A recent ad running on Colorado radio by the conservative religious group Focus on the Family is the funniest thing I've heard lately. Apparently, a law was recently passed in that state to allow trans-gendered people to use public bathrooms, resulting in this bit of unintentional hilarity:
Focus on the Family ad
Could John Waters have done any better?
This actually dovetails quite nicely into my current interest in the literary and biographical side of the film world's most famous trannie, Edward D. Wood, Jr, pictured here starring in his own cinematic plea for cross-dress tolerance, "Glen or Glenda." I've been a fan of his films for ages, but never read any of his books until recently. I whole-heartedly recommend his novel "Killer in Drag," an outlandish bit of pulp brilliance that's easily as entertaining as any of his films. His non-fiction movie-world expose "Hollywood Rat-Race" is also quite wonderful. Check these quotes:
"Actually, there is no Hollywood any longer. It's become a kaleidoscope of meaningless ectoplasms which abound between reality and the unreality."
On writing: "...why don't you give up before you get started? And that's not sour grapes! That's good, sound advice, which few of you will take...but sound advice all the same."
"You'd be surprised how many of the boys prefer girls' clothes and the girls who prefer boy's clothes! And I mean big stars, directors, producers, and writers!"
"Nothing is stranger then the strange itself."
And thanks to the definitive biography, "Nightmare of Ecstasy" and The Church Of Ed Wood website I've been able to compile a tour of...(drum roll please)...Ed Wood's Los Angeles!
- 4477 HOLLYWOOD BLVD. (Wood's office from 1947- ?)
- 5271 Bakman Ave., North Hollywood (His World War II play "Casual Company" was performed here, but it's an office building now; I live around the corner.)
- Santa Monica Boulevard near Western: "Plan 9 From Outer Space" shot at Quality Studios. (The entranceway is located next to the Harvey Hotel.)
- KFWB/Ted Allan studios, Yucca & Argyle: where "Bride of the Monster" shot
- 6136 Bonner St, North Hollywood 91606: apartment from 1965 to 1970
- Yucca @ Cahuenga: apartment of his final years
- 5636 Laurel Canyon Blvd, #4: apartment he died in 12/10/78 (also around the corner from my house - I didn't realize I lived on hallowed ground.)
- Criswell's apartment: Selma Ave. and Cassil Place, Hollywood, CA
- Criswell's Burial Spot: 10621 VICTORY BLVD. NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA. Valhallah Memorial Park
- Tor Johnson's Burial Spot: 23287 SIERRA HWY. NEWHALL, CA. 91321
- Bela Lugosi's Home: 5620 HAROLD WAY, L.A.
- Bela Lugosi burial spot: HOLY CROSS CEMETARY, 5835 W. SLAUSON AVE, CULVER CITY, CA 90230
As you make your tour, listen to some choice excerpts from Ed Woods' films, featuring the great performer Criswell:
Orgy of the Dead - opening
Furs and Fluff
Orgy of the Dead - End
POSTSCRIPT (6/02/08): Just saw the greatest thing: in a drugstore downtown the ugliest drag queen you've ever seen - tall, gawky, badly dyed hair, hideous lip liner - in a heated discussion with a ghetto sista - short, fat, cornrows. Imagine Herman Munster in drag arguing with Shirley from "What's Happenin'?" God, I love LA.