The Johnny Depp Archive

Ed Wood (1994)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones

Directed by: Tim Burton

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi with Ed Wood

Directed by Tim Burton, this wonderful film celebrates the work of infamous B-movie director/writer/producer and actor ('And you know the only other person who can do that? Orson Welles!') Edward D Wood Jr., creator of such unintentionally but hilariously crap films as Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster and, most famously, Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Ed Wood

It seems only natural that a quirky, offbeat and maverick character like Wood should attract the attentions of quirky, offbeat and maverick director Tim Burton, and that he should rope in quirky, offbeat (okay, okay we get the picture) actor Johnny Depp to play him. Sporting bucky front teeth and occasionally an angora sweater, Depp was born to play Ed Wood: his wide eyed exuberance and buoyant optimisim are entrancing, and certainly explain why the motley crew of hasbeens and misfits Wood attracts are tempted to throw in their lot with him and, er, make truly terrible movies.

However, even Depp is in danger of being upstaged by Martin Landau, who gives the performance of a lifetime as ageing, morphine addicted Dracula star Bela Lugosi. Landau doesn't just look and sound like Lugosi, he is Lugosi, a mirror-image portrait coloured in turn by humour, horror and pathos. Watch out for the 'octopus with no octopus motor' scene - it's a classic.

The Real Ed Wood

Shot entirely in black and white, the camera work, lighting and spooooky music beautifully evoke the mood of a 1950s B-movie. If you've ever seen any of Ed Wood's movies (and if you haven't you really, really should, they are wonderfully entertaining) it's great to see them recreated so faithfully - paper plate flying saucers, cardboard tombstones, rubber octopuses and all. A classic, and the ideal tribute to a man who was a visionary genius in his own ridiculous way. Cut. Perfect!

Find out more about Ed Wood here
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