Have you ever seen the TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000, also known as MST3K? Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, a description might: the silhouette of a man and his two robot pals make disparaging comments over a really bad movie. MST3K is how I became familiar with Ed Wood films. I distinctly remember watching an episode featuring Bride of the Monster, a movie that was written and directed by Ed Wood, and thought: “how did a movie this terrible ever get made?” My questions were answered in this very funny biopic of the eccentric screenwriter, director, and actor.
Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) dreams of being the next Orson Welles. Just like Welles, Wood writes, directs, and acts in his own movies. Unlike Welles, however, Wood does all these things very poorly. His actors can’t act, his scripts make no sense, and the special effects in his movies really are “special”. But, with the help of some friends, including aging has-been Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau), Wood somehow charms and cons his way into getting the funds he needs to finish his films. It all culminates in the making of Plan 9 from Outer Space, which in real life is widely considered to be the worst movie of all time.