A Sad Anniversary
On December 7th, 1941*, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Thirty-seven years later, on December 7th of 1978, Ed Wood and his wife Kathy, unable to meet their rent, were evicted from their apartment home on Yucca Street in Hollywood, California, the place Ed referred to as “Yucca Flats” after the film THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS which starred his friend and collaborator Tor Johnson. The Woods were only able to take one suitcase of belongings with them. They sought shelter with friend Peter Coe**, staying in his apartment where, three days later on December 10th, Ed died of congestive heart failure/heart attack brought about by years of rampant alcoholism, which was brought about by years of chronic depression. (He also suffered from untreated diabetes, according to his widow.) The most tragic thing, perhaps, about the whole scenario is that Ed had agreed to, and planned to, go into rehab, to seek treatment for his addiction, the very next day.
Ed Wood didn’t live to see himself become a celebrity or to see his work celebrated. This last would begin just two years later, when Wood would be lauded as the “worst director of all time” for PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, which was awarded the title of “worst movie ever made.” These slights, perhaps intentional and sardonic, ironically secured Wood’s legendary status that he enjoys today.
*December 7th just so happens to be the birthday of my grandmother, who helped raise me and who never could understand my love for the Horror genre.
**Peter Coe appeared in numerous roles in numerous movies, including HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY’S CURSE, and even had a bit part in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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