Who could have known? Certainly not Ed Wood himself. When he was struggling to make a living, churning out scripts and novels, as quickly as his fingers could pound away at a typewriter, he would never have suspected—no one would ever have suspected—that those works would be considered important, worthy of preservation. Wood’s PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE *could* have been just a mediocre low-budget Sci-Fi/Horror flick, one among countless others. Had that been the case, only the connoisseur of such fare would even know the man’s name today. But PLAN 9 wasn’t just mediocre. It excelled in its awfulness, earning the title of “worst movie ever made.” (Despite being wonderful fun, a blast from beginning to end, and thus not really eligible to be called a “bad” movie at all, but we are picking nits on the subject.) In so doing, it earned itself and its creator immortal fame. It’s heartbreaking that this fame arrived too late for Ed to enjoy it in life.
We honestly don’t know how many scripts and novels Ed wrote. He used several pseudonyms, and no record was kept of many of those publications. It’s doubtful we will ever have a complete list of Ed’s body of work. Somehow, though, this almost seems fitting. A touch of mystery, a sense of things left to be discovered. I think Ed would have liked that.
This hasn’t stopped some diehard Wood aficionados from trying to compile that list, however. Check out this overview of three of Wood’s “lost” films. In reality it may be that all that has been lost is the crediting of Wood’s involvement, yet it is a mystery nonetheless.