I have been born again! I was recently converted to the faith of Woodism, based on the tenets of the ‘moral and spiritual importance of Edward D. Wood Jr.’. Read on for my thoughts on Ed Wood in the form of my ‘submission for baptism’ and learn where you too can join the ranks of the few, the fiendish, the weird!
I was first exposed to the genius of Edward D. Wood Jr. through a late night TV showing of IT CAME FROM HOLLYWOOD, the 1982 celebration of the world of cult films past. I was particularily enraptured with the Wood section, mostly by glimpses of his opus ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’. I was 10 years old.
Years later, as an aspiring ‘cult’ filmmaker in my High School communications class, my cohorts and I created several genre films, including the slasher epics ‘Slash 12’ and ‘Slash 13’, the suburban undead parable ‘Zombies, Zombies, Zombies’ and the mad scientist-au-go-go flick ‘MeisterBrow’. While heavily influenced by the video nasties of the 80’s and such cheese factories as Troma and AIP, I always held a special place in my heart for the works of Eddie Wood. Be it the subtle homage of a cross-dressing mad scientist, the flat-out plagiarism of several lines of ‘Plan 9’ dialogue and cardboard tombstones in our zombie epic, or the wholesale imitation of the Conrad Brooks/Paul Marco chemistry by the two cop characters in the ‘Slash’ series – Eddie was there.
I’ve been known to confuse people with my incessant paraphrasing of Woodian text, my endless fascination with all things science-fiction and horror-riffic. I have worn a pencil-thin moustache and spent Halloween in an Angora cardigan and box skirt. Long before Tim Burton wizened the world to the value of Edward D. Wood Jr., I was espousing his finer points to anyone with the slightest interest in cult film.
Life intervened, as it will do, and a career in filmmaking took a back burner to youthful indiscretion, workaday jobs and long-term relationships. But during the 90’s and into the new millennium, several now –worn out VHS copies of the Wood collection were viewed on a regular basis. Now I have the Ed Wood library on DVD to keep me company on rainy nights when the weirdies are out. I spent the last decade as a film critic and genre obsessed feature writer on the Canadian website www.eyecrave.net including my own sub-site The Den of Iniquity, where I would preach the love of low-budget, high-imagination, infinite-passion genre films.
Now I’ve become a husband and a father – a man of myriad obligations. I spend my free-time writing fiction and playing with my kids. But I’ve already shown them the way. I’ve shown them the majesty of ‘Bride of the Monster’ and ‘Plan 9’. I still work ‘Eddie-isms’ into my work and quote Eros on my Facebook page. Ed Wood wasn’t just a man, or a filmmaker, he has become a philosophy. His is a philosophy of living Life to the fullest; of grasping opportunity by the balls; of being yourself and seeing the world full of wonder.
Most of all, Eddie taught me this:
I don’t worry. The saucers are up there and the graveyard is out there, but I’ll be locked up in there… with a bowl of hot buttered corn, enjoying the passion and commitment of a man far ahead of his time, and fingering the soft, supple sleeve of a rich angora sweater.
Here’s my official certificate of baptism from the Pope Rev. Steve Galindo:
I urge all of you weirdies, indies, geeks, freaks, fiends, miscreants, disciples of the B, C and Z Movie, children of the night and creatures of the dark recesses of decaying movie theatres and backyard moviemakers to get on board and celebrate one of the greatest independant filmmakers of our past, the inimitable Ed Wood.
Visit the Church of Ed Wood at www.edwood.org for chills, thrills and all the awesome-sauce you can drink!