Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Glen or Glenda Odyssey, Part Two by Greg Dziawer

Even in death, Ed Wood managed to get bad reviews.

Snips and Snails

You know the storyThe Medved brothers' The Golden Turkey Awards was published in 1980, a few years after Edward D. Wood, Jr.'s passing. The book cited Plan 9 from Outer Space and Wood as, respectively, the "worst" film ever made by the "worst" director of all time. The "so bad it's good" cult film phenomenon didn't start there, but for Wood, it posthumously resurrected his career (shades of Plan 9). Paramount Studios, apparently smelling blood in the water, picked up the rights to Glen or Glenda in 1981 in the wake of Ed's crowning as schlock auteur par excellence.

Viewpoints on Ed and his work continue to morph over time. In this week's Ed Wood Wednesdays, we're taking a literal snapshot of the life of the inestimable cultural artifact that is Ed Wood's epic Glen or Glenda—I'm dead seriousat an unfortunate point in time in Woodology, yet arguably a point without which having occurred there'd be no Woodology today. 

As reviews and news articles show, the early '80s relaunch of Glenda didn't go as Paramount had planned. I snipped a few newspaper clippings from then, of a consistent and cynical viewpoint. The quoting of (ludicrous) lines that don't even appear in Glen or Glenda really pisses me off! It's also instructive to see how Glenda played elsewhere, the Aussies reveling in the "bad" movie viewpoint then in vast majority, while going far beyond in decrying the film for its cringe-worthy stereotyping.