Martin Landau

Ed Wood

With the popularity of films like The Room, Birdemic: Shock and Terror, and Sharknado (now with a 2 behind it!), it seems that some people tend to like bad movies more than they like good ones. However, long before Tommy Wiseau or James Nguyen were directing films, and before Tara Reid was even born, there was a magical man named Edward D. Wood, Jr. Even with his terrible sense of plot, sequence and cinematic structure, Ed Wood managed to give his own flavor to his films, culminating in the granddaddy of all bad movies: Plan 9 From Outer Space. In 1994, Tim Burton directed Ed Wood, telling the story of the infamous director and how his friendship with horror movie legend Bela Lugosi helped breathe some life into both of their careers. The 2004 DVD release of the film includes a commentary with Burton, edited together with his filmmaking cohorts, which delivers a comprehensive look at the film’s creation. It has been 55 years since the release of Plan 9 From Outer Space, and it’s been 20 years since the release of Ed Wood. Before Burton really hit the skids with movies like Planet of the Apes and Dark Shadows, here’s a brighter (even in black and white), more inspirational time in his career that we can all learn from.



Biopics are always praised for their lead actor or actress’ realistic or unique portrayal of the subject, but what of the supporting cast? Sure, we do recognize their efforts, they might even receive an Academy Award, but rarely are they honored with something as prestigious as an online comedy list. It’s time to rectify that. Here are some of the more talented, memorable, or uncanny portrayals of people who were important enough to be featured in a movie, but not important enough for that movie to be about them.


Anna Nicole Smith

The Playlist perhaps puts it best in the opening line of their own post regarding this news: “How the mighty have fallen…” Remember how Mary Harron directed American Psycho? Do you think she does? After her work there, Harron could have done just about anything she wanted – which made it all the more confounding when she began her slow descent into half-cocked features that barely even left a mark (The Notorious Bettie Page, The Moth Diaries) and one-shot directing gigs on various television series. What next? Obviously a Lifetime movie about Anna Nicole Smith, creatively titled The Anna Nicole Story. Pardon?



Editor’s note: Halloween comes early with this week’s release of Frankenweenie. For some delicious review snacks to go with your candy corn, here is a re-run of our Fantastic Fest review of the film, published just two weeks ago, on September 20, 2012. Since 1984, Tim Burton has directed fifteen feature films. And according to my research assistant Siri, eleven of those fifteen went over well (and were made “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes) with critics. So it’s not outside the realm of possibilities that Burton could be considered a great director. Unfortunately for the man behind Edward Scissorhands and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, a number of those not-so-fresh movies have come in recent years. Alice in Wonderland was a messy 3D “experience” and Dark Shadows was laughable, and not in a good way. If you ask any movie-loving member of the internet community what they think of Tim Burton these days, the answer is more than likely to skew negative. That’s because we have the collective short term memory of Leonard from Memento when it comes to directors. Lucky for us, 2012 Tim Burton still remembers the guy he was in 1984, and has since returned to direct Frankenweenie, his black-and-white stop-motion ode to classic monster movies and the bond between a boy and his dog, based on the 1984 short of the same name.


Fantastic Fest: Martin Landau

Actor Martin Landau has been in the business of making movies and delighting audiences for over 50 years. There isn’t much, at this point, that he’s not seen. From working with directors named Hitchcock and Coppola to winning an Oscar in the role of Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, he’s had more than a few moments worth remembering. It’s the kind of talent that demands reverence. The kind of man you’d like to sit with and listen to for hours on end. No questions. No soundbytes. Just stories. The premiere of Frankenweenie at Fantastic Fest 2012 brought just that kind of opportunity. Before I was even able to sit down at the table for our interview, there was an energy about him. There, in an otherwise large and empty conference room at the Austin Four Seasons hotel, sat a man ready to tell me a story. Before I made contact with the seat, he was already off like a shot. While he may not be as physically nimble as he was earlier in his career, never has a mind been sharper. And in me, he found a captive audience ready to listen and share.


With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #149): “The Jeopardy Room” (airdate 4/17/64) The Plot: Russian agents check in, but they don’t check out. The Goods: Major Ivan Kuchenko (Martin Landau) sits in a hotel room mere hours from a planned defection to the West, but while he believes he’s alone in his thoughts he’s actually being monitored by two KGB agents sent to stop him. He discovers the truth when the two men make contact and tell him there’s a bomb in his room. He’ll be dead by dawn unless he can find and disarm the explosive.



One of the best filmmakers of all time makes his best film. Shouldn’t you give it a shot?



Kevin Carr takes a look at this week’s movie releases, including 9, Sorority Row, Whiteout and Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself..

Scott Beggs

Review: 9

Movie Reviews By Scott Beggs on September 8, 2009 | Comments (7)


A movie that (I swear to you) wasn’t directed by Tim Burton explores the limits of ragdoll action sequences with a gorgeously envisioned post-robot-devastated world where the population is sparse and so is the story line.



Focus Features has provided FSR with a fantastic first look at the characters from the upcoming CG-animated thriller 9, from director Shane Acker and producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov.

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published: 01.26.2015
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published: 01.25.2015

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