127 minutes| U.S.A.| 1994| Black & White

While director Tim Burton and resident muse Johnny Depp scored a massive hit earlier this year with Alice In Wonderland, it’s somewhat fitting that their only box-office flop to date was their loving biopic of glorious failure Edward D. Wood Jr., the cross-dressing z-movie auteur responsible for The Best Worst Movie Ever Made, AKA deliriously-inept 1959 sci-fi chiller Plan 9 from Outer Space. Burton and Depp spin Wood’s misadventures in filmmaking into yet another of their ongoing celebrations of society’s outsiders – in this case Wood’s rag-tag family of collaborators, notably a scene-stealing Bill Murray as deadpan drag queen Bunny Breckinridge. The real heart of the movie lies in Ed’s relationship with washed-up, foul-mouthed horror icon Bela Lugosi, essayed in an Oscar-winning turn by an unrecognisable Martin Landau, by turns hilarious and heart-breaking. This inspired ‘mostly true story’ is arguably Burton’s masterpiece – not only that, it can be viewed at Horrorthon 2010 alongside Wood’s incomparable Plan 9… Now that’s what we call a deeply cool double-bill.

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