The Photographer (1969) (aka The Love Feast)

     Director: Joseph F. Robertson Hoff! Hoff! Hoff! Hoff!

Ed Wood.

The mere mention of the name alone conjures up surreal images of transvestitism, rubber squids, and burning paper plates representing UFOs. Not to mention a seemingly endless supply of stock footage.

A lot of people, including myself, have taken cheap shots at the expense of Ed Wood - sometimes at his art, an"What do you mean I look like Susan Dey?!"d sometimes even at the man himself. It's been done to the point of becoming cliche. Almost any schmuckatelli off the street can rattle off an idiosyncrasy of either a Wood film, and/or his somewhat bizarre lifestyle. He is practically a household name, especially after the release of Tim Burton's biopic of Wood in 1994.

Now, I've seen a lot of bad movies. I've seen films where I would rather take an aluminum bat to the head, than have to endure them again. And I've also seen many of Ed Wood's films. Anyone who categorizes Plan 9 From Outer Space as the worst movie ever made, obviously does Ednot know what they are talking about. The worst movie ever made would be tedious and boring, and Plan 9, at the very least, is not boring.

As a matter of fact, almost all of Ed Wood's films are interesting. Not necessarily good, mind you, but interesting. Why? Because Ed Wood was an inspired filmmaker. He truly believed in what he was doing. Wood may not have been talented, but he was inspired. Unlike those whose cinematic "vision" consists only of dollar signs and merchandising royalties, Ed Wood was a filmmaker because he loved to make films.

It's sad how Ed, with his seemingly boundless passion for the medium, ended up the way he did - producing softcore porn and smut stories and barely making enough money to live on - thenSay, I bet he's got a big "wrench."  Har! Har!to die a homeless alcoholic.

The Photographer was made in the midst of Wood's downfall.

Ed plays Mr. Murphy, a photographer illustrating his method (to us, the viewer) of luring young models to his home and having sex with them. Classy, huh?

The "plot" (using the term here loosely) is basically one gag repeating itself over and over again. As Murphy demonstrates his technique, and is about to bed a young model, the doorbell rings and more models show up. So he brings them into the mix, thus making it a threesome. But then doorbell rings again, and more models show up! And then more models! Heck, at one point, even some plumbers show up (but we won't get into that)! The body count perpetually rises until it becomes somewhat of an orgy. Now, I know you deviants are thinking that this sounds like a pretty promising premise - BUT - let me assure you, this film, Sad, reallyamazingly enough, is completely void of anything that might possibly be considered erotic. As a matter of fact, of all the erotic films I've seen, this is easily the least erotic (uh..not that I've seen a lot or erotic films, or anything).

Filmed at the peak of his alcoholism, Wood appears to become more and more intoxicated as the movie progresses. By the end, he seems to be totally sloshed.

The pitiful climax of the film has Wood, sporting a pink dress and a dog collar, licking the boots of one of the women.

Do not see this movie. It's a sad and pathetic testament to the downfall of Ed Wood.


Ed Wood should be remembered, but not like this.


Recommended Reading

The film isn't available, but this great book is.


-- Copyright 2000 by J. Bannerman


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