Movie Article

Admiring the 'Wood' Work

How it's playing in Peoria

As ''perfect!'' as they may have seemed to transvestite director Edward D. Wood Jr., his infamously awful movies never made it with the mainstream moviegoing public. To see whether Ed Wood, Tim Burton's homage to Wood's twisted sensibility, fares any better, we went to the Willow Knolls 14 multiplex in Peoria, Ill., and interviewed moviegoers on the film's opening night.

Peggy Reese, 37, homemaker ''I loved Johnny Depp. I think he's a very courageous young man, considering some of the roles he's played. This one took some guts.''

Robert Wittmer, 18, U.S. Army ''It was like watching two hours of Seinfeld. It was entertaining enough, but there really wasn't much point to it.''

Betsy Burdette, 34, sales representative ''Martin Landau was brilliant. He's a definite nominee for Best Supporting Actor come Oscar time.''

Brett Lewis, 14, student ''My favorite part of the movie was Vampira. I don't think I need to explain why.''

Corey Knauer, 18, student ''It just seemed to drag on and on. The black and white didn't bother me — I thought that was a good idea. It just bothered me that it got so repetitive.''

David Bucher, 18, student ''The story was kind of hard to deal with, but I thought the actors did a good job. Considering the plot they had to work with, it was okay.''

Tanya Reese, 25, freelance advertising copywriter ''I thought the movie was awful. The only thing I liked about it was the concept. The acting was bad — and I know some of it was supposed to be bad — but this was really bad. The story was bad. It's just not the sort of thing you want to pay to see.''

Jeff Sammon, 15, student ''I had no clue about the movie or Ed Wood except for some previews I saw. My friend dragged me to the movie ... It was hilarious.''

Steve Jaeger, 15, student ''I'd never heard of Ed Wood before this, but now I think I'd ... really like to see Plan 9. As for Johnny Depp, he was pretty good. He still had that cheesy smile the whole time, but other than that, he did a good job.''

Eric Haahn, 24, restaurant manager ''This was pretty decent, but I'd rather have watched Plan 9 From Outer Space. Now, that's a movie that's abysmally bad in a way that captures my heart.''

Gary Scoles, 39, manufacturing employee ''That it was shot in black and white was a stroke of genius. That helped hold the mood through the whole movie.''

Originally posted Oct 28, 1994 Published in issue #246 Oct 28, 1994 Order article reprints