Ed Wood movie 'Necromania' found: Sexually explicit film was one of director's final efforts
Fans of cult favorite Ed Wood a.k.a. Edward D. Wood Jr, unjustly labeled The Worst Filmmaker of All Time, now (Oct. 2004) have one more Ed Wood cult classic to check out: the 1971 release Necromania: A Tale of Weird Love!, a sexually explicit film about the erotic awakening of a young couple (Rene Bond and Ric Lutze) through the assistance of a necromancer (Maria Arnold). Wood himself wrote the novel, The Only House, on which Necromania is based.
According to several reports, Necromania was the last movie Wood directed – although, in reality, that honor belongs to another sexually explicit 1971 release, The Young Marrieds (more information below). Made in about three days on a budget totaling $7,000 (approximately $33,000 in 2004), the original Necromania went missing shortly after its initial release. Dupes in varying degrees of completeness were the only known prints in existence.
Ed Wood movies
Writer-director-producer and sometime actor Ed Wood (born on Oct. 10, 1924, in Poughkeepsie, New York) became posthumously famous for his handful of grade-Z movies released in the 1950s.
Among these are the gender-bending drama Glen or Glenda (1953), with Wood (billed as Daniel Davis) as the titular crossdresser, his real-life girlfriend Dolores Fuller as Glen's gal, Bela Lugosi (Dracula, The Black Cat) as a psychiatrist and the film's narrator, and 1930s Warner Bros. second lead Lyle Talbot as a police inspector; Jail Bait (1954), in which early silent era star Herbert Rawlinson plays a plastic surgeon coerced into changing the looks of a young hoodlum (Timothy Farrell) wanted by the police; the campy horror flick Bride of the Monster (1955), starring Lugosi as a Mad Doctor; and the sci-fi/horror camp fest Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), featuring the likes of Lugosi, Talbot, and Vampira.
During his lifetime, however, Ed Wood had to resort to shooting his films with the microscopic-est of budgets, as he could find no backers. From the mid-'60s on, he devoted his energies to directing and writing erotic (some would call them pornographic) stories.
Ed Wood died of heart failure at age 54 on December 10, 1978, in the Los Angeles suburb of North Hollywood. Johnny Depp played a highly fictionalized version of the quirky auteur in Tim Burton's 1994 semi-biopic Ed Wood, a critical success but a box office flop. As Bela Lugosi, Martin Landau was that year's Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner.
Ed Wood's last movie
According to Ed Wood biographer Rudolph Grey, The Young Marrieds was the director's final film. Like Necromania, for years The Young Marrieds was believed lost. Also in 2004, a 16mm print was found in Vancouver. The film stars Louis Wolf, Alice Friedland, George Black, and Cynthia Walker.
In the '70s, Ed Wood was credited for the screenplay of several sexually explicit films, among them The Cocktail Hostesses (1973); Five Loose Women (1974), featuring Wood in a cameo; and The Beach Bunnies (1976) – all three directed by Stephen C. Apostolof, and the first two titles featuring Necromania's Rene Bond.
Image of Rene Bond and Ric Lutze in the rediscovered, sexually explicit Ed Wood movie Necromania: Alpha Blue Archives.