How could it be that Ed Wood, Jr., the young man who wore a woman's bra and panties at the Battle of Tarawa in World War II, went on to become the Orson Welles of low-budget films? Through film clips, still photos and exte... more »nsive interviews with the bizarre cadre of actors, ministers and girlfriends who were involved in such projects as Woods' "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and "Glen or Glenda?," this feature film explores the man and the cult legend that has sprung up since his death. Wood's status as the Worst Filmmaker of All Times has brought him posthumous acclaim in both the film and art worlds--a recognition hardly imaginable to the man who died penniless and unknown in the late 1970s.« less
"`Haunted world' was made in 1996, two years after the Tim Burton movie and consists mainly of (unbelievably staged) interviews with a select few people. Oddly enough did those who get the most airtime (Vampira, Gregory Walcott, Rev. Lynn Lemon) work with Wood on `Plan 9' only, while the people who worked with Wood throughout his career (make-up artist Harry Thomas, actors Paul Marco and Conrad Brooks) are largely ignored. Sleaze-director Steven Apostolof with whom Wood worked for many years does not appear, and the entire 10-year decline into soft core porn is covered with a single cut from "Orgy of the Dead", never to be mentioned again. Haunted World boldly claims that these people haven't spoken out for 20 years. Obviously this is wishful nonsense, since most of the actors appeared in the four year older Ed Wood bio-pic "Flying saucers over Hollywood", and were also interviewed by Rudolph Grey for his book. Haunted World does not mention any of these, and those of the cast who mention Tim Burton's movie do so only to complain about their own portrayal. One gets the uneasy impression that the main motivation behind "Haunted World" is to allow the actors to paint a more flattering picture of themselves than Burton did.Haunted World never really takes off. It does not have the spontaneity of "Flying saucers" and has a strange phobia of leaving the studio. Where "Flying Saucers" took us on location, `haunted world' has only miniatures of the exact same locations.It must be noted that the main reason for making this movie was Crawford Thomas' initiative to release the 22-minute "Crossroads of Laredo". Co-produced with, and directed by Wood. It was never finished and the fragments were stored in Thomas' garage. Interviews with Ed Wood's friends and actors were meant to pad out the release, but quickly ballooned into a separate feature. Haunted World covers familiar ground and is not an essential buy as such. It attempts to be a serious homage to Wood, yet lacks the structure of Grey's book and the chirpy enthusiasm of "Flying Saucers", but the Wood completionist will want this for "Crossroads of Laredo"."
Can your mind stand the shocking truth?
Brad Baker | Atherton, Ca United States | 06/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Crafted with great respect, director Brett Thompson has fashioned a smart, sentimental journey back into the mind and movies of one Edward D. Wood, Jr.. He's done it rather well. Ed Wood and Orson Welles used their own money and private resources to finance the original "Independent Movies" of the 1950's and 1960's. Welles you've heard of. And today, we also remember Ed Wood. He directed the still humorous classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space". Ed Wood was so broke he couldn't pay the lab to develop the film on his last movie. "We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives". Those were his words. This is his life. A complete work of love, "The Haunted World of Ed Wood" reviews his first 5 movies, his amusing Hollywood antics, and his own personal decline. Bulging with special features, easter eggs, interviews, premieres, and memorials, "The Haunted World of Ed Wood" chronicles the now famous B-picture director and casts bright lights on a 1950's Hollywood we can no longer find. From Vampira to Bela Lugosi(including rare 1932 interviews), actors living and dead are interviewed(where possible) for this tribute to the sexually ambiguous Wood. This brand new DVD enhances the original 1995 documentary and includes the first complete release of Wood's 22-minute western, "Crossroads of Laredo(featuring director Wood acting in 3 small parts)". Somewhere in another dimension, in a place known as B-picture heaven, the fog is starting to lift. The lights have flickered on. The camera box is dirty. There's dust on the lens. The actors flub their lines. The cardboard set shakes a little. Somebody mutters about getting paid. Ed Wood is making a movie."
Welcome To Ed Wood's Wacky World
Mike King | Taunton, MA United States | 01/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's clear that Brett Thompson's documentary about Ed Wood was thoroughly researched and well made. Ed Wood comes across as a director with limited talent but unlimited enthusiasm, who had a real love for making movies. Most people remembered Ed fondly, but a few did not have kind things to say about him. Bela Lugosi, Jr. called Ed a user and a loser, who put his famous father in his movies just to capitalize on Lugosi's celebrity status. What he fails to mention is that, by the time Ed Wood met him, Bela Lugosi was a has been that nobody else would even hire. Gregory Walcott, who played the pilot Jeff Trent in "Plan 9 From Outer Space," likened the movie's production to a grade school play. I give Brett Thompson credit for including those interviews, to balance the documentary with those who only praised Ed's efforts. The biggest complaint I have about this documentary is the fact that it doesn't include Ed Wood's work in soft-core pornographic movies, acting in "Pretty Models All In A Row" and directing "Necromania," his final film. While it's sad to see what depths Ed had sunk to in his later years, it was an important part of his life that is entirely omitted. The highest praise I have is for one of the DVD's many bonus features. They managed to find and restore "Crossroads Of Laredo," Ed Wood's very first directorial effort. That alone is worth the price of this DVD."
ellafan | MI | 05/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A very touching film about a very nice man,who happened to be a lousy director..but he had heart,and he was a decent fellow,it seems.I have laughed myself silly watching his movies,and maybe I shouldn't have..but he was so awful,I couldn't help myself. That's not to say his films aren't entertaining.They most certainly are,and I think this film is a nice tribute to the man who never gave up,despite the cold-shoulder he got from mainstream Hollywood .
It's too bad he is famous world-wide now,and he isn't here to know it.Maybe he is up there,dressed in his angora wings,sitting on a satin pillow,smiling down on those of us who have come to love his weird little films."
The Haunted World of Ed Wood -- worth watching
ellafan | 03/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who has ever seen or heard of Edward D. Wood, Jr. knows what he or she is getting into before the opening credits. "The Haunted World of Ed Wood" does a credible job of portraying the man as well as his manic life. Whether it's Gregory Walcotts' condescending nastiness or a funny, insightful Vampira (who, by the way is "hotter" at 80 then she was at 25!), I appreciate the inclusion of the good as well as the bad. For Ed Wood fans, this little gem is well worth seeing. At the end of the "Plan 9 Companion" the narrator says, "Ed Wood did his best to make an entertaining film and succeeded-if not exactly in all the ways he may have intended." I think that says it all."