Ed Wood, Mad Genius

A Critical Study of the Films


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SKU: 9780786439553 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

Filmmaker Ed Wood was controversial and critically maligned, even labeled “the worst director of all time,” yet he achieved cult status and remains of great interest today. This book frames Wood’s work, such as the cross-dressing themed Glen or Glenda? and the haphazard Bride of the Monster, as reflections of the culture of their era. Wood invariably worked with infinitesimal budgets, shooting at breakneck speed, incorporating plot twists that defied all logic. Yet there was a tangible if unfocused thematic thrust to Wood’s films, which meditate fitfully on gender, religion and society, revealing a “holy trinity” of fixations—sex, death and resurrection. Wood’s infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space encapsulates the fixations and flaws that were his hallmarks, and with 22 other films, is explored here. A filmography and 47 photographs are included.

About the Author(s)

Rob Craig has been writing about cult film for more than twenty years. His work has been published in such magazines as Videoscope, Screem and Horror-Wood.

Bibliographic Details

Rob Craig
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 314
Bibliographic Info: 47 photos, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3955-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5423-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. Selected Short Subjects      9
2. Glen or Glenda? (1953)      23
3. Jail Bait (1954)      69
4. Bride of the Monster (1956)      83
5. Sex and the Subversive Screenplay      104
6. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)      138
7. Night of the Ghouls (ca. 1959)      178
8. The Sinister Urge (1960)      200
9. Orgy of the Dead (1965)      217
10. Necromania—A Tale of Weird Love (1971)      242
11. Sexploitation Superstar      252
12. Ed Wood Rises from the Dead!      276

Filmography      283
Chapter Notes      291
Bibliography      299
Index      300

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Excellent”—Plan 9 Crunch
  • “Serious study…long overdue”—VideoScope
  • “Fascinating reading”—Standard-Examiner