->''"It's safe to say that in the course of making some of the worst movies possible, Ed Wood has brought more joy to more people than 99 percent of the artists who've ever lived. If that doesn't inspire you, then you're dead inside."''
-->--'''Nimby Smith''', ''{{Website/Cracked}}.com'': ''[[http://www.cracked.com/article/170_5-people-who-failed-their-way-to-fame-fortune 5 People Who Failed Their Way to Fame And Fortune]]''

->''"Ed finally became the hot Hollywood property he always wanted to be - [[{{Irony}} he only had to be dead to do it.]]"''
-->--''Ed Wood: Look Back in Angora''

Who was '''Ed Wood'''?

Short Answer: Edward Davis Wood Jr. was that rare mix of [[GiftedlyBad relentless motivation and determination combined with a complete lack of natural talent]]. He was that guy who made ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'' and a bunch of other crappy movies. [[WholesomeCrossdresser He also liked to wear dresses.]]

Long Answer: Throughout his life, Ed Wood loved movies and wanted to make his own. In his teenage years, he became a marine (eventually claiming to have fought at Guadalcanal while wearing a bra and panties under his uniform; of this experience he once said that he wasn't afraid of being killed, but he was scared shitless of being merely wounded - likely because he was afraid a medic would discover his secret when he was patching him up). Later, he would join a freak show as a bearded lady. In the late forties, Wood would begin his career in movies. One of his first works was a play called ''Casual Company'', based on a novel that was based on his life at the Marines. To foreshadow what was to come, the play suffered from extremely negative reviews. His first actual film would be in 1953, ''Film/GlenOrGlenda'' (based loosely on his novel ''Death Of A Transvestite''), a semi-autobiographical tale about transsexuality and Ed Wood's love for crossdressing. During this time, he met and eventually became friends with Creator/BelaLugosi. This was when the ''Film/{{Dracula|1931}}'' days were long gone and people thought he was dead, but this didn't stop Ed Wood from thinking of him as a legend among men. Bela would take a small part in ''Glen Or Glenda'' as a narrator now known for yelling "''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-8j8c7iL3E PULL THE STRING!!!]]''" while clips of bison stampeding were shown.

Ed Wood would later become part of the BMovie scene, befriending people such as Vampira (TheFifties equivalent of Creator/ElviraMistressOfTheDark) and [[PhonyPsychic the Amazing Criswell]]. In 1955, his first horror film ''Film/BrideOfTheMonster'' was created. It contained Bela Lugosi whipping a 400-pound wrestler named Tor Johnson, and stock footage of an octopus.

Wood actually wrote a successful film, ''Film/TheBrideAndTheBeast'', directed by Adrian Weiss, complete with a weird TwistEnding. With his uncanny financial sense, however, the money he earned didn't last long.

Wood would attempt to create a film called ''The Ghoul Goes West'', which would've been the previous film in a western setting. Unfortunately, Bela Lugosi died just after filming a small scene. However, Wood improvised and used the clips for the now infamous ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace''. Produced by Southern Baptist ministers, the film would feature aliens trying to stop humans from destroying the universe. And somehow, zombies, consisting of Vampira, a guy who badly impersonates Bela Lugosi with clips of real Bela spliced in, and Tor Johnson are involved. The film was finished in 1956, but was finally released in 1959 due to lack of a proper distributor.

[[FromBadToWorse But things would soon take a turn for the worse.]] After the filming of ''Film/NightOfTheGhouls'', which would not get released until 1987, Wood would turn to writing for exploitation films, such as ''Film/TheViolentYears'' and ''Film/TheSinisterUrge'', the former was a long-running B-movie circuit hit, but Wood only saw $500 from the film. Then in the early seventies and the last years of his life, he would end up writing for porn flicks, a career that did not agree with him: although Wood's previous films were bad, they were never sleazy. Wood's alcoholism spiraled out of control, and by the end he and Kathy were so poor that they were evicted out of their flophouse apartment. Three days later Wood died of a heart attack at a friend's house while watching football.

