ED WOOD'S LOST FILM "FINAL CURTAIN" Image

One of the simplest rules of filmmaking is to show, not tell. It’s a fundamental idea born of filmmaking’s visual nature. If you want to be told what’s happening, read a book.

In the case of Ed Wood’s 1957 effort, a TV pilot entitled Final Curtain, this simple rule is ignored and abused to an epic extent. The “film” takes place in an empty theater as a man wanders about, narrating about how spooky everything is. Except it’s not spooky; it’s just stock footage of an empty theater cut to over-the-top reaction shots of James “Duke” Moore while the narration drops gems like, “why do I pay so much attention to the scream of a cat?”

But why am I even bothering to critique an Ed Wood film? The man is notorious for awful, and you don’t watch his films for the same reasons you watch others. You want to see what and how he screws everything up, and Final Curtain is best taken with that attitude. And perhaps copious amounts of alcohol or other mood-altering substances.

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