Glen or Glenda? (1953, 67 min.) - He loved women so much, he dared to dress like one! With Bela Lugosi as the "puppet master" and director Ed Wood himself in the title role, this film is a wildly entertaining plea for acce... more »ptance in the world of sexual confusion. "Jail Bait" (1954, 70 min.) - Inspired by TV's "Dragnet," this Ed Wood film tells of a rich but troubled young man who kills a cop and has plastic surgery to hide his identity. Starring sex kitten Dolores Fuller and introducing a young Steve Reeves. "Bride of the Monster" (1956, 69 min.) - Dr. Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi), with his crazed man-beast servant Lobo, is conducting flesh-burning radiation experiments in an attempt to create a legion of atomic supermen in one of cult filmmaker Ed Wood's best efforts. "Plan 9 from Outer Space (Special Edition)" (1956, 78 min.) - This legendary turkey features aliens in skating skirts zooming around in string-powered flying saucers to conquer the Earth with an army of zombies (well, three actually). Includes the 111 min. documentary "Flying Saucers Over Hollywood."« less
The Encyclopedia Tromatica | Fort Worth, TX | 04/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Before you get too excited over this, you should know that these are Wade Williams releases, and as such they are quite cheap in terms of quality. Three of the DVDs contain no extra features at all, having only the movie and a theatrical trailer.A further problem is with the sound on these DVDs. All except for "Plan 9 From Outer Space" sound muted. I can't understand why Wade Williams didn't clear these problems up, or at the very least hired somebody like Cary Roan to do so.But all of my complaining aside, these are enjoyable films, despite this treatment. They are, in order:1) "Glen or Glenda" (1953, 68 minutes): Ed Wood's first major film! A very poorly acted retelling of the making of this movie can be found in the Tim Burton movie, but this is the original article, one of the more beloved of films by Ed Wood fans. This is also his most autobiographical, in it's tale of a man who enjoys dressing in women's clothing and has an angora fetish. With Bela Lugosi and Dolores Fuller.2) "Jail Bait" (1954, 71 mins.): No mention of this movie was made in the "Ed Wood" film, due perhaps to the fact that Bela Lugosi was not in this. A part had been written for Bela, but the venerable actor was in the hospital when this was made. The part that Lugosi would have play, kindly Dr. Boris Gregor, went to actor Herbert Rawlinson. This is the most boring of titles in this collection; I think that it would have been better had they substituted "Night of the Ghouls" for this.3) "Bride of the Monster" (1956, 69 mins.): This was always my personal favourite of all of Wood's movies. I don't know why. Bela's final film with Ed during his lifetime, playing mad scientist Eric Vornoff, striving to create a race of atomic supermen who can, apparently, deflect bullets by scowling at them. This introduces Paul Marco as Kelton the cop, a part that he would reprise for the Ed Wood movies "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "Night of the Ghouls".4)"Plan 9 From Outer Space" (1959, 78 mins.): The best of the discs! The quality of this disc more than makes up for the lack in the others. The box says "almost starring Bela Lugosi", and this DVD has the best individual container, as well as the best looking disc. With Vampira, Jerome King Criswell, Tor Johnson, Conrad Brooks, and the wonderful Paul Marco, this is the tale of a group of aliens activating their 9th plan to take over Earth (the first 8 plans failed). This one also contains the documentary film "Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: The Plan 9 Companion. This documentary is much longer than the original film, and provides a much more accurate view of this movie than Burton was capable of bringing to the screen.If you are a Woodian I would suggest you get this collection; if you are only curious you would probably do better to buy any one of these individually to see if you like it. It is my hope that soon enough of Ed Wood's remaining films will be available on DVD for "The Worst of Ed Wood II"."
What is Bad?