Two years later, Wood would be named in ''The Golden Turkey Awards'' for worst director. Soon after that, the man achieved cult status. Three of his films would get riffed by ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]''. One of his scripts would be made into a 1998 film known as ''I Woke Up Early The Day I Died''. Even a small religious group became named after Ed Wood.

Less than 16 years after his death, Wood's life would become the plot for the 1994 film ''Film/EdWood'' by Creator/TimBurton starring Creator/JohnnyDepp as Ed Wood. Deviating from the general consensus of the man, the film was an affectionate presentation of him by showing a man who tried his hardest to get his movies shown on the big screen. The film bombed at the box office, but won several awards and eventually became a CultClassic. It also has Martin Landau giving an extraordinary performance as Bela Lugosi. Thus, his legacy as one of the worst directors will never be forgotten.
Feature films both written and directed by Wood. He also wrote scripts for other directors.
* ''Film/GlenOrGlenda'' (1953)
* ''Film/JailBait'' (1954)
* ''Film/BrideOfTheMonster'' (1955)
* ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'' (directed in 1956, released in 1958/1959)
* ''Film/NightOfTheGhouls'' (1959)
* ''Film/TheSinisterUrge'' (1961)
* ''Film/TakeItOutInTrade'' (1970)
* ''{{Film/Excited}}'' (1970)
* ''Film/TheOnlyHouse'' (1971)
* ''{{Film/Necromania}}'' (1971)
* ''Film/TheYoungMarrieds'' (1971)

!!Ed Wood is known for these tropes:

* TheAlcoholic: Which literally killed him - he died from alcohol-related problems.
* AlliterativeName: One of his professional pseudonyms was '''D'''anny '''D'''avis.
* AuthorAppeal: Angora, Creator/BelaLugosi, monsters, cowboys
* BadBadActing
* {{Badass}} - His military service pretty much solidified him as one.
* BunnyEarsLawyer - Not a bunny ears filmmaker, god no, but a Bunny Ears Marine. He fought in some of the worst WWII Pacific bloodbaths and came back with a chest full of medals. And he claimed to do at least one battle while wearing women's underwear.
** And he lost all his front teeth when a Japanese soldier hit Ed in the mouth with the butt of his gun.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: As ''Ed Wood: Look Back in Angora'' would state, "[[Film/GlenOrGlenda Only Ed Wood would cast Dracula... as God!]]"
* CopiouslyCreditedCreator
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: He actually lived most of his life in obscurity. It was only after his death that he really gained recognition.
* {{Determinator}}: The man survived the most bloody Allied battle in WorldWarII - he applied that same drive to making films. No matter what obstacles, he was going to get that movie made, dammit.
* GiftedlyBad - Ed is probably the best example.
* InsultBackfire - What the ''Golden Turkey Awards'' writers tried to do when voting Wood the Worst Director and ''Plan 9'' Worst Movie. What happened was it made cinemaphiles look back on Wood's career and begin honoring him for [[GiftedlyBad both his poor vision and his great heart]].
* {{Keet}} - Oh, the enthusiasm he put into every film for sure.
* LoveableSexManiac: As he said in ''The Photographer'': "I like girls, girls, girls, girls, girls!"
* NiceGuy - By all reports.
* OffTheShelfFX
* RealMenWearPink: He was a tough as nails Marine who loved Angora sweaters.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: Wood did direct and/or write ''very'' successful films, but didn't get much money out of it. For instance, ''Film/TheViolentYears'' was a long-running theatrical release, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars - but Wood only made $500 off it.
* StockFootage: He frequently used it in his films; far too often it tended not to match the footage he filmed himself.
* SweaterGirl - Not the crossdressing Wood himself, but his girlfriend.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory - ''Glen Or Glenda'', which somehow became about Ed's own transvestite tendencies.
* WholesomeCrossdresser
"Aim for the stars and if, at the end of your life, you've only reached Mars, remember one thing. Stars flicker in and flash out. Mars is a planet. A constant light. A stable entry that will be here as long as life itself." - Ed Wood, ''Hollywood Rat Race''