Ed Wood

Long before Ed Wood flopped into theaters in 1994, moviemakers had a fixation with the man both mocked and applauded as “the world’s worst director.” It’s easy for struggling creative types to feel admiration for the -— for better or worse — unstoppably prolific and daring Wood, a self-financed filmmaker and an unashamed transvestite. Wood’s love of wearing women’s clothing was explored in his 1953 autographical drama Glen or Glenda, which could have been an early rallying call for sexual--identity freedom if it weren’t, like all Wood’s sci-fi/horror projects, incredibly bad.

The screenwriting duo of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who are also responsible for the Problem Child series, tinkered with a Wood biopic for some time but could find no financer. Thank god for Tim Burton. The director, who’d proven lush weirdness could translate into box-office success with Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, took on their script, with actor Johnny Depp in the lead.

The film, which traces Wood from his early moviemaking days (when he tossed out the classic clunker Plan 9 from Outer Space) to later in his career, when he rose to the epitome of 1950s-standards debauchery with Glen or Glenda, didn’t make much money but has stayed a cult favorite, proving that some stories are too good to be left untold. 11:55 p.m. Friday and Saturday. River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. For tickets and information, call 713–866–8881 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com. $8.25.
Fri., April 18, 11:55 p.m.; Sat., April 19, 11:55 p.m., 2008

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Nick Keppler