“The police don’t believe in monsters. Facts are our business. Facts and only facts… and don’t you forget it.”
If my math is correct, this movie represents the end of the first quarter of movies. I know 50 is a cleaner number to celebrate, but that’s just because people like numbers that end in zero for some reason. Percentages work much better for me, even if celebrating #47 seems a bit odd.
And it seems appropriate to mark the quarter turn with a movie by the man who is/was the gateway into bad movie love for so many people: Ed Wood.
I always liked the fact that MST3K stayed away from Plan 9, it had such a reputation as ‘the worst film ever’ I think it would have been seen as too easy for the SOL crew. They couldn’t stay away from Ed, not if you wanted any credibility for showing the worst of the worst, and was able to show a wider range of work to the world. The 3 Wood films and the two quasi-Wood films (The Unearthly and Racket Girls) featured on MST3K might not be much better than Plan 9, but they do show quite the range of styles Ed Wood played with.
Bride of the Monster has a special place in my heart, it was my first Ed Wood film. I had been falling in love with B-Movies thanks to the Early Show and Late Late Show on the local channels. I had been finding out about the B’s through magazines and kept seeing Wood’s name pop up, usually in reference to Plan 9. There was a video store on the University Campus that supposedly had ‘weird’ movies. One day I biked to that store, only to find Plan 9 had been checked out. The clerk recommended Bride of the Monster as a replacement, trying to help a kid I suppose. I probably watched it a half a dozen times in the short time I had that tape. I had gone from liking giant bug movies to loving the bizarre. My whole attitude about movies and what I defined as ‘entertaining’ had been turned on its head.
Yes, there were those poseurs in high school who thought the height of cinema was Bergman and Truffaut. And they wasted time watching movies they couldn’t comprehend so they could lie to the world about their ‘understanding’ of the movie. Ed Wood didn’t make you feel stupid.
And it wasn’t that Ed Wood made me feel superior either. It, as strange as the comparison may sound, is like the affinity I have for Charlie Brown. You do your best, you put your heart into it, and most of the time, you end up with Bride of the Monster, not Citizen Kane. Nothing wrong with that, as long as that really is the best you can do.
Now, 30 or so years after that first binge watching of Bride, I’m at the point where I don’t think Ed Wood would even rank in the bottom 5 of MST3K directors. But I don’t know if there is a B/Cult movie director whose stuff I love more and watch more than his. And Bride of the Monster is my most loved movie by him.
Several years ago, that University Campus video store was having a sale. Giving in to the times and going exclusively to DVDs. That’s where I purchased my copy of Bride. The same VHS tape I checked out all those years before. I have a connection, a history, with this movie.
Watchability: 5 of 5. This isn’t fandom; It is love.
Missing the Riffs: 5 of 5. I watch it often unriffed. Like I said, it has a special place in my heart.