The winner of the Best Picture Award at this year’s New England Underground Film Festival, this amusing 25-minute from filmmaker Jesse Berger slices and dices scenes and dialogue from four anti-classics from the notorious Edward D. Wood Jr. – “Glen or Glenda?”, “Bride of the Monster,” “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “Night of the Ghouls” – into a wonderfully warped blend of lunacy that perfectly captures the inane spirit of Wood’s work in a fraction of their running time.
With this work, Glen from “Glen or Glenda?” (played by Wood himself) is a homicidal transvestite that commits crimes in order to win the long-denied love from his mad scientist father (Bela Lugosi, with footage from “Glen or Glenda?”, “Bride of the Monster” and his fleeting appearance in “Plan 9”). When Glen is not on a crime spree, he is comforted by his confused girlfriend (Dolores Fuller). Glen’s father, however, is in cahoots with a pair of aliens (clever editing by Berger gives the impression of Lugosi’s “Bride of the Monster” character communicating directly with the Eros and Tana characters of “Plan 9”). The dimwitted police from “Plan 9” and “Night of the Ghouls” investigate these events, but the “Plan 9” inspector killed by the aliens becomes the slave of the “Bride of the Monster” scientist (both roles played by Wood regular Tor Johnson).
Berger’s clever editing often gives new meaning to Wood’s bizarre artistic statements, most notably when “Glen or Glenda?” psychiatrist Timothy Farrell bloviates on how “modern man is a hardworking human – throughout the day, his mind and his muscles are busy at building the modern world and its business administration” while Lugosi whips Johnson in a “Bride of the Monster” scene. Criswell’s fruity “Plan 9” narration is liberally used, but the man himself is not on screen – nor is the “Plan 9” diva Vampira, sadly. But the horned demon from Glen or Glenda?” turns up, a happy (if Wood-style incomprehensible) addition to this zany mix.
Berger told the Dead 2 Rights website that he envisioned this work as “something someone would find on a random VHS tape at Goodwill.” And while Wood’s canon is the apex of bargain basement filmmaking, Berger’s imaginative presentation preserves Wood’s spirit in a new hysteria-laced work that will generate gales of healthy laughs.
Berger’s work can be appreciated on YouTube.