February 1, 2014

Movie Night: Glen or Glenda.

Review #536: Glen or Glenda.

Bela Lugosi (The Scientist), Timothy Farrell (Narrator/Dr. Alton), Ed Wood (Glen/Glenda), Dolores Fuller (Barbara), Lyle Talbot (Inspector Warren), Charlie Crafts (Johnny), and Conrad Brooks (Banker / Reporter / Pickup Artist / Bearded Drag) Directed by Ed Wood (#183 - Plan 9 from Outer Space)

Glen or Glenda was Ed Wood's first film that he directed, and boy, it is a real weird one. Inspired by the story of Christine Jorgenson, producer George Weiss decided to exploit it for a film of his own, sans Jorgenson. Wood was recruited to star and direct this film, the only one he did not also produce, also recruiting Bela Lugosi (in the last stages of his career) to star as...a scientist with the most bizarre dialogue ever written for a non narrator, and the way he says "Beware! Beware of the big green dragon that sits on your doorstep. He eats little boys... Puppy dog tails, and BIG FAT SNAILS... Beware... Take care... Beware!" makes me laugh. Lugosi may ham it up (Did I mention at one point he says "Pull the Strings" over footage of buffalo over and over?), but he at least looks like he's having some fun. Or maybe it's the money he was paid that made him satisfied. Lugosi is not the narrator though, that goes to Timothy Farrell, who doesn't fare any better. The dream sequence is either brilliant in its own way for trying to portray the subject matter, or idiotic because it only pads the movie even longer, and I guess in a way it's both brilliant and idiotic, but oh well. Wood (starring under the fake name Daniel Davis) isn't awful, though his technique of making people disappear wouldn't garner any praise from anyone. So which Wood film is better (a subjective word in this case), this or Plan 9? They both are inherently terrible, but Plan 9 is ultimately a smudge better, even if it is for it's mind blowing stupidity that works over Glen or Glenda's valiant, but failed attempt at drama. There is just one more film left for this week, and yes, it is another Ed Wood film. Stay tuned, folks.

Overall, I give it 4 out of 10 stars.

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