Come one, come all, Reverend Steve Galindo welcomes you to the very first church that gives you wood. Ed Wood to be exact. The good Reverend has created Woodism, a religion that sees Edward D. Wood Jr. as a savior, preaching the spirituality of the cult film director’s films to his 3,000 legally baptized followers.
We recently spoke with Reverend Steve Galindo to find out a little more about Woodism and whether or not we would be going to hell for making fun of Ed Wood’s movies.
What does it take for one to become a member of the Church of Ed Wood?
That’s the best part of Woodism because you don’t have to go to all these classes and eat this and dunk yourself in a pool of this or anything like that. All you need is a basic knowledge of the Internet and a love of Ed Wood. Thanks to our website you can get instantly baptized on-line. It’s great. And also I’ve been known to personally baptize people into Woodism at events and when they have come up to me and asked me to do so.
What does the practice of Woodism entail?
The basic premise of Woodism coincides with what we believe was the basic premise of Ed Wood himself, which is the constant search for happiness. There are no specific practices other than to constantly be proud of who you are, accept others, and don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. If you want to smoke and cuss and rut and get completely drunk, as long as you’re fine with it, then go for it. It’s a punk libertarian religion. It’s spirituality mixed with realism.
So, do you enjoy Ed’s movies for the cheese factor, or do you actually think they’re good?
Ed’s films are great. I love them. I watch them all the time. First off, “Plan 9 from Outer Space” isn’t the worst film of all time. Have you ever seen “Robot Monster” or “Cabin Boy” or “Manos” or “Congo”? Those are a million times worse than the worst film Ed ever did. Each film, despite the small technical flaws, has something in them that other films don’t have – heart. Ed loved films and loved making movies and you can feel that in all his films from “Glen or Glenda” to “The Sinister Urge”. His films are like a cinematic hug because he loved what he created. He didn’t make “Plan 9” because he wanted money. He did it because he had a love for films and for telling stories. You can get a big laugh when you’re stuck watching the falling cardboard tombstones and the bad acting and the spaceships attached to strings. We’re about looking THROUGH the trendy Internet film flubs and looking at the heart of the film. At the heart of every Ed Wood film there lies love and happiness.
What message of Ed Wood are you trying to keep alive through Woodism?
He was proud of who he was regardless of what anyone else had to say about him. We live in an age where you spend an hour to get ready for other people to see you. Ed wasn’t about that. He had pride in himself and he used that pride to help others and that is what we hope to give to others through Woodism. Another major aspect of Woodism is that Ed’s lifelong dream was to make movies and he didn’t let bad actors, low budget, awful special effects, and a million other obstacles get in his way. Ed didn’t let reality get in the way of his dreams.
Is there an actual church?
No. We’ve been in talks with a million different groups about it and we’ve had our dreams for an actual literal church crushed so many times. But we haven’t given up, just like Ed. Right now, we have the Internet site which is our web church. To us, that website is our church. Currently, we’re working more on live events and street preaching and publishing an Ed Wood Bible but we still hold our dreams for an eventual church very close to our hearts.
What might one find within the pages of this Ed Wood Bible?
Do you have any idea how goddamn tough it is to write a Bible? Man, it’s literary torture. But it’s also been a challenge. The Bible of Woodism will plainly set out the beliefs, the holy days, and the importance of Ed Wood. It will have a biography, a list of holy days, a list of Woodian saints, and a complete compilation of the holy Lessons of Wood, which are sermons of Woodism first seen on our website. It will also be part novel and it’ll have short stories of my life and my love for Ed Wood. It’s good business. We’re almost at the halfway point with the Bible so we’re hoping to get it published in time for our major music and movie festival that will be happening in Sacramento, California in October.
Do you or any of the Church members make films?
I was an extra in “Jerry Maguire”. Does that count? Well, I only make absurdist short art pieces but I would say that a third of our congregation are aspiring filmmakers and writers and whatnot. One of our followers, Mr. Lobo, has a nationally syndicated late night horror host show (http://www.cinemainsomnia.com) and we’ve been working with him on a few projects. What I dream about myself is a big budget remake of “Plan 9”. There has to be someone in Hollywood with the balls big enough to try and do it.
What other Woodism events can people look forward to in the future?
The main one is Ed-Woodstock. It is a dream I’ve had since I saw my first Ed Wood film in 1989. It will be a mix of live rock and punk and ska bands and it will be an Ed Wood film festival as well. Music and Wood. It’s going to happen in downtown Sacramento at The Crest theater on October 17th. We have a web site set up (http://www.concert.edwood.org) where you can see the lineup and read the latest news. I’ll be there hosting and we’ll have some short films and movie clips between bands. It’ll be a day long festival. Plus, we’re having a great contest. The three bands signed up are each working on a top secret Ed Wood song and they will premiere it live on stage. The band with the best song, voted on by the audience, will be legally cannonized a saint on stage!
Those crazy Christians say that Jesus is coming back. Do you believe that Ed Wood is coming back? If so, what would be his first order of business?
If Ed Wood were to come back tomorrow, the first thing he’d do – he’d down a shot, light up a smoke, and ask what he’d missed?
Go get baptized at The Church of Ed Wood.