Jonathan Schaper | London, Ontario Canada | 06/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ed Wood's movies sure aren't "bad". As far as I'm concerned, the only way a movie can be bad is if it is neither intellectually stimulating or entertaining. Sure, Ed Wood's films won't get you thinking, but when he set out to make his films his only goal was to entertain, and this is a goal he certainly accomplished. Of course, just because something is not bad doesn't mean it is great either, but if you judge Ed Wood's films by their entertainment value, they are some of the best ever made.Sure, some of the entertainment value of Wood's films comes from his inept direction, stilted dialogue, and obviously poor budgets, but despite this, his films have a great sense of sincerity and enthusiasm to them which make them endearing and contagious. When I watch a Wood film, I don't just laugh AT them (which is something I do), I also laugh WITH them. It is clear Wood is having fun and wants his audience to have fun as well. And what a brave and daring filmmaker he was! Look at the subject matter of "Glen or Glenda", in which he so readily bared his soul about being a transvestite at the risk of public rejection and humiliation, especially considering the time period it was made! Also, at a time when any actor who was a little bit different was being blacklisted, Ed Wood was willing to cast a known drug addict (Bela Lugosi), homosexuals, and other misfits like Swedish wrestling star Tor Johnson. Later directors like Fellini (who goes out of his way to cast unusual people) owe a great debt to Ed Wood.And you don't get the sense that Wood's in it for the profit or glory, but instead that he is a genuinely nice guy who is in it for his own fun and because he cares about the audience.And what imagination! Look for example at "Plan 9 From Outer Space". You don't get the usual alien invasion story which was being rehashed over and over in 1950s sci-fi. You also get zombies and vampires at a time they were rarely appearing in movies! And instead of having the aliens unseen in their flying saucers, you get to meet them and learn something of their motivations. He also creates a sympathetic zombie played by Bela Lugosi/Bela Lugosi's wife's chiropractor by showing how he died from grief over his wife's death. No one-dimensional characters here! And even in a movie like "Glenn or Glenda", which is about transvestism, he manages to get in footage of such things as WWII Pacific warfare and Bela Lugosi playing the evil puppetmaster PULLING "THE STRINGS!!" of society, and making us dance like his mindless slaves!My only quible with this collection is that they should have included "Night of the Ghouls" (the sequel to "Bride of the Monster") instead of "Jail Bait" (not one of his more entertaining -- its misleading title refers to a gun). But if you enjoy "Plan 9", you should enjoy this box set.Yes, it is sometimes fun to watch Wood's movies merely because they are so "bad". But as far as I'm concerned, Ed Wood's films deserve a place in the Criterion collection as some of the most entertaining movies ever made."
M. T Wire | Fort Wayne, IN United States | 10/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I never dreamed it could be that bad.. So bad, in fact, that it's worth getting... For classic camp, this is the set to get. Don't expect great effects, (you can see the strings through most of planet 9).. ;) Don't expect acting worthy of a raspberry award, what you can expect is to laugh yourself into a coma, cause this is some of the worst stuff in existance!! Great fun!!!"
mencken61 | Metairie, La. United States | 03/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here was a man who loved what he did. He could have been the fellow from "The Loved One" who delighted in his job at the pet cemetary; he could have been the gardner who loved the blossoms; he may even have been a Louisiana governer grinning over his goats before the FBI called. Ed was enamored of the movies' esthetic arts. And I am enamored of the the Bardot of fifty years ago--neither has a grasp on the way things actually are. In this set we find four of Ed's meisterwerk's: "Glen or Glenda" (I always thought the devil would be better dressed), "Jailbait" (the youngest member of the cast may be Lyle Talbot--I suspect false advertising), "Bride of the Monster" (c'mon--Loretta King resisted all liquids--why should we believe we should be killed by a sea creature?), and "Plan 9" (the aply named Dudley Manlove's line "All you of earth are idiots" suddenly seems a truism). I cannot recommend this set for nitpickers or other such maniacs, but for those who crave a laugh: buy it."
Patmc7 | Canada | 06/26/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Plan 9, like all Ed Wood films, has become too well known to properly be considered cult. This was someone who sincerely tried to make films without any budget whatsoever. The fact that these even made it into theatres was an accomplishment.While Plan 9 is often considered the worst film, it isn't as bad is most make it out to be. One can watch this film from beginning to end without the urge to throw one's television out the window (try that with Howard The Duck). Granted he didn't produce much quality in his work, but had he been given a real budget who knows what he could have produced."