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Thursday, January 19, 2006

NECROMANIA: A TALE OF WEIRD LOVE

Necromania

Here it is, in all its tacky Seventies glory: The lost film of schlock auteur Ed Wood, Necromania, shot in three days for $7,000, featuring a coffin owned by fraud psychic Criswell, and notorious for going missing just a few days after the shooting was finished.

Thanks to the investigative work of a pair of Ed Wood enthusiasts who discovered the film in a Los Angeles warehouse, Necromania is finally available to the public. For anyone familiar with the career of Mr. Wood, including his deterioriation into alcoholism and cheap pornography during the later years of his life, the film will come as no surprise. It's a flat, incomprehensible mess, albeit a strangely entertaining one. Necromania tells of a supernatural cult at a Hollywood Hills mansion whose rituals are supposed to cure marital problems, and do, if lethargic onscreen coupling can be considered a "cure."

Ed Wood once again seems to be working out his personal demons, which were legion, through the dual metaphors of horror and pornography, both of which were lifelong interests. However, in classic Wood form, the horror isn't especially horrifying and the pornography is downright saltpeterish.

The film does have its little pleasures, though, including an interior design scheme that must rank among the greatest examples of early Seventies kitsch. For instance, a bedroom sports a matress covered in a massive, bright yellow shag blanket -- the bedcover actually earned an applause at the film's debut at One Eyed Jack's in New Orleans last year. However, typical of Wood's genius for missed opportunities, no female is ever shown unclad atop this wooly monstrosity -- by the time the bed is used for conjugal purposes, the blanket has been unceremoniously tossed aside.

A pity. After all, in a film titled "A Tale of Weird Love," what would have been stranger than a lovemaking scene atop what looked like the skin of a Sesame Street character?

Purchase the film here.If you dare.

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