED WOOD JR, a 1996 documentary that intercuts various bits of Wood movies with archeival footage of Wood and his circle and interviews with those who knew him, including his leading ladies Delores Fuller, Mona McKinnon, Loretta King, and Vampira (aka Maila Syrjaniemi.) Perhaps the most interesting subject is Bela Lugosi Jr., who is extremely forthright in his opinion of Ed Wood as a cheapjack opportunist who hitched his wagon to a fading and desperate, not out of genuine affection for Bela Lugosi Sr. but to further his own ends. Coming in a close second in bonus material is SAUCERS OVER HOLLYWOOD: THE PLAN 9 COMPANION, which draws from many of the same sources as HAUNTED but which focuses on this specific film.
While it is true that the set does not include every scrap of Ed Wood material available--for a tenth rate director-writer-actor he was remarkably prolific, racking up fifty credits on such films as THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST and ORGY OF THE DEAD--it will hit the spot for all but the most diehard fan. Ed Wood will never appeal to a wide audience, but if you have the warped sense of humor required to appreciate his films, you'll find this set indispensible.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer"
Perfectly dreadful (in the best way)
Mojo Jojo | 06/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I haven't had a chance to check out all the DVDs in this set yet, but from what I've seen, you couldn't find a better compilation of our dear Mr. Wood.
These films are bad, but let me state, for the record, that they are not the worst films ever. As something of a bad movie connoisseur, I've seen dozens of movies that make "Glen or Glenda" seem like "Citizen Kane". The thing about Ed Wood is that while his films aren't very good, they're just bad enough to still find amusing. I think Ed could've been a competent, maybe even good, director/writer if he'd ever gotten a real shot. Alas, he never got that chance, instead struggling in low budget hell.
The extras are what really won me over in this set. There's an entire documentary on Ed's life that I found both hillarious and quite tragic. If you've seen Burton's "Ed Wood" film, you don't really know the true Ed Wood. There's also another doc on "Plan 9" that was just fascinating. They even find the "Studio" where the movie was shot. Just amazing.
If you like bad movies (but not too bad), you'll enjoy this set. Ed never got his break, but at least he still lives on. Maybe he was a genius after all. "
So much Wood, so little money
S. Kingsley | Indiana, USA | 10/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You will never get this much Wood for the money at any lumberyard. Nobody will ever accuse Ed Wood of being in Spielberg's or Lucas' class, but he certainly ain't the worst director of all time. I think you will have to look to Phil Tucker or even Roger Corman for that. And Plan 9 is NOWHERE near being the worst movie ever made.
Actually, the best movie of the set is Bride of the Monster, where a well advanced in years and heavily addicted to morphine Bela Lugosi proved that he could still act even under the most unfavorable of circumstances. Ed Wood deserves a Nobel Prize for allowing Bela to go out on his feet doing the thing he loved the best. And don't forget that former Mr. America Steve Reeves later of Hercules fame got his acting start in Jail Bait, although I found the speed guitar score annoying to the point of wanting to turn the sound off.
And Plan 9 is, well, Plan 9. One of the all time sci-fi classics. Sure, it was shot on the cheap in a studio the size of a phone booth with cardboard headstones and misfit actors but it had a cohesive plot and there was never a dull moment. I can't say the same about much of the garbage being vomited out by Hollywood THESE days. Do yourself a favor and buy this box set, it's more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Wherever did that saying come from, a barrel of monkeys would be dangerous, not fun. I gave it five stars, but it really deserves ten.
P.S. OMG, they have re-made Plan 9!!!!! It is in post production and set for release fall of '10.