Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Dziawer Odyssey, Part Four

Eros and Tana from Plan 9 wearing some of Ed Wood's favorite accessories
Eros and Thanatos: A Neck Scarf Odyssey
"Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies."
Ezekiel 1:11

I've mentioned before that the Swedish Erotica pornographic loop series on which a destitute Edward D. Wood, Jr. labored in the early 1970s ultimately adopted silk and chiffon neck scarves as de rigueur attire for its actresses. These fashion accessories—in a variety of colors, typically saturated, some even adorned with patterns—became signatures of the series. The scarves also show up across several related loop series produced by the Bloom family from 1975 to 1978 and even beyond. Danish Films, Danish International Films, Swedish Erotica Classics and—needless to say—the flagship Swedish Erotica series all extolled the scarf.

In my research, I learned that Ed was cashing a check from Art Publishers, Inc. (a classy-sounding alias for the Bloom/Caballero/Swedish Erotica porn empire) for the better part of the last two years of his life, a period in which he was previously thought to be unemployed. Those scarves, then, were with him for most of the decade.

The scarf-wearing ladies of Swedish Erotica, including Desiree Coussteau (left and bottom right).

Somewhere in this crazy obsession of mine, I was paging through images of movie posters in which Ed's friend and collaborator Kenne Duncan appeared, and images of colorful neck scarves started to bounce around in my head. Kenne also donned a bright yellow scarf in the "trick shooting" film he and Ed made as a promo for Remington rifles in the 1960s. Ed's childhood hero, B-list cowboy actor Buck Jones, most often went open-necked, but inevitably he, too, wore the scarf, as in the poster for 1930's The Lone Rider.

(left) Buck Jones donning a scarf; (right) Two images of a scarf-wearing Kenne Duncan.
Actress Rene Bond wore a scarf,
of course, in Ed Wood's Bloom-produced adult feature Necromania (1970), a unique button-up scarf, no less. But scarves go back much further than that in the Wood filmography. Even the Earth-bound gravediggers (Hugh Thomas, Jr. and J. Edward Reynolds) in Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957) wore them.

The scarf-wearing gravediggers of Plan 9; insert: Rene Bond in Necromania.

Make of all this what you will.